Mechanics

WONT START AGAIN AFTER IT REACHES OPERATING TEMP

1987 Chevrolet Celebrity • 6 cylinder FWD Automatic • 58,698 miles

I’m extremely frustrated with my 1987 Chevy Celebrity V6 - 2.8 Engine!

Here’s the issue… I start the car and let it warm up as I should for about 10 to 15 minutes. I then begin to drive dealing with the sluggishness and hesitation in acceleration. After a while that dims out and after anywhere between 30-45 minutes of driving the car then running into the grocery store or pharmacy for a few minutes the car won’t start back up without having sat for 2-4 hours.

It’s not a onetime thing. It has happened to me about 7 different times on several different occasions. It appears that the starting issue only occurs after the temp of the car has gone up. After the car has cooled it can be driven again in that same time frame before the problem is back.

There are no lights on the dash that would indicate where I should begin to look (i.E. Check engine light, brake, overheating). Here’s the kicker I’ve kicked out over nine hundred dollars ($900) to try and attack the problem going through a catalog of what might be the issue.

This includes getting the idle air control valve replaced about two weeks ago, new ignition coils and a new ignition coil module, new spark plugs and wires, new fuel pressure regulator. After test driving to see if the problem was fixed I was met with the same challenge so I can rule that out.

I then replaced the air filter thinking it could be that simple but nothing came of this either. Got a new battery for good measure but no justice there either. As recently as today I had the Fuel Pump replaced (costly) and I’m still getting the same problem. The fuses are intact and have all been replaced just in case.

At this point I’m baffled and running out of money to put into the car. I wish I could just pinpoint what it is so that I can have her running as she should. Please, Please, Please help me by pointing me in the direction of what could be causing such a headache. I really appreciate it in advance.
Avatar
JustJamar
June 17, 2011.




I'm already confused-I'm only 85 yo-Lets do below for a start and get back with some testing results okay with you-

Next time it refuses to start don't wait for it to make up its mind-do below immediately to determine if its fuel or spark problem

Get a helper disconnect a sparkplug wire or 2 and ground it to the engine atleast 3/16 away from ground-have helper crank engine over-do you have a snapping blue spark? If so-you have a fuel related problem, Do you hear the fuel pump come On when you turn key on? If not check fuel pump fuse and fuel pump relay if okay-check the fuel pressure to rule out the fuel filter/fuel pump/pressure regulator and listen to the injector/s are they pulsing or hook up a noid light. No snapping blue spark continue to troubleshoot the ignition system-power input to the coil/coil packs, coil's resistances, cap and rotor, distributor pick-up coil, ignition control module, cam and crank sensors and computer Note: If it doesn't apply disregard it and keep testing

Tiny
Rasmataz
Jun 17, 2011.
Hey Rasmataz,

Thanks for the quick response.

Well it's pouring out right now so I can run the check on the plugs but as I mentioned I just replaced the fuel pump, filter and regulator.

Just went out, closed the door and had the windows wound up to check for sound from fuel pump just to be sure. I turned the key to the on position and heard the little murmur or roll of the fuel pump coming from the tank.

I went ahead and started it up and it did as it should. However, it's cool now. I'd have have to drive it around the park or something for about 25-40 minutes to get the problem to come back though. So I know I can rule out the fuel system.

Even more, I just had the plugs and wires replaced so they should be in tact. Even if they weren't I don't see how them misfiring or being worn could cause me to drive for a period of time until the car is heated and then have it not want to start back up.

After doing all my research on the web and here at 2carpros I was led to get the coils and module replaced (EXPENSIVE to say the least). I thought that would be the end all but still the same problem.

So what's next?

Tiny
JustJamar
Jun 17, 2011.
Check the positioning/condition of the Crankshaft position sensor and its resistances, also the cam sensor if its 3.8L

Tiny
Rasmataz
Jun 17, 2011.
It's a 2.8L so I can rule out the cam sensor. I'll get to checking the crankshaft condition though. Will update you with its positioning in about an hour and a half or less. That's if everything goes as smoothly as I would like.

Tiny
JustJamar
Jun 17, 2011.
I'm beginning to think it's the Coolant Temp Sensor. Any feedback on that one?
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Tiny
JustJamar
Jun 17, 2011.
Could be the CTS check its hot and cold reistances-remember I'm an old man with some CRS's problem -honestly I doubt the CTS-go ahead and try to finger it-let me know-

Tiny
Rasmataz
Jun 17, 2011.
Just so you know I did order a new crankshaft sensor. I'm just waiting on it to arrive so that I can pop it on and know for sure whether or not that's the issue. I figured I might as well replace it being that I can get the piece for cheap off the web and shouldn't be hard to replace.

Tiny
JustJamar
Jun 19, 2011.
Replaced the crankshaft and that wasn't it. What should I move onto next?

Tiny
JustJamar
Jun 24, 2011.
When it wont start put some fuel in trottle body to see if it cranks. Gm pumps have a problem they stop pumping when hot.U need to hook up a fuel pressure gauge that you can see the pressure when this happens.

Cadieman
Jun 24, 2011.
Hey,

I tried putting the some fuel in the throttle body and it cranks just as it would if I had not put fuel in there so I can eliminate it being a pump problem. However, I'm starting to wonder if a temp sensor can be the cause of the car not wanting to start after getting hot. Is that possible? I greatly appreciate your response and attempt to help me in advance.

Tiny
JustJamar
Jul 8, 2011.

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