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Toad wont start


oldjohnt

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Okay, this IS RV related since its my toad on some trips which I can tow all 4 down.

 

I’m having a car problem I’d like to toss out for opinions for the heck of it before it goes to the shop.

2005 Chevy Malibu Classic with 4 Cyl. 2.2 Eco Tech engine, Electric in tank fuel pump of course, key FOB but it’s NOT a chipped key.

 

Last month wife drives it maybe 10 miles somewhere and parks it, but when she came back to it maybe an hour later, IT WOULD NOT START. It cranked over fine, but acted like a similar GM car (same engine) I had when the tanks electric fuel pump crapped out. (Except this never fired versus the failed fuel pump car seemed to try to fire but not enough gas) I take it to the shop but mechanic tells me it started perfect the next day and he ran and drove it all week and it’s fine. He didn’t check fuel pressure since it ran fine all week HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM He has a Snap On analyzer that cost something like four thousand dollars (I laugh and tell him I got one from Amazon for twenty bucks lol). His analyzer showed a stored code ANTI THEFT but it wasn’t an active code if I recall correctly. I thought when the anti theft tripped they would start and run just a bit but then die. This would NOT start at all.

 

Today a month later I get the same call. Wife drove it 10 miles, parked it, an hour later NO START, cranked over fine didn’t seem to ever fire a piston. NO I did NOT check for spark each time, it’s all hidden under a hard to remove cover and it was 92 freaking degrees. I did remove a battery cable a while to see if a computer re set might matter but still no start. So I drag it home with the car dolly and my cheap analyzer showed no active or stored codes.

 

GET THIS MAYBE 3 HOURS AFTER THE INITIAL NO START, I GO OUT AND HIT THE KEY AND IT RUNS PERFECT

 

CLUES EACH DAY this happened it was HOT like 92 Degrees.

 

So is it some sort of computer problem or some sort of an anti theft sensor problem (but no code this time on my cheap analyzer, perhaps with the Snap On???) or some sort of a temp sensor problem (engine always runs at like 190 never overheats) or a fuel pump problem or????????????????????

 

Place your bets, give me your best shot.

 

As I reported earlier today I had planned to take it easy this being Sunday, but my neighbor died this morning so I went and mowed his grass then had to load the car on the dolly in 92 degree sun NO REST FOR THE WICKED I reckon

 

Thanks gang

 

John T

 

 

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I assume it's an automatic transmission. Maybe the neutral control switch. My daughter had a car that would periodcally not start, like she would go on her lunch from work, drive to the bank, park it and then it wouldn't start when she got off work. It became more frequent. Mechanic told us to try starting in neutral -- that worked a few times and then no more. It was the neutral control switch. Not very common, but possible. Hers was a GM vehicle. Don't know how the mechanic figured out it was that.

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Ed, I'm in Southern Indiana and although my RV will be in San Diego later his month NOT the toad. Fuel pump relay sounds like something I could check into. Its done it only twice, but each time it was a hot over 90 degree day, but worked after a few hours of cool down.

 

Pete, Neutral or park didn't seem to matter, thanks for the thought.

 

THANKS.

 

John T

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UPDATE

 

The key is flat steel and was made at the local hardware that DOES NOT have chipped keys. I never had any original GM looking key, but its ran fine for a couple years until these past two glitches. Its still fine now.

 

The FOB was bought and programmed at the local chevy dealer. MAYBE ITS A PART OF ANTI THEFT SYSTEM instead of a chipped key???

 

When you turn the key on before starting the anti theft warning light comes on but goes off after starting.

 

My buddys expensive Snap On analyzer is what showed a stored ant theft code the last time.

 

 

Ed, I just pulled the fuel pump relay. It had some white looking corrosion/oxidation on one of the 4 terminals so I cleaned and shined them all up nice and stuck it back in, nice tight fit, MAYBE I FIXED IT??? Time will tell

 

Funny how each time this happened it was over 90 degrees but 3 hrs later it is fine??? Wonder if that white corrosion/oxidation film on one if the fuel pump relay terminals and temp has something to do with it???????????????

 

John T

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one of those things that if its not working you will always be worried if it will fail in enough start you can gain confidence. I actually have seen a relay tester that ran the relay through many cycles while test for any failure, not the practical for most of us that don't do this for a living but just try to keep yourself from going broke on repair bills. good luck on the project.

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Ed, I plan to buy a new fuel pump relay just in case and I think I will have my mechanic run a fuel pump pressure test just so I will know. This is worse then something serious because of the UNKNOWN FEAR FACTOR grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr That white stuff looked a bit like lithium grease but it was ONLY on that one relay terminal??? The car doesn't have a fuel filter, just the filter sock on the pump. Each time though after a few hours and temp went down from 90 she was fine???

 

John T

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the temperature thing, brings me back to thinking about the older days when coils that would perform intermittent when heated up, just for your information the coil and electronics under the cover for the spark plugs are on ebay for not too much money, I think I paid about $35 for a used pieces that I carry on our off road adventures. we put in external fuel pump and filters for our buggies. I have used my old air conditioning with the 1/4 flare fitting gages to check the pressure for the fuel.

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I don't know if this is relevant in this case, but a few years ago the mechanic who lives a few doors down the road from me had a sister in law whose car was doing something like this and It turned out that the battery in the

immobiliser on the key ring was flat, it was replaced and she had no more trouble with it.

 

It seems that it would build up enough power overnight to start it but when she would drive it a short distance it wouldn't start. they towed it home a few times and a day later it would start again.

 

don't know if this applies in this case but its maybe something to think about

 

mick.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I assume it's an automatic transmission. Maybe the neutral control switch. My daughter had a car that would periodcally not start, like she would go on her lunch from work, drive to the bank, park it and then it wouldn't start when she got off work. It became more frequent. Mechanic told us to try starting in neutral -- that worked a few times and then no more. It was the neutral control switch. Not very common, but possible. Hers was a GM vehicle. Don't know how the mechanic figured out it was that.

I recently had a very similar problem with a Dodge RAM pickup toad. We drove to a grocery store with everything working fine. Upon leaving the store the pickup would not start. A PepBoys was across the street so we had it towed over there.This pickup was a standard shift, but apparently a neutral safety switch had to be replaced. It then ran find until the motor died at only 272,000 miles.

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UPDATE Even though myself nor my mechanic think such was the problem, I replaced the Fuel Pump Relay just for good measure. Of course its NEVER failed since and it does NOT appear at this time to have to do with crank position sensor or neutral switch etc etc. My mechanic said perhaps when hot (ONLY time its failed after running then its set a while and no start but after 3 hrs she starts) the fuel pressure is low and he showed me where to disconnect a certain temp sensor and said if it happens again disconnect that temp sensor and if it starts then its a low pressure situation and we will replace the fuel pump. It had to do with at x temp the fuel/air mixture changes requiring more fuel pressure but removing that temp sensor fools it and it may work. HOWEVER it will be cool when we return to Indiana then later to Florida so it may be next spring before we drive it much to find out as its working fine when we left. Oh well next spring I may just need a new fuel pump no big deal.

 

John T Live from Reno Nevada

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