Question about 2003 Oldsmobile Alero

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2003 olds alero wont start in the morning.

Car wont start in the morning. changed fuel pump, filter, pressure regulator,computer,map sensor, air intake sensor, engine coolant temp sensor, any solutions???????????????

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  • ccguinn Jul 19, 2009

    2003 olds alero 2.2L wont start in morning. Changed fuel pump, filter, pressure regulator, map sensor, air intake temp sensor, and comp.

  • ccguinn Jul 19, 2009

    no trouble codes, no check engine light,

  • ccguinn Jul 19, 2009

    why would this just happen in the morning? the car starts right up any other time of day.

  • ccguinn Jul 19, 2009

    only in morning when car is cold

  • ccguinn Jul 20, 2009

    why wont it start in morning?

  • ccguinn Jul 20, 2009

    why only in the morning? it starts right up any other time

  • ccguinn Jul 20, 2009

    not real cold weather, new battery, starter coil, plugs,

  • ccguinn Jul 21, 2009

    no condensation, no water, ?

  • ccguinn Jul 22, 2009

    what is the crank sensor and where is it located?

  • ccguinn Jul 22, 2009

    yeah thanks i'll try to change that, this is becoming a real headache, i'm working on the car for my sister-in-law and she does not have any money, so i'm trying to save her a few dollars by doing the work myself. I've got about 3 weeks left until my niece starts school and she needs her car back.

  • ccguinn Jul 22, 2009

    Also I used the noid light, but I did not see any light. I tried it on two different injectors.

  • ccguinn Jul 23, 2009

    How come when we used a scan tool no codes came up? would'nt it show one for the crank sensor?

  • ccguinn Jul 23, 2009

    thank you for the data i'll see what i can do, youll hear from me soon

  • ccguinn Jul 31, 2009

    yes, it did not fix it anymore suggestions?

  • ccguinn Aug 01, 2009

    it has no dist. it has an ignition coil

  • ccguinn Aug 01, 2009

    where is the igniton control module

  • ccguinn Aug 02, 2009

    no nothing helped but i sure do appreciate everyone giving me ideas thank you

  • mybusiness85
    mybusiness85 Jan 08, 2013

    is the red security light on??

  • Anonymous Mar 12, 2014

    unable to print4f

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28 Answers

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Since it hasn't been determined if it's a spark or fuel problem, there are 2 possible solutions:

  1. Bad or clogged fuel injectors; they would prevent the car from starting initially and the longer you try to start the car, the more fuel being pumped into them possibly flooding the engine. To confirm if its a fuel problem, spray a little starting fluid into the air intake to see if it starts. if it doesn't start, it's a spark issue
  2. If you have a spark issue, since you've replaced the computer, it comes down to either the ignition coil or the ignition control module
Please post back with any questions about either of the solutions you've been provided. Best of luck.
Greg

Posted on Aug 01, 2009

  • Greg Margossian
    Greg Margossian Aug 01, 2009

    The ignition coils are at the other end of the spark plug wires and attach to the ignition control module (ICM) underneath. Below is a diagram with a 3.1 L engine as an example. Here are ignition coil removal instructions:






    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

    2. Tag and detach the spark plug wires.

    3. Unfasten the two screws retaining each coil to the Ignition Control Module (ICM), then remove the coil(s) from the module.

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  • Oldsmobile Master
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Try changing the termperature sensor on the cyl head /inlet manifold area this is controling the auto choke control and if sensor is faulty then it will have a problem starting from cold,sorry i cant tell you where it is exactly but as i live in spain i have never seen an alero but iam sure their are two sensors on older vehicles ,one for the temp gauge and one for the autochoke.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009

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  • Oldsmobile Master
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Do an ECU scan using an ODBII code reader, and check the vacuum system for leaks.

I assume you replaced both air intake sensor, the mass airflow (MAF) and air intake temperature (AIT) sensor. They both can cause this kind of problem.
Sometimes a defective O2 sensor or a vacuum leak can cause cold start problems.

Vacuum can be tested using a tool like this:Vacuum and Fuel Pump Tester Kit

If you still do not find the problem go to a garage and get a waveform diagram for the injectors at cold.

