Question about 2003 Oldsmobile Alero

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The car wont start after sitting outside in the heat all day but when the car is garage kept it starts every time. The battery seems to drain very quickly after sitting outside in the heat. Please help

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  • april52 Aug 17, 2008

    Hi. I'm having the same problem, and all of the machanics in the large garages, dealerships, and ma and pop garages are tearing their hair out. If I'm in the shade or it's cool/warm outside, the car starts immediately. If it sits in the heat and/or sun all day, it will not start. Thanks for feedback. The fuel pump was replaced last week as was a new battery installed. I call AAA for towing, and by the truck's on its way the car starts so I cancel the tow (3 x in past week). This last time, it wouldn't start, so the flatbed took it to a garage and parked it. The guys inside came out ready to push it in, and it started. Everyone who is running the $ 90.00 full diagnostics can't get it to "not start," so they can't fix it. Help!!! It has 132,000 miles on it--2nd fuel pump in two years. Thanks for suggestions. It goes in again this week to sit all day. Should I recommend that they change the key switch sensor?

    Nancy in PA

  • Anonymous Mar 30, 2014

    Heater will not work when the car sits outside in the cold weather put the car in a worm place for awile then the heater will start to work


1 Answer

I just had the same problem It was the key switch sensor

Posted on Jul 30, 2008

  • shoshtt Jul 07, 2011

    so the key switch sensor was the reason....what kind of cost did that run you. I am having the same problem. It won't start in the heat unless I let it sit in the on position for about 5-10 minutes. Then it'll start, I've replaced fuel filter, spark plugs and wires, but the weird thing in common is the heat thing, parking in the shade it's fine, overnight it's fine, it's when it's in the sun all day and hasn't been started for 9 hours that I have the problem. It'll start right back up after I've driven home and waited 10 minutes, it's just that one thing in common, please let me know if this was a good fix, thanks....


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Follow your glowplug wires towards the Firewall. The glowplug wire goes into a Timer which is suppose to be internally regulated by outside Temperature and feedback from the glowplugs.

When you are in Cold weather, the Timer is suppose to keep the glowplugs on longer. When the engine is fully warm and you shut it off, you will notice it starts up like a gas engine. First you want to remove your glowplugs and check them by using Jumper cables and heating them up.

Be careful because they can melt or distort if on too long. I usually pull out 4 at a time because it is a comparison test and when you find the quickest, brightest glowplug you measure the others against it. When the glowplug stays dark or does not heat as quickly it is bad. Remember when it is in the engine the glowplug only has bumps of current coming from the Timer to warm up.

Once you are confident the glowplugs are okay, try starting the truck. Or for good measure, just change the Timer, but it will add to the cost.

As for the engine light, if you mean the "check engine" light, you can get that checked free at Autozone, Oreillys, or Advance. I believe Advance may be better equipped to test the PCM.

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