: What could be the problem?



AllenPacla
12-04-07, 01:37 AM
I know that during cold winter morning , getting a car to start could be a challenge. But lately, it seems to be a regular thing. I never had a problem with my 97 Catera during cold winter starts, except for lately when i had to hold the ignition key into the crank position for a while, kinda like heating the starter up before it will start to crank. And there will be times that it will just crank but wouldn't start, so I do the same thing, let it crank several times, holding the key into the crank position and eventually, the car will start. Which part should I start looking into first? Thanks for any info.

inconnu
12-04-07, 06:38 AM
About Cateras you know more than i do,but still i would start from Spark plugs,plug wires or maybe gas filter,when was the last time they were changed.I would also try some gas treatment kind of stuff for water/moisture removal in the gas tank.

sirmqc
12-04-07, 06:31 PM
You could have a Crank Position Sensor starting to go out. I've had off and on starting issues also. Originally the dealer I took it to diagnosed it as fuel pump. I had this replaced for a hefty price. After about a month, the same thing started happening. It started as you described, then sometimes would take longer and longer cranking before it would start. It got to the point where it wouldn't start at all and I killed the battery several times. After replaceing the CPS, it took care of my problem. Also about 6 months after that, it was weak cranking, which caused it not to start right up. I eventually replaced the battery, then the alternator (twice actually - 1st one was bad). Everything has been good since... about 4 -6 months.

There's alot of CPS info on this site - its relatively cheap, but somewhat of a pain to replace. Because of the intermittent nature, I'm not sure of a good way to check it. And mine didn't throw a code or light the Check Engine light. Checking spark would be a good place to start. I believe (not certain) that the CPS failure would cause fuel injectors to be shut down. Not sure how to check that.

Good luck.

AllenPacla
12-04-07, 10:52 PM
I am doubting it is any of those mentioned above, because there are instances when I had to use a jump starter just to get the car started. The thing is I drain my battery in most instances because of trying to get it started hence the jump starter, and the thing that puzzles me is that I only encounter the problem during cold weather. During the summer, no problem at all. And it doesn't help that I don't use my Catera anymore, the only driving it gets is moving it during street cleaning here in New York.

pradoblings
12-11-07, 01:32 PM
I had the same problem starting my 2000 catera when it started getting cold and one day it just wouldn't start at all. So I changed the battery and it starts great now. I dont know if that is your problem, but it worked for me.

cateraowner
12-11-07, 01:38 PM
^^^ like he said... the battery is the easiest thing to check.. and would be a cheap fix that you can do yourself.

A weak battery has a harder time in the cold. and will eventually give out.

satse
12-11-07, 11:31 PM
are the cable terminals hot?

rinverso
12-13-07, 10:53 PM
i agree with the battery charging diagnosis. take it to an advanced auto etc..and they'll check your charging system for free. the crank amps are reduced in cold weather. and the pistons and oil is cold, causing more required start cranking amps. i had the same problem, thinking it was something serious. which i guess is normal, being a cat owner. it cranked but wouldn't start. i figured since it cranked, it couldn't be the battery...wrong. turned out to be a weak battery and corroded battery terminal.:bonkers:

AllenPacla
12-14-07, 01:08 AM
I'm puzzled with this car's charging system, because several times, I brought it to centers for check up and the charging system would come out okay. But if I use a digital meter to measure how much voltage I'm getting while the car is running, most of the time I'm not even at 13 volts. I'm going to take a look into that Crank Position Sensor. How do you think is it affecting the fuel injection system of the car though? Because, to my analysis, the reason the car is just cranking but wouldn't start is because there is no fuel to burn. Our Cat is really a load. It's like you have to be an enthusiast in solving problems if you are to own one. Problems are just never ending. Whoever designed the car deserved to be shot in the head.

frank moran
12-14-07, 08:14 AM
I'm puzzled with this car's charging system, because several times, I brought it to centers for check up and the charging system would come out okay. But if I use a digital meter to measure how much voltage I'm getting while the car is running, most of the time I'm not even at 13 volts. I'm going to take a look into that Crank Position Sensor. How do you think is it affecting the fuel injection system of the car though? Because, to my analysis, the reason the car is just cranking but wouldn't start is because there is no fuel to burn. Our Cat is really a load. It's like you have to be an enthusiast in solving problems if you are to own one. Problems are just never ending. Whoever designed the car deserved to be shot in the head.

I beleive during cranking the CPS sends a pulse signal to the ecm to activate the fuel pump.

ariza034
12-14-07, 10:09 AM
on my catera when its ideling its not charging 13v eather only under load....

AllenPacla
12-20-07, 01:28 AM
I'm just following up on this hard starting problem of the Cat during cold mornings. I've been trying to analyze the symptoms for the past few days. So one hard start situation, I decided to play with the intake plenum switch over valve, moving it back and forth, and voila, the car started. Now, for a few days, the car started fine, then another morning of hard starting, I played with the same switch over valve and it started again fine. Over all, I had like 4 incidence of hard starting and everytime I will play with that Intake plenum switch over valve, the car will start. Now, my question is, am I just hallucinating or the part that I'm playing with has something to do with the problem? The car would run normal after it started, it will idle fine. The only thing I haven't tried is to run the car long distances. The most running it does is when I switch parking spots during street cleaning. Any input is most welcome.