If you do not find anything, all the above is fine, and there is no code then it is not excluded that you can have a faulty PCM or ECU module.

Posted on Jul 19, 2009

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If the engine is cranking over you have only 3 things to verify.
1) spark - do you have spark while cranking when the engine is in the no-start state.
2) fuel pulse- using a noid light, disconnect one of the injector connectors and verify an injector pulse.
3) fuel pressure- I know you put a new pump in,but are you getting the 55 lbs of fuel pressure needed.

We will need to verify each to determine which of the 3 systems is causing the no-start.

Two sensors that can directly affect fuel delivery or spark timing are the crank sensor and the coolant temp sensor. Both of which are temperature sensitive.
Let me know.
Regards,

Posted on Jul 21, 2009

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  • Bruce Bracey
    Bruce Bracey Jul 22, 2009

    The crank sensor is located next to the oil filter in the 1 o'clock position. It has a 2 wire connector connected to it. It is difficult to see but it can be changed from the top or under the front.

    The crank sensor counts the crankshaft rotations and tell the PCM (computer) when each piston is in the correct position to pulse the injector then fire the spark plug. With out the crank sensor the fuel and spark timing can not be syncronized.

    Hope that answers your question,.

    regards,

  • Bruce Bracey
    Bruce Bracey Jul 22, 2009

    If the crank sensor is not providing a signal, you will not get an injector pulse.

    Once the new crank sensor is installed it may be worth your while to take it to a shop that has a scan tool that can perform a "crank sensor" learn procedure. The engine will run OK without it but will be more precise with the crank learn procedure. The procedure should be performed anytime a PCM, cam sensor or crank sensor are replaced.

    Good luck.

    Regards,

    PS Make certain to check the wires and terminals at the crank sensor for damage, chaffing or corrosion on the terminals.

  • Bruce Bracey
    Bruce Bracey Jul 23, 2009

    Unfortunately the PCM (computer) makes a single check of the sensor after the engine has started. If at that time it sees an improper reading, it will flag a code. Your local dealer uses a Tech II data scan tool that checks the crank sensor under a no start condition. A code scanner does not have that capability.

    Regards,

  • Bruce Bracey
    Bruce Bracey Jul 30, 2009

    Was the crank sensor replaced?

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  • Oldsmobile Master
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Before you start the car next morning,open the hood and look for condensation,or water droplets around the wires,coil,ignition module and any electrical wirings.

Air can condense into water when it's getting cold to warm.


When the electrical get wet (even a little),it will cross path.


In the worst case you can see blue spark jump / arc across coil wire.
you may about to see it if the surrounding is real dark.



Clean the inside contact of each wires. It may look good on the outside and it have corrosion within.


So next time you going to start up your car in the morning......do a quick check.


Wipe the wires and coil dry before you attempt to start the car.




Posted on Jul 20, 2009

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  • Vincent_G
    Vincent_G Jul 21, 2009

    Please give the under hood electrical parts a wipe down in the morning.

    See how wet the coil and wires are.


    Please keep me up to day.


  • Vincent_G
    Vincent_G Jul 31, 2009

    We are down to two last electrical items.


    I will start from the less expensive item first.


    The is a safety switch call natural safety switch, This switch give the computer an indication what gear selection you lever is on.

    When this switch act up,the first thing you can try is to put your foot on the brake and switch to N and start the engine.

    When the switch give false position information "D","1",or 2nd gear to computer will not let the engine to start.


    I will replace this switch.

    ====

    Depend on the option package the original owner order. It can has a PASSKey lockout system.

    There is bypass key you can purchase. Please Google Passkey bypass system and ask a security/alarm for the best route.


    Please keep me posted on this.

    Good luck.



  • Vincent_G
    Vincent_G Jul 31, 2009

    I posted more information about the natural safety switch and Passkey bypass system.

    Somehow it did not come though.


    Please check me comment (may posted to one of your older post).


    I gave detail information on have to check natural safety switch and some information Passkey bypass.


    Good luck.


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It may have to do with the throttle positioning center and intake butterfly. Also injectors. Hope it helps. You have changed some spendy items!

