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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 10-16-2004, 01:54 AM   #1
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Default Troubles starting

Hey guys,

I have an 89' Bonneville SSE, and I've been driving it all summer with no problems what so ever. I live in Manitoba, Canada so it is starting to get a little cool out. Today it was about 0 C (32F) outside, wet and windy. I went to start it and it turned over and sputtered for a good 5-10 seconds before it started. I wouldn't be too worried, but soon enough its going to be -30C (-22F). I recently had all the plugs, filters, and fluids changed/topped off.

Anyone have any suggestions why its starting to have troubles starting at a temperature like this? I've also noticed that the oil pressure seems a little high. My service engine light also periodically turns on and off, but I've been told it should be ignored.

I have also noticed that the heat is pretty slow getting warm, even with the ECC set to 31C.

Any suggestions guys? Thanks a bunch!
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Old 10-16-2004, 03:51 AM   #2
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mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, puuuuuurrrrrrrrrtyyyyyyyy. i mean, um, what? oh yeah. you might want to get your thermostat checked out, and maybe your temp sensor. heck, ive even heard of a crank sensor (hope its not) being the offender. what i normally do, is if i seem to notice it having a little trouble, i may help it along up to 1.5k-2k rpm for a few seconds, and it usually clears right up. as for the heat, like i said before, you may wish to look and see if your thermostat is getting stuck open. but if it is really of concern to you, you might want to break down and get yourself an engine block heater. you plug it in, set the timer (if you have one) to about 2 hours before you start the car up. go out, start the car, turn on the heater, unplug it, and boom, instant bun warmer! voila, problem solved.
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Old 10-16-2004, 08:20 AM   #3
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sounds like the engine is flooded... Try this. Next time is 0 C, put your foot to the floor, and crank. Our cars are smart, and after 75% throttle, the ECU shuts off fuel pulses. So, crank her over for 3-5 seconds. Stop cranking, let off the gas, and start. Does it still sputter to start?


-justin
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Old 10-16-2004, 11:30 PM   #4
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Well this morning it was -2 C and windy and I went to start her up. She turned over very quickly and started in no time. I guess it may have just been one time thing. If it happens again I will try what you guys suggested...next time I take it in I will get the thermostat and other heating related things checked out.

It does have a block heater, so in the cold winter days I can plug it in at home. But there are no (or at least very few) parking spaces with plugs at the school. What can I do to get it to start at the end of the day? The only thing I can really think of is going out and starting it halfway through the day. Anyone have any other ideas?

thanks.
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Old 10-17-2004, 12:20 AM   #5
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Well, does it go below -50F [don't know what that is in C]? Because 50/50 antifreeze will freeze at -50F, oil, make sure you have 5w30.. otherwise you will have a helluva time on cold starts. I add some fuel additive that prevents line freeze up and such, that way your fuel won't freeze. Personally, your symptoms sound like a flooded engine. If the car always starts.. I wouldn't worry too much, but your battery may not be able to keep up, and that may lead to troubles. Make sure you let the car run for a minute before taking off.. and keep it under 2500ish rpm before the temp gauge starts moving passed 100F [or C equivilant].


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Old 10-19-2004, 12:17 AM   #6
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Well, it was -10 C (14F) this morning and she started right away. I guess it was just a flooded engine. I let her run for about 5 minutes and it heated up pretty well inside too. Once it starts getting colder I will plug the block heater in.

It MIGHT (unlikely) get to -50F once during the winter with the windchill (never that cold without the wind). And when it'* that cold out, I won't be driving anywhere. Under 1 minute frostbite really sucks

thanks for the help guys
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:38 AM   #7
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np dude, '89 is the best year


-justin
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:45 AM   #8
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kool. is that a license plate or something leaning againts your grill?
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:08 PM   #9
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Hehe...yes it is the best year, and yes that is a licence plate...but it'* zipped tied to the grill. I havn't got a plate holder yet

Anyway...yea...I've figured out whats causing this. It'* not the cold, but the rain. It has a tough time starting when its wet and rainy out. Observe -

Friday Morning - 0C, rainy and windy - trouble starting
Saturday Morning - -2C, dry - started quickly
Sunday Morning - -5C, dry - started quickly
Monday Morning - -10C, dry, started quickly
Today +4, rainy all day - trouble starting before and after school.

So, why would wetness cause the car to have troubles starting?

thanks (again)
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:55 PM   #10
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"So, why would wetness cause the car to have troubles starting?"

Plug wires are the first thing I'd check.
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