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Old 01-23-2009, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default 2001 Bonneville Will Crank - No Start

I was hoping that someone might be able to point me in the right direction.

I have a 2001 Bonneville with the standard 3.8L normally aspirated motor.

I gassed up the night before (not sure if it is relevant) and the car was sitting outside when it dipped to around 0F. The next morning I went out and the care wouldn't start.

My first thought is that there was water in the gas. I was able to push the car into a garage and fire up a heater for a good 1.5 hours. I also added dry gas to the tank. This did not help.

I pulled out plugs 1,3, & 5 and confirmed there was spark. As an additional step, I checked the coil packs as listed here. The values I got were right where they were expected (5.4-5.6 for the secondary and 0.7-0.8 for the primaries). I also checked the plug wires, and found that they should be ok.

I rented a code reader, but there were not current codes in the computer. There was a stored code for a lower than expected coolant temp, but I changed the thermostat and that took care of that code a few months ago.

I also preformed a compression test. The pressures were within 150-170psi, with #1 being the lowest at 120/130psi.

While the plugs were out, I did notice that they were wet. I wiped them off and put them back in. I did spray starting fluid both in the air intake and in the #1 & #5 spark plug holes, but that didn't seem to help either.

The oil is still a used oil color and doesn't look like it was contaminated with water.

Prior to this issue, the car has been starting & running normally. When the temperatures dipped to single digits, it did start a little harder than what it normally does, but I attributed this to the cold temperatures we received the past week.

Is there any other suggestions that you would suggest checking? I'm half tempted to take it into a local shop and see if they can diagnose the problem.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 01-23-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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If the plugs are wet, sounds like it'* flooded. Push gas peddle to the floor and crank it. This will turn off the injectors and should clear the cylinders. There was a car I had many years ago, when this happened, the only fix was to change the plugs.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:37 PM   #3
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I broke down and had it towed to the mechanic.

After much time they confirmed much of the same testing (fuel, compression, spark, coil packs, etc) they were thinking that it was some ignition component. Later today they called and told me that it was actually the plug wires that were breaking down. They indicated that they saw spark on the cylinders, but it was only intermittent. They said that a new set of plugs and wires should take care of it.

It sounds like they were a bit confused early on but I hope this will take care of it.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:49 PM   #4
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perfect excuse to get those purty red PRJ Performance Wires at 3800performance.com lol

PRJ Performance Ignition Wires: 3800 Performance
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:15 PM   #5
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New wires is a easy fix.
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