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Old 10-08-12, 05:04PM   #1
U12RACE
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Question Problem with my daily driver '99 G.P.

Several months ago, I started having trouble with my 1999 3.8 Grand Prix suddenly stalling. It will suddenly stall at anywhere from an idle to cruising at 65 mph. It would always start right up but only after turning the key off and back on. This would only happen about once a week. The other night, after working 17 hours, it would crank but not start. I kept trying it for about 5 minutes and it finally started and ran perfect all the way home. The next morning, it starter right up and ran great all the way to work (about 12 miles). When I got off that afternoon, It took about 10 minutes of cranking to finally get it started. Now I am afraid to drive it anywhere. The "Service Engine Soon" light has not come on to show any code. I can hear the pump in the tank run when I turn the key on. Any suggestions? - Kyle
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400 bored and stroked to 468, #13 heads, 3.70 gears.
Current best: 10.382 @ 128.33 mph, 1.413 60'. 3440# race weight. Powered by E-85.
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Old 10-08-12, 07:10PM   #2
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Did you check for spark when it would not start up
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Old 12-14-12, 12:06PM   #3
sprint250
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Wow this one went cold.
U12RACE
Were you able to figure out what went wrong?
Fuel , air , spark?
A good code scanner can possibly reveal an "out of spec" trend on a part or parts of the system that is monitored by the computers OBD software.
If you have a friend that works at a repair shop that has access to Micthell On Demand
the answer may be really quick to find there.
Mitchell will list all the manufacturer's TSB's (technical service bulletins) for that car.
But still do the diagnostics.

If it is possibly fuel:
Could be anything from a bad pump relay, ground, fuse, bad motor,pressure regulator, to a partially blocked filter causing the issue.I've had cheap fuse holders actually break part way and act as a switch because the fuse was rattling around loose in the holder.Collision sensors can cause that but usually that is an absolute " no start" that can only be fixed by resetting or replacing the collision sensor(s). They are little inertia swithces that are hidden in various spots around the car that kill the power to the fuel pump in an accident.
You have to look at a detailed service manual to locate them.
A malfunctioning alarm system that incorporates a fuel pump kill circuit could be at fault.

BAD PUMP:
Car will start/ run for awhile then the pump will heat up/ sieze and just quit.
In tank fuel pumps(any electric pump for that matter) can play with you like that.

Had a Holley "blue" pump quit like that. Windings in the motor went bad. It failed slowly not all at once. Everything would startup and run fine . As the failure progressed it would quit just after 15 /20 minutes. Let it set for 20 minutes and you could get a re-start then it would happen all over again.
Holley will only sell service parts for the wet side of the pump. They do not sell replacement motors, so it is an expensive door stop now.

Hard Starting:
Malfunctioning themostatic idle air control valves can can make for rough starting /poor low speed operation,stalling/ lack of idle.
That's just some of the stuff to look for but always look for the simple stuff first.
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Old 01-05-13, 01:20PM   #4
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Still having problems. I took my car to a friend who has his own shop and has a very good reputation. He drove the car for several days before it finally would not start. He checked and there was no spark. The car still doesn't show any code. He thought that the problem was either the ignition module or the crankshaft position sensor. He replaced the module and all seemed well so I picked up the car and drove home. Two days later, My wife was driving it and it stalled and would not start. She tried for about 10 minutes to start it and called me at home. After I drove about 4 miles to where she was, I turned the key and it started right up. The next day, it quit on me but started right up. The car has been back in the shop for about 2 weeks and the car has not acted up on the mechanic yet. I thought he was going to replace the crank sensor but he hasn't yet. So,the problem still exists.
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Current best: 10.382 @ 128.33 mph, 1.413 60'. 3440# race weight. Powered by E-85.
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Old 01-12-13, 02:12PM   #5
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This is getting interesting.
The thread below was in fuel systems.
Boomers TA had some good insight as to a probable cause for the hard start condition.

http://www.pontiaczone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28750

I've had electric fuel pumps run, heat uo,quit and then run again after they cool off only to repeat the whole cycle all over again .NO FUN!

Another possibility?
Could it be worn/bad contacts in the ignition switch?

I have seen Hondas show up with the same problem.
The ignition switch contacts are under engineered and do not have the current carrying capacity they should have.After a few years, when they heat up the the contacts distort & separate breaking contact to the primary wiring going to the ignition relay circuit.
The problem sometimes shows up faster depending upon how aftermarket accesories were wired into the electrical system.
It would also sometimes have an effect on the VVT or Vtec operation.
We found the trouble by reviewing the online TSB's(technical service bulletins) & mfgr. recall notices found on MITCHELL MANUALS "Mitchell On Demand" . That is one of the quickest ways to find a problem these days when the engine codes will not directly reveal a problem.It beats just throwing parts at the trouble hoping to hit the problem.
Your mechanic should have that type of capability.It makes the day go much faster .

The car even though over 10 years old was still elligible for the factory recall (because the switch had caused some car fires too). The dealer complained but it was a Honda USA factory order so they had to do it. Took less than an hour to replace.

Now this below is all old breaker point trouble tech but it may be a possibility even on a newer EFI car:
I've experienced a problem similar to this on a 1970 Firebird.(all GM breaker points dist cars especially 1969 through mid 1970s pre HEI cars can experience this.HEI will do same if contacts are gone/going away on the IGN/RUN part of the switch)
It turned out to be worn/bad contacts in the ignition switch.
Problem:
I would be driving along and the car would just flame out without warning.
Attempts to restart would cause a start /a few pops and then nothing.
Let it cool off for about 1/2 hour and it would fire right up.
The frequency of the failure got worse.
Going crazy. COIL , Points/Cond. & primary wiring all good.

The AHAH! moment:
During one of the failures I hecked the ignition primary circuit to the coil with the switch in the "run" position and got ZERO volts. Switch to the cranking position and voltage showed up!That would explain engine trying to start and dying as soon as the key was released.It would start on the resistance wire bypass wire during cranking and when the key released, dead.
I put a jumper wire from the battery to the ignition wire & bingo car would start ,run and stay running.
Replaced the switch and all is OK.
After 200K plus miles and countless operating cycles the switches and other small stuff on cars just starts wearing out.
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Old 01-17-13, 01:24PM   #6
U12RACE
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I got the car back last week after having the crank sensor replaced. So far, all is well. I have my fingers crossed!
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400 bored and stroked to 468, #13 heads, 3.70 gears.
Current best: 10.382 @ 128.33 mph, 1.413 60'. 3440# race weight. Powered by E-85.
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Old 01-21-13, 04:20PM   #7
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Good to hear it .
Now you can get some MPG's .LOL
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