General Maintenance & Repairs - car won't start sometimes...
03-10-2008, 06:34 PM
OK guys need your help. Car with mods is in sig. The car most of the time will fire right up. But this time around it cranks....can feel the starter engage and turn the engine but it just won't fire up. It will do this about ten times and then just randomly start up as if nothing is wrong. Today I can't get it to start at all. I had this problem last fall and then it stopped for a few months before I put it away for the winter, now it's doing it all over again. PLEASE HELP! Thanks in advance.
Edit: cleaned off the key/VATS with a file and still the same problem
03-10-2008, 08:04 PM
Is it throwing any codes? Check engine light on? When it does it check for the basics: fuel, air, spark.
Could be a lot of things most of which will trip a code.
03-10-2008, 09:46 PM
car just passed passed inspection and it did it the morning I took it to the station, no codes thrown. three hours later (from the first post today) tried again and it started right up first try....so weird.
03-10-2008, 10:21 PM
Mine does this, but it only wont happen the first time, and its sporadic when it does happen, Ive heard seafoaming helps a lot, I havent tried it yet since I forgot to do it when I was changing my oil two weeks ago. So im gonna wait about another two weeks then Ill sea foam it and change the oil again
03-10-2008, 10:33 PM
I can't see that being the issue as the car only has 31 thousand on it. I appreciate all the input thus far thank you guys.
03-11-2008, 09:34 PM
I had something similar, and it ended up being a relay (in the fuse box).
03-11-2008, 10:51 PM
Hmmm I'll check the fuses tomorrow see what happens thanks!
03-11-2008, 11:15 PM
Yeah, Ignition relay. There are alot of threads on this. Seems to work for everyone else.
03-12-2008, 10:36 AM
where do I look? Do I just check the fuse itself?
03-12-2008, 03:34 PM
When it cranks a while then starts, what's it sound like? When my fuel pressure regulator went on my LT1, it would act the same way. Changed it and all is well. Or is it more of a constant cranking like you unplugged the coil packs?
03-12-2008, 04:09 PM
Had identical problem. Drove me to reconsider ownership. Exhausted every avenue until by sheer chance happened on the answer right here on this beautiful thing called LS1TECH. Answer was 'Relays'. These things are larger than regular fuses and please don't ask how they work. You do need a special tool to elicit the mothers from their nest - fuse box - one under the hood. There are altogether X4 of these suckers, two are related to aux' fan and the other two are ignition and starter. via process of elim' and to save uneccessary spending of $$$, try just swaping the two pairs over. The aux' fan will only really come into play on extremely HOT weather, so short term don't be too concerned, atleast the car will start perfectly. HALLELUJAH!
03-12-2008, 06:07 PM
what kinda tool do I need? (haven't had a chance to take a look at them)
It's more of a constant cranking like it's getting no spark. I can hear my fuel pump kick on and if I push the little nob on the fuel rail there's def fuel.
03-12-2008, 09:07 PM
Just your hand. Use this special tool to unscrew the wingnut plastic bolt on the top of the fusebox and then you'll se a diagram under the lid. try swapping the IGN relay with another in there and see if that works.
03-12-2008, 09:45 PM
lol oh haha I'll try in the morning thanks I appreciate it
03-27-2008, 11:22 PM
Just wanted to thank everyone in this thread who replied, looks like it was the relay. so far no problems. LOVE this site!
06-14-2008, 04:23 AM
HEY! I had to join the site today so I can express my thanks... I had the same phantom starting problem develop in the last 2 weeks. My 2001 SS has 115,000 Miles on it and has always started instantaneously, happy and begging to go faster than most daily trips allow. Brand new battery in November.
Then one day I turn it over and the starter cranks continuously without the engine starting. I listen carefully and can hear the fuel pump humming nicely, all power accessories and voltmeter reading plenty of juice... 3 times I turn it over, scratching my head in amazement as this is the most action the starter has seen in the car's life... Finally for no apparent reason on the 4th turn it fires up just like nothin' happened.
Sporadic like this for the next two weeks, sometimes firing first crank, other times 5 or 6 or more times.
I researched about the PASSKey system, but there was never a security light illuminating on the dash...
Then I read about how the wires are quite feeble connected to the lock cylinder inside the column and can become loose and cause sporadic starts, I adjust the tilt as I try to crank it, but this seems to have random results too...
Found articles about cleaning the MAF, as this can cause difficulty starting... (still a great maintenance I have overlooked though and will be doing tomorrow along with cleaning my K&N Air Filter)
Found articles about the fule filter being plugged although mine was changed last summer and I haven't put alot of miles on the car, but will do it again anyways, much much better to spend $20 regularly on a new fuel filter than $400 for a new fuel pump.
Then I found this awesome post about the ignition relays and it resonated with me right away. I just swapped the IGN relay out of the fusebox under the driver's side hood with one of the identical FAN ones out of the other fusebox. Went to turn it over and...
BAM! Happy Instant Start just like old times again.
I will keep you updated to let you know if this is indeed the fix and not a coincidental start, but right up until now it was getting real bad, like 10 turnovers before ignition.
P.S. I also took the time to scrape all sides of all 4 metal posts of each relay before re-installing them, it is amazing the dull coating that collects on these, always scrape the terminals of electrical stuff so that the electrons can make an express route through the circuits...These fuseboxes are not watertight AT ALL... So years of engine washing and puddlejumping is gonna cause enough corrosion to cause what just happened above.
Thanks again for making my summer great again...
06-16-2008, 01:50 AM
I took my car out for errands all weekend and the IGN relay swap has solved the problem!... 15 flawless consecutive ignitions so far!
Only thing I want to add to my post above is in regards to scraping clean the relay terminals, they should also have a thin coating of dielectric grease applied to prevent future corrosion.
I am going to replace the relay that is now in the aux FAN position of the other fusebox, as chances are it is not going to engage that circuit when it is called on, although as mentioned in other posts, this is not a critical circuit to the function of the vehicle, so it can wait.
08-05-2011, 04:56 AM
Just read this post as my Z28 started playing up, not starting first time like it always has.
Then it would not start at all, changed those two relays around and started first time :-).
Now I guess I need to buy another relay. At least I can sleep tonight. Sooooo glad you guys let me join this site you have saved me again.
Graeme In Australia
Z28 1999 5.7L V8
08-13-2011, 07:45 PM
I am also going to try this. My camaro has been doing this for 2 years now. Only happens when it sits over night. In the morning turn the key starter engages, and i heard the fuel pump but wont start until the 4th or 5th turn. Sounds like trying to start the car with the coil packs unplugged. Hopefully this fixes the problem. Thanks