10KTGOLD
12-20-07, 08:07 AM
Mine every morning in the cold , when i start it i either have to (after its started) hold it at 3k for 10 seconds,or it wont go anywhere. if i dont do that then the car will idle at 200rpm and wont die but also wont move (only does it in gear) ,but if i turn it off and start it right back up its fine.... so either i have to start and sit at 3k for 10 seconds ,or i have to start it and turn it right back up and start it again to be ok.... its annoying

frank moran
12-20-07, 10:51 AM
I'm just following up on this hard starting problem of the Cat during cold mornings. I've been trying to analyze the symptoms for the past few days. So one hard start situation, I decided to play with the intake plenum switch over valve, moving it back and forth, and voila, the car started. Now, for a few days, the car started fine, then another morning of hard starting, I played with the same switch over valve and it started again fine. Over all, I had like 4 incidence of hard starting and everytime I will play with that Intake plenum switch over valve, the car will start. Now, my question is, am I just hallucinating or the part that I'm playing with has something to do with the problem? The car would run normal after it started, it will idle fine. The only thing I haven't tried is to run the car long distances. The most running it does is when I switch parking spots during street cleaning. Any input is most welcome.

I doubt there is any correlation, the valve you mention is the one behind the radiator??, it is controled by the ecm which controls vacum to activate the valve...do you have any codes? the leads for the MAF sensor are in that area, again I doubt this would impact start up w/o other symptoms?? possibly you are moving the connector, check the connector? in one of your posts you mentioned not getting fuel, remember during cranking the CPS sends a signal to the ecm to activate the fuel pump. You may want to put a cps in, its very easy to do and relativly cheap. I'm the last one to throw parts at a problem but this may be a cheap option.

AllenPacla
12-21-07, 01:30 AM
No, it's not the one behind the radiator, it's the one behind the plenum, to the left of the HCV. It's under the breather hoses (4 of them)

frank moran
12-21-07, 09:21 AM
No, it's not the one behind the radiator, it's the one behind the plenum, to the left of the HCV. It's under the breather hoses (4 of them)

I dont think there is any correlation with that valve and the no start problem . Your engine does crank, correct?. I might also point out that right in that area is the connector for the CPS??? and the engine coolent temp sender....possibly your moving it...? and it starts, just a guess.?? are you getting any codes?

One other thought, does it always start but only after a longer then normal cranking time? after it does start does it then restart as it should?

AllenPacla
12-21-07, 08:51 PM
I don't have any codes at all. And the car would just crank and no start, until it would sound like the battery is going dead. Then I will give that valve a shake, there is this cable that pulls it open (i guess) that I pull, kinda like pulling the throttle, several times then the car will start. I'm not even touching anything else at all. I'll check again the next time I encounter it.

frank moran
12-22-07, 08:37 AM
I don't have any codes at all. And the car would just crank and no start, until it would sound like the battery is going dead. Then I will give that valve a shake, there is this cable that pulls it open (i guess) that I pull, kinda like pulling the throttle, several times then the car will start. I'm not even touching anything else at all. I'll check again the next time I encounter it.

That valve on the very rear of the plenum that you refer to is vacum operated, not a cable? sure your not pulling on a wire lead???? are we sure we are both talking about the same valve??? in the area that you are working on contains the harness for the injectors, the CPS and the Coolent Temp Sensor and depending on the year the ignition coil and its harness. You may want to remove the plenum and look at the connectors?? keep us posted.

AllenPacla
12-23-07, 02:35 AM
It looks like it's operated by vacuum that is controlled by a solenoid, but still, there is this cable like connection that pulls the valve if I'm not mistaken. It's a 97 Catera so there's no coil. And when i move it, I make sure it's the only one I move. I have not tried to start the Cat again lately. And besides, it never happens when it's not too cold. Eventually, whatever the problem is will surface. At least, I have a way of starting the car during cold winter mornings.

frank moran
12-23-07, 10:39 AM
It looks like it's operated by vacuum that is controlled by a solenoid, but still, there is this cable like connection that pulls the valve if I'm not mistaken. It's a 97 Catera so there's no coil. And when i move it, I make sure it's the only one I move. I have not tried to start the Cat again lately. And besides, it never happens when it's not too cold. Eventually, whatever the problem is will surface. At least, I have a way of starting the car during cold winter mornings.

It is vacum operated, and there is a short piece of linkage on it, no cable. The coil is there, however, buried behind the left side cyl head. The switch over valve component should not effect start up? the coolent temp sensor is on the bridge under the plenum in the same area you are working, (part of it's function is sort of act as a modern day choke on a cold start). So your saying on a cold day it wont start but a warm day it starts up with no probelm, no other driveability problems once it starts????? You Got me, I would lift the plenum up and check my electrical connections, if you had access to a scan tool you could monitor the CTS for a possibility it is out of range, the coolent temp controls the resistance in the sensor and the signal to the ecm. Keep us posted.

AllenPacla
12-23-07, 12:52 PM
So you're saying that it could be the coolant temperature sensor that is the problem?

AllenPacla
12-23-07, 12:52 PM
So, you're saying that it's the Coolant Temperature Sensor that is faulty?

frank moran
12-23-07, 01:42 PM
So, you're saying that it's the Coolant Temperature Sensor that is faulty?

No, what i am suggesting is you look at the elec. connections in the area that you are probing. It sounds like you can get it to consistantly start after moving the switch over valve, I don't see how this valve could effect starting, however you are in an area that has critical elec. connections. The CTS would be much lower on my list...the CPS has a greater probabilty. It's hard to say? I would lift the plen and check all my connections, have you run a scan for codes? this is the first step.

AllenPacla
12-24-07, 12:00 AM
Would there be codes even if there is no "Check Engine Light" on? This is interesting. I'll check on all the connections surrounding the area and see what i can find. Thanks Frank

frank moran
12-24-07, 12:38 PM
Would there be codes even if there is no "Check Engine Light" on? This is interesting. I'll check on all the connections surrounding the area and see what i can find. Thanks Frank

I just noticed there is a stickie note (very first note) that may describe your situation??