Posted on Jul 31, 2009

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Have the battery checked if it discharges overnight. Most cars would require 12.3v and above to start and most batteries at good charge fall into 12.3v-12.8v when the engine is off while 13.5v-14.5v when the engine is running. Have the the voltage checked when you finally have the car running. It may be caused by the alternator not giving enough juice or the battery may go out.

The items that you have replaced may affect the starting of the car and is eliminated as source of the problem, you may want to check for dirt in the intake, loose or open vacuum hoses or loose cables especially ground cables.

If all of the above have been checked out, and you do not hear cranking while starting, have the starter motor inspected, see if there is voltage going to it. If there is and the starter still does not turn, it may be a faulty starter. If there is no voltage going to it, trace the wires for disconnection or loose connection and have the starter relay checked if it is working.

Check also the fuse box if there are any blown fuses. Check as well if there is fuel coming out of the filter after replacing the fuel pump. If there are no fuel coming out, you may have to check the wiring in between the fuel pump and the battery or the EFI relay.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009

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My wild guess here are that the spark leads you are using are the carbon filled type, rather than the old copper wite type. These carbon types are subject to breaking down in cold and moisture. So is the coil. Try new leads and even a new spark coil and see if that fixes the problem.

My Toyota 80 had this problem every cold morning, I would turen it over until the battery threatened to collaps. Even using aero start diod't kick it. As soon as the sun had been on it for a few hours it would start first turn. Absolutely maddening, especially if the sun didnt shine some mornnings to warm the engine bay and expand the carbon in the leads. Give it a go

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

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Your going to have to determine if you have fuel pressure.
You say does not start in the morning. Does it start later in the day.'
You may have dripping injectors. This will puddle fuel in the intake causing a hard start. When it evaporates the car will start easier but may still have extended cranking times. You replaced jst about everything possible. Cars can be difficult to diagnose. Replacing parts without testing the wires first could be your issue. You may need to leave the car at a shop for a few day so the shop can experience your condition. Leaving a car in the shop for days and sometimes weeks is very common when you have intermittant problems. Their is no way around this unless you just want to throw parts at this.
What a reputable shop will do is test all components related to the condition and the wires. If all this checks out ok then the problem is determining what computer is at fault.
You have not stated if you replaced any relays yet. This could also be your problem

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

  • Ernset ( Skip ) Bouvette

    I found this is a pretty commom sympton. On other car with the same scenero. No injector pulse after the car sits for awhile or overnight. Their fix was in the fuse block there is a power feed for the BCM keep alive memory. Check all the fuses under the hood and in the car. Pay attention to anything that is ignition or bcm, pcm, ecm related. If you have a meter check both sides of all fuses for voltage

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  • 179 Answers

Have you checked your coil primary resistance it should be 1 to 3 ohms. also have you checked your crankshaft position sensor and/or camshaft position sensor. they won't always set off a code.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

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When you have the problem with starting,
1- After several trials, take off the spark plug out to see whether it is wet or dru.
2- If it is wet that mean you have fuel.
3- If it is dry, that mean you don't have fuel.
4- when sprak plug is out, plug it in with the spark plug wire, and start the enigne to see if you have spark.
5- If you have spark, you are ok with ignition.
6- If you don't have spark, you have to look for problem from that wire back to the ignition coil.

If you are in the case of # 2 and # 5 You have a problem with air:gas mixture. The golden ration to make the combustion is 14.6:1 for air: gas. This is a problem with your Fuel distributor. This is pricey, but don't go for the rebuilt one since it is costing you and wasting time in labor. You can press your luck by finding from a junk yard.

If you are in the case of #3 and #5 You have a problem with the injectors and cold start valve. Cold start valve is an additional injector besides those injectors assigned for each cylinder in your engine.
You can easily spot it by looking at all small tubes coming out from your fuel distributor going to the engine. Good luck.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

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My advise is to install an engine heater and would allow the engine to grab enough heat before it starts in the morning. You just need to ask your mechanic if he's familiar with it. Sorry, but this is just a suggestion.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

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I sense your frustration. I would add carbeurator cleaner to the fuel tank, one ounce per gallon of gas. I recommend a product called seafoam available at autozone and other parts stores. This will remove any gum from the carbeurator which may contribute to the problem.

