Cranks, needs starter fluid to start

Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 CADILLAC DEVILLE
  • V8
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 144,000 MILES
Shuts off, cranks will not start, I used starter fluid in throttle body to restart, fuel pump replaced, and filters, ejectors replaced, ECM replaced, intake gaskets, temperature sensor all replaced. Two different shops, can not fix it. It will idle all day and never die, take it on road, and it will run rough, go to stop for a light and it shuts off, and will not restart use starter fluid and it will get you home.
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 AT 3:13 PM

19 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
I would smoke test it for vacuum leaks. Also check the accuracy of your temp sensors with a scan tool.
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 AT 3:26 PM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
I can smoke test it, I do not know if I can check the sensors, but I am not getting any codes, if I had a leak would not a code come up?
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 AT 4:53 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
It is easy to check the sensors with a scan tool.

Check it after it has been parked overnight. Look at sensor data and the IAT and ECT should read ambient temperature and be withing a couple degrees of each other.
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 AT 5:06 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Within (typo)
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 AT 5:07 PM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
Thank you, I will try it.
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 AT 7:34 PM
Tiny
RENEE
  • ADMIN
Please let us know how it goes so it will help others
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Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 AT 10:19 AM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
Finally had time to smoke the Caddy, but no leaks that I could see, as far as the sensors, I can not do that it would have to be done by a garage, I am not getting any codes? If the sensors do check out what else would cause it to stall out and just crank and not start, unless of course you spray starter fluid in the throttle body.
Also does spraying starter fluid into the throttle body hurt it?
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Thursday, September 1st, 2016 AT 2:24 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.
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Thursday, September 1st, 2016 AT 3:01 PM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
That is the problem if it happens on the road, I need to get it out of traffic, which means using starter fluid.
Than of course the problem may be gone, I have a good size extra lot at the house I may have to drive it until it happens, then go through the list. You are right about guessing that is all the shops have been doing and it has cost a small fortune, Thank you for the good advice Wrenchtech, it may take me awhile
until I can get it to happen and then check it out. So if you don't hear from me I am still working on it. But I will let you know.
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Thursday, September 1st, 2016 AT 5:07 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
You are 100% correct but welcome to our world. This type of problem is probably one of the toughest things to diagnose. You have to have all your equipment ready or already set up when the problem rears it's head. If it stays dead long enough to test, you're in good shape.
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Thursday, September 1st, 2016 AT 5:12 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Remember, just because you have narrowed it down to fuel, you still don't know if it's a fuel pressure or an injector issue
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Thursday, September 1st, 2016 AT 5:15 PM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
When I start I will have everything ready Thanks again for your quick response and help
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Thursday, September 1st, 2016 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Please let us know how it goes so it can help others.

Best, Ken
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Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 AT 12:09 PM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
Will do
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Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 AT 5:19 PM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
Set up the pressure gauge, and tried driving in the lot, but I can only get it to 15 or 16 mph, so I will have to take it on the road anyway, will post what happens, the gauge read 35psi whenI started it and stayed there for quite awhile after shut off.
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Sunday, September 11th, 2016 AT 4:27 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
It sounds like you may have a plugged exhaust system, try looking over these articles to see if they will help:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/engine-has-low-power-output

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-a-catalytic-converter

Please let us know what you find so it will help others

Best, Ken
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 AT 2:54 PM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
Ken, I guess I didn't explain myself about the 15 to 16mph, the lot is only 100x200 so it is to small to get any speed as far as fuel pressure I am not sure what it should be but 35psi to 40 is what the gauge showed, I still need to take it on the road to test it out. Thanks for the reply, will keep you informed.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 AT 4:56 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hey VIETVET66,

Did you ever get the problem fixed?
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Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 AT 1:40 PM
Tiny
VIETVET66
  • MEMBER
Sorry I have not got back to you all, no the problem is not fixed but it has not happen again at least not yet, the wife has said she wants to sell it so I will drive it around town with a for sale sign on it. If I ever find out before it is sold I will be sure to tell you all.
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Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 AT 6:46 PM

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