2002 Chevy S-10 Would not start at first

Tiny
JAMES ESTRADA
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET S-10
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 90,000 MILES
Last week early morning I tried starting our S-10. It turned over but it wouldn't start. I let it sit a few minutes and tried again but still wouldn't start. I did this about five times. It got to where it sound like the engine wanted to turn over. There was a good full battery charge. Eventually the truck did start up and the engine ran normally for about another week. Today when I tried to start it this afternoon it went back to the no starting again like before. I did put in a new fuel filter. I did check the fuel pump with a fuel line connected to the outlet end of the new fuel filter and the other end into a gas can. The fuel came out smooth and steady indicating that the fuel pump was working. It seems alright. One thing though, I did not check to see if the fuel pump was properly working when this problem occurs. The truck is currently running right now but I'm not sure when or where the next time the same thing will happen again. So far I've been lucky that this problem has happened while my wife and I have been at home. I have changed the air filter, checked for vacuum leaks, wire ground faults, and checked for carbon deposits in the throttle. There are no "Service engine soon" indicators. I don't have access to a code reader. The fuel tank was at 1/4 and there is a new gas cap properly installed.
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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 AT 11:16 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
One thing you might check, especially if you live in the states where they throw a pound of salt on an ounce of snow, is grab a test light when the problem occurs, and check for voltage on the gas tank. Be sure to find a good clean spot on the body to ground the light to. If you find voltage on the tank, rust has degraded the ground between the tank and the body. An effective repair is to drill a hole through the flange on the tank, (be sure it's outside the welded seam), and attach a new ground wire with a self-tapping screw. Attach the other end of the wire to a cleaned spot on the body.

The loss of ground was common in the '90s and resulted in a dead fuel pump. Of course, this doesn't apply if your tank is made of plastic. Please don't drill holes in that one.

Caradiodoc
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Thursday, March 18th, 2010 AT 3:49 AM
Tiny
JAMES ESTRADA
  • MEMBER
This S-10 does have a plastic Gas Tank so how and where do I check for ground and where do I create a new one if this is the problem. Do I still use a test light. What is this test light. Can I get one at an Auto Parts store? Back to this ground problem. Do I trace the wire harness to the gas pump and what color wire is the ground wire? Would it be black? Should I splice a jumper wire from the ground and then re-ground it to the metal frame?
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Thursday, March 18th, 2010 AT 9:09 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Don't put too much faith in a ground problem. That was common years ago because the fuel pump ground was made by the fuel tank's two mounting straps. Rust buildup deteriorated the electrical connection. Since you have a plastic tank, there will be a ground wire in the electrical connector.

You should be able to hear your fuel pump running when you turn on the ignition switch or start the engine. If you become familiar with the sound, listen for it when the engine doesn't start. At the mileage you listed, it is getting about time for the brushes in the pump motor to become worn down. Intermittent startup is a common symptom. The other one is that once the pump is running, it will usually continue to run. GM does have some issues with running pumps quitting while driving, but the more common failure is the failure to start up. Banging on the bottom of the tank will often jar the motor enough to get it going. A wiring problem is more likely to act up from the normal vibration of driving than when it has been sitting for a while.

Caradiodoc
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Thursday, March 18th, 2010 AT 9:23 AM

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