I would also either replace the spark plug wires, or go to the autozone/parts store for an aerosol product to coat the spark plug wires and eliminate moisture.

If you have a crack in any of the spark plug wires, moisture will form as the engine cools down in the evening and cause your problem with start up in the morning. During the day,. once the moisture has evaporated it will start right up.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

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  • Oldsmobile Master
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Faulty idle air control valve.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009

  • Dar
    Dar Aug 01, 2009

    So you still haven't touched the idle control valve or sensor? Did you check for intake manifold vacuum leaks ? Make sure all intake bolts are tight. Wiggle all hoses around with the engine running, and listen for a hiss, whille looking for loose damaged or cracked hoses. Did you try new spark plugs?

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Looks like you have been a very nice brother in law ....Hope you reach a solution soon. I see you have been through and replaced a boat load of parts attempting to remedy this condition. I once worked for a driveability and emmission line for an Olds dealer once and as a joke we built a "wheel of fortune" with all these parts listed and would occasionally spin it in hopes to guess the correct part after dealing with a car like this one. It rarely helped but made us chuckle along the way on fixing "hairballs" like you have...so maybe it did help some. One of the things I would have done in your spot was to install a fuel pressure gauge on the vehicle overnight and then the next morning verify at least 1 psi of static fuel pressure left on the gauge.It told me there was fuel at the injector,available for injector spray during cold cranking.Otherwise the complete loss of fuel pressure would require a certain amount of cranking for fuel pressure to build up and start spraying. I probably would have taken note of the outboard sensor values,most importantly the coolant temp signal. The cold start programming in the pcm relies on this value in order to chose a proper fuel delivery characteristic.If the pcm is running under false pretenses of coolant temp it can really mess with cold starting. You have allready replaced many parts and are probably getting advice to replace more,at this juncture I would start considering B- negative grounds. Grounding is almost as important as fuel or air (or spark). Some of the most prolific,weird problems I encountered were due to faulty grounds. I would go as far as even providing more grounds simply by adding ground straps to from chasis to engine,etc. There are vital grounds in the trunk,vehicle interior and engine compartment.Locate and verify every one of these ground paths and if in doubt...add some. Cold means contraction,so you may not be making up a solid connection somewhere.Every outboard item driven by the ecm is supplied power and then actuated by means of supplying grounds. At any rate, before spending more and replacing parts ,do consider checking any and all grounds on this vehicle before considering ecm,or any other parts replacement ...good luck

Posted on Jul 24, 2009

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Your cold start valve is not working, and you need to test in a methodical way, while it won't start pull a plug wire put in a screw driver crank it over and see if you get fire near a ground, if not you know it's electrail next rent a fuel pump tester turn on key for two seconds then off does it read 50 psi? yes then ok does it hold pressure for full minute? yes then its ok, and I have had as many as three bad fuel pumps do NOT buy after market fuel pumps they are **** buy only from the dealer. there are a lot of parts I will put on after market or rebuilt but never fuel pumps if it has fire and fuel then it has to start try spraying starting fluid (LIGHTY) into the intake and see if it wants to start if it does then it is a fuel problem and you have to hunt it down while it won't start.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009

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  • Oldsmobile Master
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Scan it check cam sensor and crankshaft sensor.if all good.check fuel pump fuse and relay.check fuel injectors fuse.also make plugs and wires good.if everything looks good.im looking at ignition module.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

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I appreciate that you might (or probably) have already checked this but does your battery have enough CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) I'm not sure what kind of climate you live in so I just thought I'd ask.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

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Cold start valve or barometric pressure sensor come to mind, but I am not sure that they would apply to your vehicle. I have to be honest. This type of problem is tricky. Obviously, something is different later in the day. The first thought is that it is usually warmer later in the day, so the temperature difference is making a big difference in the way the car starts. It could be something even more simple...a faulty gas cap. Try replacing the gas cap on the car. The cap is an integral part of the evap system that can go bad and cause starting/running problems. Just a thought and I sure hope you find out what the problem is. I only hope that this helped a little. Good luck and I would be interested in what the answer turns out to be.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

