starts, runs a few seconds then dies - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 11-11-2014, 04:26 PM   #1
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Hi,
Wife brought car home from work; next day it would not start. Other than 16 to 17 mpg instead of in the low 20'*, no noticeable problems. At first I thought it was the battery; check out good. I then suspected the starter but by trying to start it, the engine now runs for a few seconds and then dies. I can hear the fuel pump working when I turn on the ignition. I think its fuel related but I don't know where to start. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 11-11-2014, 08:03 PM   #2
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Kind of sounds like a bad MAF sensor. With the car off, unplug the MAF, then start the car. You may need to peddle the gas a bit to get it to stay running, but it should eventually run on it'* own. If this is the case then check the wiring to the MAF, any fuses related to it, and it may just be a dead one. Had this happen on my 00 GPGT before.
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Old 11-12-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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Thanx for the info. Unpluged MAF but engine would not start even though I pumped the throttle. There was a difference between plugged and unplugged:
Plugged in MAF: engine would run a few seconds and then stop. When I started it again fuel pump would not run, engine would not turn over, as if ignition was dead. I would wait and try again, it would come alive then die.
Unplugged MAF: engine would turn over but would not run; it would try to run. The ignition did not die and when I stopped I could smell fuel (This was a positive sign as I suspicioned a fuel delivery problem).
Can any one tell me where the MAF fuse is located?
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:25 PM   #4
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See if you have proper fuel pressure with a gauge, and if it stays. Not enough to hear it.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:05 PM   #5
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Turn your ignition key to "on".....don't crank it......watch your SECURITY light......should come on and then go out after 3-5 seconds....does it go out or does it stay on? If it stays on, you have a Theft Deterrent problem......

Also remove the snorkel to the throttle body, and spray carb cleaner into the throttle body....have someone start the car while you spray....if it starts and runs, as long as you spray, you have a fuel delivery problem....

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Old 11-12-2014, 11:32 PM   #6
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If he'* talking about his 95, Security disables starter. 96 and later, disables injectors/fuel pump.

And no fuse for MAF. But either way, the car should run with or without the MAF plugged in. The PCM only uses the airflow for reference. If it doesn't see the MAF, it reverts to a predetermined set of tables based on cylinder volume, RPM, atmospheric pressure and air temperature.

As others have said, verify your fuel pressure first. And when you do experience the no start condition again, try your door locks/windows etc. If they don't work either, let us know.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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The securty light comes on, the starter is disabled. But the security light has been on and the engine has been working; I thought that was strange but the car ran. The mechanic here told me that the 95 has an ignition switch 'wire' that breaks or comes loose. He can't get to the car until monday and I will have to pay a $50 tow bill plus what ever the new ignition switch costs. Isn't there a way to bypass the theft system?
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:35 AM   #8
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Resigned myself to paying the tow charge of $50 and the mechanic (who is a question mark) I decided to try to start the car one more time and ...... it started! It started as if there was never a problem; hi! where have you been? lets go for a drive!
The battery was totally charged. I don't know if that indicates a problem I could have had but, the charge needle on my charger was closer to zero than it had ever been (3 days of 24 hrs of charging); and I used the original ignition key. The security warning light was off and has stayed off.
Went out to be sure security warning was off and it was but when I revved the engine I heard a pop, backfire thru intake; then engine ran rough and died. I tried to restart and it finally did after I peddled the throttle. But again, when I revved the engine there was an intake pop; it stopped and the engine revved just fine. Turned off engine. Turned on battery charger. Something is wrong. MAF?
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Old 11-27-2014, 04:32 PM   #9
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Problem solved! Thanks to all who offered ideas. After my wife drove the car to work the monster finally revealed its self! Water was disapearing from the radiator and the oil dip stick showed an increase in volumn.The problem was a hole in the intake manifold that was allowing water into the combustion chamber. Seems to be a common design problem in the 3.8 engine.
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Old 11-27-2014, 06:51 PM   #10
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Its not a design problem with the engine, but the intake gaskets themselves. Very common issue even with other GM V-engines.
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