'91 200 20V Intermittent Start Problem
cord4530 at uidaho.edu
Sun Mar 27 05:26:50 EST 2005
Michael Palatas car does:
> Now - Sometimes: Turn ignition key, cranks fine, "starts" after 2 cycles,
> release key, then dies immediately. Turn key again, cranks fine, starts
> after about 2 cycles.
> Now - Rest of Time: Turn ignition key, cranks fine, won't start even after
> about 12 cycles. Release key, turn it again, cranks fine, starts after
> about 2 cycles.
My car does something *very* similar. When cold (having set more than an
hour) it usually starts up within a few revolutions. When shut off and
re-started within 5-10 minutes, it also starts perfectly. But there's a
window in there where it doesn't start well. As you say...I can leave
the starter cranking for a long time (not long enough to burn up the
starter, but probably up to 5 seconds) and it won't start at all. With
my car, it takes three tries.
Crank it for 1 second.
If it starts - great. If it doesn't, turn the key off and crank for
another second. Turn the key off and crank again and it fires right up.
Occasionally it will fire on the second attempt, but usually blubbers
and dies very quickly. Then it fires up fine on the 3rd attempt.
I have a new distributor in it (had same problem with old one though),
and stock ECU. Probably not a problem with that part.
I still have to test this, but I believe it's probably either a fuel
problem, or a pickup problem. For fuel, I could have a leaky injector,
or the one-way valve in the tank could be going bad. I have a fuel
pressure tester at work..I just need to hook it up and monitor it for a
I also think it could be the crank pickup...but this should spit out an
error code IIRC.
Possibly related (but maybe not) my car also has a different symptom.
While driving, occasionally it feels like the engine dies for a split
second. It never does it at idle, but it can happen at high load, or
cruising. It's almost as if the key is turned off for a single engine
revolution. Again, no error code has ever come up.
I suppose I should just buy a new pickup sensor and install it. They
couldn't be much easier to get to :o) Any other recommendations?
Mechanical Engineer - Engine Research Facility
University of Idaho
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