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There are several reasons why an engine may be difficult to start when it's cold.
1. Carbureted engines required that the choke assembly be properly adjusted to accommodate better cold starts.
2. Injected engines need accurate readings from the temperature sensor to make sure the engine starts properly when cold. Other parts of the computer control system need to be function properly as well, and depending on the manufacturer there are different ways of dealing with cold starts.
3. Worn engines often loose compression. Once the compression is diminished the engine will be more difficult to start.
4. Stale fuel, weak fuel pump or a faulty fuel pressure regulator can contribute to starting problems.
5. Faulty ignition components can result in a weak spark. If the spark is not strong enough the engine will have difficulty starting.

Thanks for using FixYa - please accept this answer to remove it from the queue.

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Posted on Jul 20, 2009

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There are several reasons why an engine may be difficult to start in the morning
1. Carbureted engines required that the choke assembly be properly adjusted to accommodate better cold starts.
2. Injected engines need accurate readings from the temperature sensor to make sure the engine starts properly when cold. Other parts of the computer control system need to be function properly as well, and depending on the manufacturer there are different ways of dealing with cold starts.
3. Worn engines often loose compression. Once the compression is diminished the engine will be more difficult to start.
4. Stale fuel, weak fuel pump or a faulty fuel pressure regulator can contribute to starting problems.
5. Faulty ignition components can result in a weak spark. If the spark is not strong enough the engine will have difficulty starting.

check the above problems listed above and you will end up fixing your car

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

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Check to ensure there is a good strong spark present at the spark plug, do this by removing the easiest plug accessable and plug the spark plug wire onto the plug then attach a jumper wire to the body or hook on the plug then ground the jumper wire, do not just lay the plug on a metal surface damage or spiking the ECM could occur if you don't use the jumper wire method, proceed to pull off the PCV vacuum line to prevent the car from starting, have an assistant turn over the car while you observe the spark plug there should be a blue or purple spark if the spark is white or yellow there is a weak ignition state and this problem must be adressed, perhaps a bad ignition module etc. Before replacing electrical ignition parts try obtaining a OBD II code reader and check to see if there are any stored codes this give you a better idea of what the problem is if no code is present and the spark is good spray some starting fluid into the air intake on the engine (after reconnecting everything back up) while an assistant trys to start the car if it starts there is definately a fuel delivery issue. Sometimes holding the accelerator to the floor turning the engine over for no more than 10 seconds will start stubborn engines, the only other thing to check is the fuel pressure at the fuel rail on top of the motor there is an access fitting remove cap and check to make sure there is at least 30 psi present if not there is an obstruction perhaps in the pick up in the tank ( this is doubtful but possible ), some of these engine have a cold start valve or sensor that may be faulty if the car starts with starting fluid.

Good luck
Mark

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

  • Mark Babineau Jul 24, 2009

    In my opinion there must be a electrical component that is failing intermittently during the atmospheric conditions present in the morning dew. Locate and remove the plugs on the MAF sensor O2 sensor and all other sensors accessable on this engine, clean the plugs contacts with electrical cleaner and proceed to reattach the plugs to there connections while noting there condition, if any corrossion is seen repeat the act of plug in remove, plug in remove, over and over 3 - 4 times to rub off any corrsion present on the plug contacts. Intermittent elctrical problems are the hardest to diagnose. I am surprised the computer has not stored a hard code, If I were you I would leave a plug out the night before, attach the plug to its plug wire with a jumper wire attached to the hook part of the plug then to ground then come out in the morning have an assistant turn the car over and note if there is a weak spark or no spark you must do this test when you know the car will will act up, you are trying to hit a moving target. If the spark is good put the plug back in and proceed to spray starting fluid into the air cleaner as the assitant turns over the car if it starts then dies focus on the fuel delivery system. Let the car sit for 30 minutes come back out and kneel down towards the back of the car where the gas tank is and have the assistant turn the ignition key to the position just before start as he does this you must listen for the fuel pump it should come then off after 3 - 5 seconds if you hear the fuel pump motor the pump is obviously activating and working. I think you have a bad plug connection clean every plug connection you can find on this wiring harness for the motor it is inexpensive enough to perform however labor intensive.

