Starts and runs, but then will not start again

Tiny
DERRYDAY
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 180,000 MILES
The car starts right up and drives fine. Then it will not start again until it sits for quite a while, hours, or even overnight. Changed the fuel filter but the problem persists. Also, there were no codes generated with a diagnostic tester and the check engine light is not on
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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 AT 2:15 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
This sounds like a crankshaft angle sensor is going out which will not produce any codes. Here is a guide to show you what you are in for when doing the job a diagram (Below) on what it will take to fix on your car.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/crankshaft-angle-sensor-replacement

You may need to lift the car up.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/jack-up-and-lift-your-car-safely

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers, Ken
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Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 AT 11:27 AM
Tiny
DERRYDAY
  • MEMBER
Would the the failure of this part require that the car sit and "cool down" so to speak for a while before allowing it to start again. It is very predictable. Start it up fine and drive it for a while, get somewhere and when trying to start it again - it won't. Wait a few hours and starts like a champ.
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Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 AT 12:04 PM
Tiny
DERRYDAY
  • MEMBER
Also. I assume a crank angle sensor would be the same thing as a crankshaft position sensor?
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Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 AT 12:35 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Yes, they are the same and when it cools it will work again
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Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 AT 9:26 PM
Tiny
DERRYDAY
  • MEMBER
This question remains unanswered. Would the the failure of crank angle sensor part require that the car sit and "cool down" so to speak for a while before allowing it to start again. It is very predictable. Start it up fine and drive it for a while, get somewhere and when trying to start it again - it won't. Wait a few hours and starts like a champ.
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Thursday, August 24th, 2017 AT 4:29 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Sorry, yes when the sensor cools down it will start working again, heat causes weak electrical components to fail.
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Friday, August 25th, 2017 AT 12:35 PM
Tiny
DERRYDAY
  • MEMBER
Changed out the crank position sensor but unfortunately it did not correct the problem.
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Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 AT 10:32 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Can you check for spark when the engine has stalled? Here is a guide

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-an-ignition-system

Please let us know what you find.

Cheers, Ken
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Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 AT 10:59 AM
Tiny
DERRYDAY
  • MEMBER
No spark last night when stalled. Now replacing coil.
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Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 AT 11:08 AM
Tiny
DERRYDAY
  • MEMBER
Not the coil. Any other thoughts? Can't keep replacing everything and don't know how to narrow it. Guy working on it thinks problem may be a sensor between coil and ignition. Is that possible?
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Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 AT 8:00 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi guys. You're overlooking the most common cause of this. As Ken pointed out, it is real common for these sensors to fail by becoming heat-sensitive, then they work again after cooling down for about an hour. When you're driving, natural air flow keeps them cool. It's when you stop, as in when stopping for gas, that "hot soak" causes engine heat to migrate up to the sensor and causes it to fail.

It is also correct that these often do not set a fault code just from cranking the engine. The Engine Computer needs time to notice the missing signal as the stalled engine is coasting to a stop, but as you've already observed, that's not when the problem occurs.

You've overlooked the camshaft position sensor on the side of the cylinder head. Normally we don't approve of throwing random parts at a problem, and you're right for not wanting to do that, but in this case it's a high enough failure item that if it doesn't solve the problem, you can throw it in the glove box until you do need it.

The way to narrow this down is to connect a scanner to view live data. I'm more familiar with Chryslers, but Mitsubishis are almost identical in this respect. My Chrysler DRB3 scanner lists these two sensors with a "No" or "Present" during cranking. When you don't have a diagnostic fault code to tell you which circuit to diagnose, this will tell you what the Engine Computer is not seeing, and and why it's not firing the ignition coils.

By the way, you have two ignition coils and two coil driver circuits. It is unlikely both systems would fail at the same time, so put those at the bottom of the list of suspects.

Where this differs slightly is the Engine Computers on Chryslers turn on an automatic shutdown, (ASD) relay when both sensor signals show up, which is any time the engine is rotating, (cranking or running). That relay sends 12 volts to the ignition coils, injectors, fuel pump or pump relay, alternator field, oxygen sensor heaters, and a few other places. You have a separate fuel pump relay and a multi-point fuel injection relay that do the same thing, but the ignition system isn't part of this circuit. The point of sharing this wondrous information is when you have no spark during cranking, if it caused by one of these sensors, you won't have injector pulses, (no fuel smell at the tail pipe), the fuel pump will not resume running, (but you'll still have normal pressure from the one-second burst when the ignition switch is turned on. You should be able to hear it hum for one second), and if you feel those two relays, the fuel pump relay will click on, then off one second later when a helper turns on the ignition switch, but you won't feel it click on again when he cranks the engine.

Your camshaft position sensor looks identical to Chryslers, but the part numbers are different. I don't know if this will apply to your car, but Chrysler came out with a superseded part, and it required changing the connector. If you have to do that, the sensor should come with the connector. Be sure to solder the spliced wires, and seal the joints with heat-shrink tubing with the hot-melt glue inside to seal out moisture. All dealership parts departments have it, but it's much less expensive from an auto parts store. Never use electrical tape on a car as it will unravel into a gooey mess on a hot day.
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Monday, September 4th, 2017 AT 12:10 AM

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