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Old 10-06-2007, 03:08 AM   #1
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Default '04 SLE - Hard to start, among other problems...

Whats up everybody. I have a 2004 Bonneville SLE. 81,xxx miles (bought it at 73,xxx. I'm the second owner)).

It started intermittently taking a few extra seconds to start about a month ago. Sometimes you can turn the key and it starts right away, then sometimes you have to hold the key for almost 5 full seconds before it starts. Usually when it takes a long time to start it will run at a very low RPM and act like it wants to stall for a few seconds, but would eventually even out. Would also try to stall when I put it in reverse or if it sat idling for a few minutes before I put it in gear. BUT just today, I almost couldnt get it to start at all. It would just crank, almost start, then die immediately. I had to rev it up to get it to run. The whole situation has gotton progressively worse within a months time and now I feel like it has to be repaired ASAP before it breaks down. Crank Position Sensor maybe?? Fuel Pump?? Plugs/Wires?? IDK.

Also, I have the ABS/TRAC OFF lights on my dash (assuming I need a hub bearing from the sticky on this site).

It sometimes shudders when you accelerate from a stop fairly hard, like it only has about 1/2 power (has almost gotton me hit by traffic more than once because it'* unpredictable when it will do this), and the LOW TRAC light will come on at the same time until full power comes back (seems electrical? Very wierd either way. Does this fairly often)

CHECK TIRE PRESSURE light is on even though they're all the proper inflation and the tires are fairly new and evenly worn.

Transmission is VERY lazy and takes forever to engage when I put it in drive and hit the gas. I always get a "thump" before it starts accelerating after I put it in drive. It hates to downshift also. Is there some type of computer re-flash that will help this??? Transmission isnt failing, it just takes its own sweet time to do its thing.

Steering is starting to have the typical (from the sticky I read) Intermediate Shaft noise also, but not as bad as other peoples posts that I've read.

Other than that, a couple of dashboard backlights have blown out, the sunroof makes alot of noise from air getting in (just read a post on a possible solution for that) & my gas mileage seems to be nose-diving a little lately.

Have had the car almost 6 months, owe $11,600 on it (no warranty), and I'm getting pretty tired of all these little problems piling up on me ALL AT ONCE on a 3 year old, relatively low mileage car. I'll be selling it soon when I can get a hold of a few bucks to buy it down some. Beautiful car though, rides like a Caddy on the highway, but this car sure must hate me What is amazing is when I drove it off the lot NOTHING was wrong with it. ANY advice would be helpful!
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:06 AM   #2
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Ok, First off, where are you located? We might have a member close by that could help you out

Hard to start -- Check fuel pressure, do FULL tune up ( plugs, wires, fuel filter, O2 sensor, air filter ), check all vacuum lines for any cracks or dry rotting. When you have to hold the key to start it, does the engine crank, or do nothing? Do you have any check engine lights comming on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 200SSEI
It sometimes shudders when you accelerate from a stop fairly hard, like it only has about 1/2 power, and the LOW TRAC light will come on at the same time until full power comes back
Does the Service Stability System warning come up on the DIC at the same time?


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Originally Posted by 200SSEi
CHECK TIRE PRESSURE light is on even though they're all the proper inflation and the tires are fairly new and evenly worn
hold the "reset" button for five - 10 seconds when it comes up... it should go away. Our '03 did the same thing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 200SEi
Transmission is VERY lazy and takes forever to engage when I put it in drive and hit the gas. I always get a "thump" before it starts accelerating after I put it in drive
Sounds like a failed transmission mount. They are fairly common to go bad, and many people here ( including me ) have fixed them for around $10 - $15 by making up a solid "hockey puck" style mount. Do a search on that and see what you come up with.




Just sit back and relax.. we will get you all fixed up in no time
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:55 AM   #3
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I agree with Crash, with a few things to add to check. First off, if you could throw in a paragraph now and then, it will make your post easier to read.

I'd suggest that you start off by turning the key on and off 2 or 3 times, about 5 seconds between each part. Don't start the car. Then pull the vacuum line off from the fuel pressure regulator, and check for gas, or a gas smell in that line. If there is, replace the FPR, and don't try to start the car until you do. It could lead to an explosion in the upper intake.

When you check the fuel pressure, also see if it drops when the key is off, and how far it drops.

Many of your other symptoms could be caused by a bad wheel speed sensor in one of the hubs. Those are used for the ABS, the traction control, and the tire pressure monitoring systems. Is there noise coming from any of them? If not, then you'll likely have to have it scanned at the dealer, or a shop that has the proper scanner, to find out which one is bad.

Step through the information on the DIC using the select button until you come to the tire pressure low. Hold the reset until it shows xxx, release and should say normal.

Check that front transmission mount ASAP, too. That could put a lot of stress on the other mounts, fuel lines, exhaust system, etc., if it is bad.

Report back, and we'll help you out from there.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:11 PM   #4
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Sorry about the jumbled up post (now fixed). I was kind of frustrated last night with the car not starting so I wasn't really thinking. I'm located in Metro Detroit. And it doesn't appear to be a transmission mount. It seems like there is a slow engagement. When you first put the transmission in "Drive", it doesn't immediately go into gear, so if you give it gas right after you put it in Drive it'* almost in a neutral state for about a half second, them "thumps" and off you go. It does this occasionally when I try to pass a slow driver and need it to downshift quickly too. It just shifts lethargically. So try the Fuel Pressure Regulator before anything else? Any chance it could be as simple as the Crack Position Sensor? I've heard that these 3800'* are known for those going bad. No check engine or any other warning lights by the way (besides change engine oil soon )
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:24 PM   #5
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The crank sensor would likely cause more of an intermittent no start, instead of a hard start condition. Yes, check the FPR first, as that is the most dangerous part that could cause this problem. You could have a pressure control solenoid problem that is causing the delayed engagement for the transmission. Try a can of SeaFoam'* Trans Tune and see if that helps.
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:15 AM   #6
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It could still also be the transmission mount also...

When the engine is in "Drive", the front transmission mount is pulled on. With the engine at idle in drive, the engine / transmission will be sitting on the mount, but when you give the car gas, it will first move the engine / transmission and "thump" as the mount reaches the limit of movement. After that happens, the car will go forward. This can also happen when driving. When you are at crusing speed, there isn't much stress on that mount and will ride normal, but as you go to step on it to pass someone, once again, it will thump and then go.

It can act like a bad or slow shifting transmission.... the mount in our '03 was shot and did the same thing.


You can check the mount very easily with two people, or possible one.

Pop the hood and start the car.
Set the parking brake.
Apply brakes like normal and shift the car into "Drive"
With the other person standing on the drivers side, NOT if front of, the car give the car some gas while holding the brakes so the car doesn't move.
If the engine moves more then just a little bit, or makes the same "thump" sound chances are you have a bad mount.


Just a free way to check and see if it is bad
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