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Replace the fuel pump relay.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

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  • yadayada
    yadayada Jul 20, 2009

    have you tested the signal return of the engine coolant temp sensor (ECT), it is the signal from this sensor that tell s the engine computer to enrich the fuel mixture for cold start, that is the only time that it would create a problem is on cold start.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Jul 28, 2009

    does it have fuel pressure during this no start?

  • yadayada
    yadayada Jul 28, 2009

    You know the dealer could have gotten to the root cause of this very quickly, they can tread every sensor in real time and see which one is the problem here, either the fuel pressure is low or the ECT is defective, I know you replaced these but there is the issue of the wiring, it may be defective and no signal reaches the computer, the other thing is a mechanical fault such as carbon buildup on the back of the intake valves, this causes very hard starting.

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  • Master
  • 1,714 Answers

This is a fairly common thing with electrical systems. The cool temps make things contract and this could affect a circuit board or other electrical component. Does your distributor have a 'induction coil' in it? It's a tiny coil that gets voltage induced from the spinning rotor going around in the distributor. This could have a problem that the temp affects. If yo have one, change it.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009

  • Craig Butler
    Craig Butler Aug 01, 2009

    Does this vehicle have a distributorless ignition, or does it have the conventional ignition system with the distributor?

×

With cold weather and a empty tank or near empty it could mean that you picked up some water out of the tank. It could have more water then you think. I would use some of those fuel system additives that help get the water out of the system. Another thing I would verify before you put too much gasoline in that tank is how much fuel pressure you have. You can do that by getting a fuel pressure tester for about 40 dollars and it just screws onto the fuel rail, located on the passenger side of the car...it should measure so many PSI (between two different numbers)

Posted on Jul 19, 2009

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  • Master
  • 6,784 Answers

HI, this is an ignition issue here. i recommend testing the coil pack. The spark seems to be weak or, nonexistent. Use the procedure below to test the functionality of the Coil pack.

Testing Procedure

  1. Turn the ignition key OFF .
  2. Unplug the coil pack from the vehicle harness connector.
  3. Measure the resistance between terminals with a Digital Volt Ohmmeter (DVOM).
  4. If the reading is not greater than 10 kilohms, replace the coil.
Exploded Diagram of components.



Posted on Jul 19, 2009

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 19, 2009

    It is possible that there is a short or, lose connection within the main wiring harness that connects the pcm to the coil/control module. there may also be wiring faults in the spark plug wires sets as well. this will cause erratic or, start issues at anytime. day or night.

    Make sure the coil is ok buy initiating the test procedure above just to be safe. replace the spark plug wires sets and, the main harness as well if the coil is firing well(10 klhm)


  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 19, 2009

    Good luck:)

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  • Master
  • 11,896 Answers

Do you have any engine codes? If you do, I recommend that you have the codes read to pinpoint exact cause of the problem. Otherwise, I would test you ignition system, or crankshaft position sensor.

Posted on Jul 19, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jul 20, 2009

    There is two temperature sensors, one for coolant, and one on the block for engine temp which may be faulty. Otherwise, your injectors are temp sensitive for warm-up. It could be faulty. Also possibly cranks sensor, module, or coil pack is getting moisture in the middle of night/mouring.

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jul 20, 2009

    cold start sensors on injectors, or moisture in relay or other areas.

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jul 20, 2009

    I would also have your ignition switch tested. It has been know to do this as well.

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  • Oldsmobile Master
  • 5,467 Answers

Keyswitch? crankshaft sensor? Does it start later in the day or it just doesn't do mornings? Does it crank and did you check battery voltage?

Since you changed the fuel pump did you reset the Inertia sensor and do you hear the pump prime the system on the first start? Fuel pump relay? Change gascap?

Did you check for voltage to injectors and for spark at the plug?

If it starts take it to Autozone or O'reillys for scan.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009

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