2000 Catera--Trouble Getting Started (Catera Groundhog Day)
I am having trouble with my 2000 Catera starting for the 1st time of the day. After I get it started for the 1st time, I don't have any further problems starting it the rest of the day. Even if the car sits for a long time after it is started the first time--it still cranks like it should. If it sits overnight, then I have the same problem starting it, all over again. It is almost like "Catera Groundhog Day". I will tell you what I have checked so far and state a few things I have noticed that seem unusual and then if anyone has any ideas or suggestions about what to do next, I would appreciate you leaving a message for me.
I have had the Starter checked and it checks out good (most of the time). There was one test (although the results of that test have not been repeated) where the test showed low cranking amps but the starter voltage was ok. Can anyone interpret the results of that test for me please? Do you think that may be the source of the problems I am having with starting it for the first time? I have had the battery checked and it checks out good--the battery was installed new in June of this year. The battery charging system test checked out ok and the battery cables are secure on the battery's posts. There is no "code" showing when it is tested although I have never had it "code tested" first thing in the morning when I am experiencing this problem. Do you think I should get it some where to see if it does show a code first thing in the morning?
I have noticed that there is a "break" in the electrical power in the car--I know this because every morning when I do get it started for the 1st time, the clock has reset itself to 12:00, the same as if the battery cables had been disconnected. The first several times I had this problem I got a jump start. It seemed to me like the jumper cables had to stay on my battery an unusually long time before my car would start but it did eventually start with the jumper cables. The last few times I have had this problem, I have been able to start it by turning the key just to the point where it begins the starting process. I don't know if that makes any sense but what I am saying is that if I turn the key all the way over to as far as it will go, nothing happens. It doesn't "almost" turn over--it doesn't click--it doesn't make any noises--it just doesn't do anything. But if I turn the key just to the point where the start process in the engine begins, the engine "grunts and puffs" until it eventually turns over and starts. You can probably tell from my language, I am a novice at car mechanics. I am just trying to describe as realistically as I can what I am hearing and seeing and feeling when I try to start the engine. It is ok to laugh with me :histeric: because as I read back over some of my description--I laugh at myself.
Can anyone give me a suggestion about what part of the starting process I should investigate to try and solve this problem? Thanks for reading this and for any help you can give me.