Skip to comments.Automobile question.
Posted on 11/13/2011 5:23:05 PM PST by Kevin in California
Since FR has alot of smart and knowledgable people, I thought I pose this question in hopes of getting a few answers.
I have a 1996 Chevy S10 4X4 (automatic tran) with the Vortec 4.3L engine.
Yesterday I went away on an all day trip that's 1.5hrs each way and the only thing I noticed a couple while cruising the highway was it felt like the truck jerked a couple times but I wasn't really sure. Well, I got home last night, parked my truck, and went inside for the night. Well, woke up this morning to go grab a cup of coffee and the truck wouldn't start. It would crank no problem but wouldn't turn over and start. Keep in mind the battery is new and I have 3/4 tank of gas. Well, I tried starting it over the course of the next 2-3 hrs and still, wouln't start. Well, just went outside to try again and it started. WTH??? There's no "check engiine" light on and all the gauges are normal as they were last night. Now, my question.
If I take it into a shop tomorrow to put it on a puter, will they be able to tell me if there's a problem or maybe something like a switch, relay, etc. going out and need of replacement?
I hate to take it on a long trip then have this no starting problem again.
Trade it in on a Ford F250.
is there gas in the tank? is there spark in the plugs? is your fuel pump going on? Verify voltage on a volt meter? Check for gas smell on spark plug after cranking.
It sounds like it may be a crankshaft position sensor or a cam position sensor or connections to the sensor. Was it cold out when you first tried to start the truck? Did the temperature get a lot warmer later in the day when it started?
If the “Check Engine” light didn’t come on, then I doubt that putting it on a computer will explain anything. It’s a ‘96. The electronics weren’t nearly as sophisticated then as now. Perhaps, more experienced FR motorheads will disagree with me, but this may have to be diagnosed the old-fashioned way: electic or fuel?
Possibly water in the tank, or a plugged fuel filter - both will do this sort of thing.
First things first, a $2 bottle of HEET will take care of the water by mixing it with alcohol and letting the engine run ‘roughly’ on this mixture - it will get the water out.
The fuel filter could certainly be a contributing factor as well.
I would NOT advise putting the various additives that dissolve the ‘gunk’ sitting in your fuel tank. That ‘gunk’ is sticking to the sides of your tank and ain’t bothering nuthin. If you add the ‘gunk’ disolver; prepare to have all that gunk hit your fuel lines and make your life a living hell. Don’t kick a sleeping dog; m’kay?
The HEET and fuel filter would be my first plans of attack.
fuel pump...and its probably in the fuel tank..
Sounds like it could be the fuel pump. When you turn the key to the “on” position, you should be able to hear the fuel pump run for a short time. The fuel pump is inside the fuel tank. If no sound, the fuel pump may be bad.
FWIW, the Astro with that engine had a problem with the fuel pump which is in the fuel tank. The fuel filter would be worth checking if it has a separate fuel filter.
Does your truck have an anti theft security system? If it does, there will be a yellow “security” lamp on the instrument panel while you are starting it.
We had a GMC Jimmy, great vehicle until it started costing us in suspension parts. Last straw was a fuel pump (and/or fuel filter). Symptoms were sluggish on the throttle (thought for a while is was the tranny) and eventually it wouldn’t start. Not sure if this helps, but good luck.
Even with no check engine light I would still see If you get a DTC thru the OBD II port. It’s usually a persistant problem that lights up the check engine lamp. Try Autozone, they used to do this for free.
Agreed. The new gas eats up all sorts of rubber stuff on cars. There is a chance that the fuel sender is bad and that you may actually be out of gas. I would start with filling the tank or check to see if gas is making it to the engine.
Classic symptom of a starter that is on its last legs...
Google. Join an on-line group.
Here’s “S10 starting problems.”
Best post, Hodar...sounds like a fuel delivery issue to me.
Has it been raining?
It apparently does have a separate fuel filter: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_is_the_fuel_filter_located_and_how_do_you_replace_it_on_a_1998_Chevy_S-10
Has it ever been replaced?
Yes Fudimo, I tried starting it early in the AM with no success. It then started in the PM.
Fuel injector computer.
I had a 90s model S10 that started bucking like a mad mule when I got over a certain speed.
Managed to make the thirty or forty miles in, thinking fuel filter or fuel pump...what it turned out to be was a ‘module,” you know the catch-all term, a kind of stop-watch sized black unit attached up near the top of the engine block...at any rate there was a 50K warranty on that particular piece and my hometown dealer stuck on a new one for free even though I had just barely passed 50,000....few months later my clutch went out & they got my money anyway...
Oh yes btw...they had to hook it up to the computer to confirm that it was the module....
Nope, no security system on the truck.
First of all, you are confused. You said it would crank but not turn over. When it cranks, it turns over.
Since it cranks, the battery is good.
Was it damp or wet last night? If so, you probably need new plugs and wires. This is a common problem when they get old.
That thing is haunted !! Sell it NOW!!
Take a rubber mallet and hit the bottom of the fuel tank. If it’s the fuel pump, that will often get it running. That won’t work too many times.
That engine has a fuel delivery spider that sometimes leaks. That’s probably not your problem but keep an eye on that too. Check your oil and the engine compartment for a gasoline smell.
The fuel pump is going out most likely.
Make sure they replace the regulator when they put a new pump in and make sure they use a high quality pump preferable OEM not some cheap chinese junk.
