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The Caddy with an Attitude...

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Old 01-07-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default Hard starting (when cold)

OK, so as of a couple days ago, all of a sudden I'm am getting a 'hard start' condition when the car is cold or sitting for awhile. It'll crank just fine, but does so for awhile. It seems to have gotten worse (this morning) and took several cylces to get it to start. When it does, it initially idles rough and low. Finally, it'll run just fine. If I shut it off and start again, it starts just fine.

It has been a little chilly here, but nothing crazy. I did get a full tank of gas right before this, at a Mobil in which I've never been, plus I put a large container of fuel injector cleaner (methanol; I've used it many times before no issues).

I am wondering if this could just be a simple matter of bad gas and/or mositure in the tank? I was gonna put some isopropyl alchohol or a gas dryer (methanol) in there, but being the injector cleaner already contains, may not help.

My other thought is the fuel filter got a bunch of moisture in there, or is on its way out, although I changed it a few months ago (although ~11-12k ago). They're cheap and easy to change, but hoping somebody else has had this problem and it's something simple. As you can imagine, this is a PITA in the am and feel bad for the starter!
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:22 PM   #2
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Mine hasn't been starting as well either. We too have recently gotten some cold weather (30s at night). I am chalking it up to that.

Also, my battery seems to be shutting off for 15-90 minutes at night as my clock is off by said minutes, G meter is .00, TPMS is blank, AC settings are reset ext.

Are you noticing anything weird like that?
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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Least I'm not the only one experiencing cold start problems, although when I went to Vegas during thanksgiving weekend, it got into the 20's at night and didn't have any issues, so really weird. We just got done with a bunch of rain, although during that time, no such problems...The gas station I went to never seems really busy, so wondering if the gas had been sitting too long?

Thankfully I have not had any battery problems and that is odd it resets like that. Is it old? maybe it's just getting too cold, but most parts of the country seem to have cold weather quite a bit w/o these issues...These cars can be weird sometimes!
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNR_Design View Post
These cars can be weird sometimes!
Yes they can. My battery was replaced under warranty about 4 months ago so I think its good. I need to check the connections to verify that everything is good.

Its happened twice in the last week. I come out to the car and the odometer display is showing (I hide it normally), AC settings are weird, tpms read ---, clock is off, windows auto up and down dont work, CD player starts over automatically at track 1 ect.

I'm also going to look at the amp and sub to see if there is a loose wire or something.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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Yeah, just be sure there is no corrosion at terminals and of course that they are tight; esp the ground(s). Problem with these new cars is when they don't have just the right voltage, fun mystery stuff! (this one is nowhere near as bad as that damn WK grand cherokee I had; fricken german influence ruined that vehicle!)
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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Hmmm, I would not use methanol, because it is the most corrosive of the alcohols.
Besides, all fuel today contains 10% ethanol. Use Sta-Bil if necessary.
Alcohol does pick up moisture and that moisture could cause a restriction in the fuel filter.
Have you tried to turn the key on to see how long it takes for the fuel pump to reach pressure before it shuts off?
The fuel you just purchased could be the issue.
As tempertures changes the 'gas companies' change their formulation of the fuel delivered to some areas.
What is mainly changed is the fuel's "Heat of Vaporization".
Using summer fuel in the winter, could cause a 'hard start'.
And that's the truth . .
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:33 PM   #7
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Mine does the same. Starting happening as soon as it got real cold.

It only happens when it sits for a while. Looking for the right air fuel I guess.

It is fine after maybe 10-15 seconds. If warm no issues at all when starting.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:11 PM   #8
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Thanks, guys and yeah I hate having to put all these different additives in to combat crappy gas; hmmm, reminds me of the pharma industry(take this to counteract that), lol...today after work was the worst. It took many cycles, and it finally kicked on, but really rough, low idle and even making like a knocking noise! Once going runs fine, but this time I got a blinking check engine light, as it sputtered, then a steady CEL and stays on now. I don't have a code reader and was gonna get the hptuners, but damn everywhere you turn put your $ here to find out something on what you are supposed to own. I'll refrain from any rant now tho, hehe

