94 SSEi cranks but won't start... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 11-25-2004, 04:35 AM   #1
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Default 94 SSEi cranks but won't start...

Hey everyone, I'm back again with another issue.

Basically, the car has been having trouble starting sometimes lately. On Sunday night, after I went to get gas, it simply wouldn't start. It would crank every single time, but it wouldn't idle, it would just die. After two hours it finally started, out of the blue. Monday and Tuesday were mostly fine, with the car sometimes starting on the first try, sometimes on the second or so. However, after I got into San Antonio today, I needed to stop for gas again, since I was getting pretty low. So, as luck would have it, the car would not start after that. Tried for well over two hours, and nothing came of it. Always cranked, but never actually started.

I'm thinking that since it'* cranking, that'* it'* not a starter issue - would this be correct? I actually got the starter replaced last month, but I'm starting to think perhaps I didn't need to - but that'* beside the point.

So we got the car towed to my mom'* house, and the AAA guy suggested it might be the alternator. Could this be it? I hadn't noticed any other electrical problems at all. I've been searching through the forums for the last hour or so and can't find anything definite. However, just today, I noticed that whenever my Boost gauge went over 0psi, the car would shake/stutter and quite obviously not be producing the power that it had been. I read that this could be a plugs/wires issue - is it that, and could that possibly have anything to do with the starting issue?

If anyone can give suggestions about the starting issue, I'd be very grateful! I had actually made lots of plans for this weekend, but it looks like I'll probably be trying to fix the damn car again....

-Matt
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Old 11-25-2004, 01:32 PM   #2
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The alternator will have no effect if the car is cranking. I agree with Don 100%. Check for spark at all 6 plugs. Let us know what you have, and we'll take it from there.
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Old 11-25-2004, 04:18 PM   #3
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I'm located in San Antonio, TX right now. (Otherwise, College Station, TX when I'm at school)

How exactly would I check for spark at the plugs? (I'm actually not even really sure where they are, but I could look it up somewhere...)

The thing that really confuses me is that it'* so intermittent - for a while it was working fine after I replaced the starter; starting every time, etc. But just within the last week or so it'* been acting up and not starting all the time - sometimes taking forever (few hours) to start, sometimes not at all (as last night), sometimes starting only on the second try or so. I haven't yet tried to start it today; I'll report back what happens when I get to that.
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Old 11-25-2004, 04:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SynthDude2001
I'm located in San Antonio, TX right now. (Otherwise, College Station, TX when I'm at school)

How exactly would I check for spark at the plugs? (I'm actually not even really sure where they are, but I could look it up somewhere...)

The thing that really confuses me is that it'* so intermittent - for a while it was working fine after I replaced the starter; starting every time, etc. But just within the last week or so it'* been acting up and not starting all the time - sometimes taking forever (few hours) to start, sometimes not at all (as last night), sometimes starting only on the second try or so. I haven't yet tried to start it today; I'll report back what happens when I get to that.
A: Yer an Aggie?? Yikes!!! Hook 'em, Horns!!

b: To me it sounds more like a spark or fuel problem. The fact that the car cranks says your electrical is fine, but there'* just no fire....
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Old 11-25-2004, 07:04 PM   #5
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OK, here'* an interesting twist...

I just went outside to (try to) start my car. The first time or two, it was doing the same thing as last night - that is, cranking briefly, but not idling. However, I tried a few more times, and it kinda degenerated beyond that point - now what it seems to be doing is trying to crank (it sounds like it'* "almost" cranking, if that makes any sense), but there'* also lots of clicking more than anything else.

What could that mean?
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Old 11-25-2004, 07:08 PM   #6
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The clicking means your battery is getting low. Hook up a battery charger.
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Old 11-25-2004, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damemorder
The clicking means your battery is getting low. Hook up a battery charger.
Hmm, I see. Don't have a battery charger here, so I'll have to stop by AutoZone or something to get it charged (and they don't seem to be open today, unfortunately).

At first when I read your reply, I was thinking "Did I leave the lights on last night or something??" - But then I realized, I always just leave the lights on automatic (and last night I didn't see them on before going inside), and more importantly - Trying to start the car countless times yesterday without the car actually starting (and therefore the alternator running) was probably what did it.
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Old 11-25-2004, 07:21 PM   #8
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Check/ chang your fuel filter....even if recently, because that could create an issue. Also check to see when you turn your key ON to see if you can here the fuel pump kick on, if it doesn't than your fuel pump is shot and you'll have to drop the tank and change it. To check for spark, from the top here. Find the 6 wires that are plugged into the 3 black boxes (coil Packs), follow those wires, each one runs to each individual plugs, at each plug, unplug the wire at the plug, put a plastic handled screw driver into the wire, hold it close to the block or some ground, and have a friend or relative try to crank the car BUT NOT START IT! To avoid starting it, find your fuel pump relay and pull the fuse for it. If when you crank the car and you see the spark from the shaft of the screw driver, you have spark to that cylinder, and then move onto the next, repeat that for all 6 plugs. Also wouldn't be a bad idea to pull the plugs out of the motor and check them, or if you want to avoid the screwdriver idea, just pull the plug out and then plug the spark plug back into the wire, and touch it to the motor, but becareful...your arm will go numb if you get shocked lol. But that is how you check for spark.
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Old 11-25-2004, 07:52 PM   #9
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Kick it a couple times, give it 5 minutes. Try starting it. If it doesn't start, repeat untill it does.
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Old 11-25-2004, 07:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckstyle
Kick it a couple times, give it 5 minutes. Try starting it. If it doesn't start, repeat untill it does.
Haha...believe me, the time for kicking the car has long passed. I'm about ready to push it into the bottom of a lake or something. I've thrown so much money at this car already....bah. It'* the first one I've bought myself, so I guess it was inevitable...


LakevilleSSEi, I did just have the fuel filter replaced last month, but I don't think that was too expensive, so it wouldn't reallly be a problem to do again if I had to. One thing I noticed yesterday was that the gas gauge started going down pretty suddenly - it had been between 1/8 and just over 1/4 tank for awhile, then suddenly out of nowhere it just started dropping into the yellow zone, about to the middle of it. (I didn't really have a choice - I was sitting in parking lot traffic on I-35 for at least half an hour.) Strangely enough, the car didn't do its usual beeping at me or display the "low gas" icon on the HUD, so I'm not sure exactly what to make of it. I know the gauge is somewhat inaccurate though. Actually, when I exited the interstate to fill up (after which the car never started again), I filled it until the pump shut off, and it was not even quite 14 gallons - so unless the gas station pump wasn't working quite right, then there should have been at least 4 gallons of fuel left in the car, right?

Anyway, about the spark plug checking, I'll probably have to do that tomorrow, because no one else is home right now (to help), and it'* 6pm so it'* almost dark already too. I just want my car to work... *sigh*
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