My bet is a faulty crank positioning sensor.
Hard to find, easy to repair.
Actually in 96 they used OBD2 diagnostics so putting it on a scanner could provide some information relative to his problem, however if the light did not come on it sounds like the fuel pump as most other common problems should show a fault and light the check engine indicator.
I’m thinking it may be a fuel filter, starter (can’t remember if I’ve ever replaced it), or a sensor or relay of some sort.
Was the truck on level ground when started?
Since you said it’s a ‘96 that’s about 15 years old. How many miles on it? If it’s well over 150,000 as far as routine maintenance when were the plugs last changed? Also how about fuel filters? These are two things that come to mind on high mileage vehicles that wear and could explain starting problems. You can also look for an OBD II (Onboard Diagnostic) scan tool where you can read the codes yourself. All cars manufactured from ‘96 on should have a port close to the steering wheel. Depending on the type of plugin tool you get they can run from about $50 on up. Some of the tools can be left plugged in and they help you drive more economically plus they help monitor a whole list of things like transmission temperature, fuel pressure etc. Good luck.
IT’S THE STARTER!
Whenever it won’t start just turn the key a few times until the connectors line up in the starter....then it starts...you need a new starter.
Yes, level ground.
Breezy, you may be correct. I was thinking it was the starter or maybe something in the fuel delivery system like a filter, sensor, relay, switch, etc.
I had this in a Dodge Minivan a while back, and I kept thinking the engine was missing, but it was the transmission slipping, and of course it finally slipped for good.
My money is that an engine ground cable fell off, or is in bad contact.
Grab some jumper cables, and cable the negative terminal to the engine block.
If you’re in the colder climates, I’ve had to do this to 2 trucks this year. Finding these cables and sanding them / replacing them is part of my winterization procedure.
I second the fuel pump or maybe a clogged fuel filter. You maybe bought bad gas at a place you normally don’t go to?
The fuel pump replacement on the Astro was more than a grand 10 years ago so I'd think the fuel filter would be the place to start. It's a pressurized system so DYI could be messy.
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Is it your alternator?
I speak from experience. I have 1998 Lexus LS400 that has this issue. 155,000 miles...It’s been happening for about a year now. Putting it off because it is a $1500 repair job. Lexus in their infinite wisdom decided to put the starter under the manifold. Many labor hours. Yours will be much less expensive.
Not too familiar with GM products, but a scan of replies shows lots of valid suggestions ! FWIW, I’d check in the following order:
1. the fuel pump and/or an in-line fuel filter
Its easy to get a “bad load” of gas that shuts down an alreadyp marginal pump/inlet filter/ in line filter.
2. Crank position sensor: The sudden nature of your failure leads me to believe an electrical problem.
3. A “bond” failure; that is a poor ground is “backfeeding” or merely isolating a critical system.
FWIW, a lot of folks conversant with GM products have remarked to me “electrical issues” arise in GM products over time.
You might want to try “rebonding” engine ground straps, battery grounds - including the terminals - etc. Or as a last resort, install a temporary copper wire bond from the battery negative post to a prominent engine part ! If it works you’ve isolated the problem ! >PS
If it was cranking and the starter wasn't dragging, I'm thinking you were either getting no fire or no fuel.
Change your plugs and wires first and see how it does.
Just a wild guess but if it is a stick shift car their might be a broken switch on the clutch pedal, I’m not sure what you call the switch but the pedal has to be depressed all the way to start the truck, had this happen to a car I had, I replaced the battery and starter before a friend trouble shooted the problem for me. The weird thing about it was if I pressed the clutch pedal down really hard their would might just be enough connection to connect the broken switch to start the car, but if I didn’t press down hard on enough on the clutch I would get nothing. I’ll be at the post office couldn’t get it started, would jump the car and it would start. Next day I’ll be at Walmart, couldn’t get it started, would get a jump, nothing, I’ll let it set for an hour and then try to start it and it would start right up. Very frustrating after about a half a dozen times this happen to me. Some times I press harder on the clutch then other times, but very frustrating if you don’t know what’s going on.
There is a schrader valve on the back of the intake manifold (located on the fuel line). It is there to check fuel pressure.
Get a high pressure fuel pressure gauge and check output pressure of the pump (just turn the key, pump primes the lines).
If you have less than 40 PSI, you need a new pump.
These pumps don’t always die at once, sometimes they go intermittent, or put out low pressure before they quit.
On that engine, IIRC, the function of the crank position sensor is done by the distributor. If you have good fuel pressure, the next likely fix is to replace the distributor.
That bumping sounds like it was a fuel supply problem, not electrical. Keep it simple, though and check the free and cheap stuff first. Piss anybody off lately? Might be something sweet smelling near the top of the filler neck? Check the filter. Nothing foreign? Change the filter. Run til you empty the tank, change the filter again and check it again. Fill the tank and repeat. If it is dirty, it’s contamination, probably not just water, either.
If it’s clean and it happens again have the wiring checked and there ain’t any loose connections, no drips, etc. If not, chances are you got a bad fuel pump. If it was the starter there would probably be a dead spot and it wouldn’t crank every time. An alternator could cause the chug, but the battery would go flat if it wan’t working - no cranking every time.
If it is the fuel supply, it would choke off the fuel and cause the chug/no start, but probably only if something was crystallizing and/or dirty enough to be visible. New tanks can be expensive, but cheaper than a new truck. Unless you been looking for a good reason to get a new truck.
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