Gonna try a pressure check tomorrow and probably should change the fuel filter and oil as well (time). Keeping my fingers crossed. Love this car and even messing aorund with them, but this is my DD and if I have to start worrying about where I get get gas now, man times are messed up
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:03 PM   #9
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Now that I think about it, the pump was a 10% ethanol station: interesting article about 10% ethanol This was written for boats, but is making sense as I read along. I'm gonna look into this deeper over the weekend, but so far I am thinking the gas and ugh if you start thinking about it. No wonder it was 3 cents cheaper
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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That strongly reminds me of a fuel pressure bleed down issue. Everything points to it so I'm curious what you'll find when you check it.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:17 PM   #11
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Unfortunately, the pressure gauge I have does not have the proper 'adapter' hose to get the reading off the rail. So, need to put something together there, so I can (hopefully) eliminate pressure as the cause.

I changed my fuel filter today and went ahead and reset the battery (replaced that cover), although it's interesting how much the car (ecu?) retains in memory w/o battery.

Well, still didn't start and ran down the battery a bit. So, hooked up my jumpstarter thing and it finally started. Ran it for awhile, changed the oil then tried starting again. took a little while, but finally did. Curious how it'll do after a couple/few hours, but am not optimistic at this point. So, should probably go ahead and look around here on what I can scrounge up to test the pressure. Ugh.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #12
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Well in the mean time, after it sits and you know it'll take extended cranking to start, try priming the fuel system with the key on/off method a few times, before cranking. If that seems to help, it's probably a fuel pressure bleed down issue.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:39 PM   #13
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Good idea, although I was trying that too before and it didn't seem to help the situation.

I let it sit for awhile and it started up pretty good (not 100%, but better) and it runs really good now with the fresh oil and fuel filter. So bizarre this is though that it only does it when it sits for awhile. I am still mostly convinced it's the gas (way too coincidental timing) but jee, what a PITA! May have mentioned it above, but I put a full can of seafoam in the tank too, so maybe it's helping too.

If this does become a case of bad gas, then either this car is real sensitive or that was some really crappy gas station. I guess it answers why nobody is ever there, lol. Thinking about this E10 some more, I have put mobil (other stations) in before w/o issue, but maybe it was a perfect storm of sorts this time. Aggravating when your DD does not run right and you have to be at work; I don't like having bad feelings at this car
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:15 PM   #14
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I do not think it is bad gas in my case. I think it is the tune. Car turn over fine but it seems to be surging while it sorts itself out. If it sits overnight or for about 5 hours in the 20 degree weather is when i experience the surging at startup until it seems to get the right air fuel. Again this only began happening when the weather got really cold.

Click on photo for video
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:30 AM   #15
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Wow. That has to be the tune. Seems like there is maybe too much startup enrichment fuel, because as it blends it out it smooths out. That's my guess. But it could also be too lean, or have to little, or too much spark advance. Kind of hard to tell from the video.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:33 PM   #16
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cbloveday - yeah, I'm not real sure what the issue is on yours and maybe it's tuned-related (when cold), if it's consistent. Yours starts up much better than mine has been though! Sounds good though and was confused at first thinking what kind of car it was (assuming V1, but didn't look like it), but saw your sig and you have an '09. Definitely not a sleeper

another UPDATE - Didn't want to start at all again this morning. Checked for spark, that's OK; didn't get a reading, but pressed the shrader valve on the rail and it squirted out good (sitting), then primed the pump and again it had pressure in the rails...So, I tried some carb cleaner just to see if it would ignite. Sure enough, it started right up, then died. I did some more and finally got it going, although took some finesse with the throttle to keep it from dying. Then it drove fine after awhile.

So, gonna try to burn off that last 1/4 tank and put some fresh stuff in and keep my fingers crossed. I cannot be having this tomorrow!
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:32 PM   #17
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Woohoo, car runs right again! I burned thru all that gas yesterday, filled up with some fresh stuff and thing starts right again. I am still in disbelief on how bad that fuel was though and just happy it's all gone and was something simple, even if frustrating.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:28 PM   #18
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My car was doing the same thing turned out
To be the throttle body it actually went from
Stumbling at start up to not letting me go over
30 mph good thing I was close to home when
That happened
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:04 PM   #19
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Yeah, that sucks. Do you know what exactly happened with the throttle body?...just curious so if I have the same misfortune down the road.

So far, the car's back to normal, so wow what a bad experience with that gas though! Just hope it doesn't become more common.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:04 PM
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