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Old 11-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
OdieTurbo
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Question Cranks for a long time before starting

Hey folks! I've searched through the threads for info on this problem already and have tried one cure. Here is what's going on, and what I did.

2002 SL1 1.9 SOHC Automatic
Started cranking for an extended time before catching about 2 weeks ago.
It got worse daily until taking a good 5 minutes before it caught.
I looked up info on here and found out about the ECTS.
I replaced the ECTS.
I reset the computer.
Car continues to take 5 minutes of cranking before it catches.

Note - If I give it full throttle while cranking for a bit then let up, it will usually catch.

No check engine light is on nor are there any codes.

I'm going to continue doing research on here. If anyone has any idea for me to check, I would appreciate it.

Oh, I forgot to add:
New ECTS from Advance Auto
New O2 sensors from Advance Auto (3 months ago)
New starter from Advance Auto (1 year ago)
New CPS from Advance Auto (1 year ago)

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
Past:
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

Last edited by OdieTurbo; 11-06-2012 at 11:18 AM.. Reason: Forgot to add new stuff

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Old 11-06-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
saturnproblems
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1999 SL2
1999 SL2
Default

How many miles ?

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Old 11-06-2012, 11:23 AM   #3
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnproblems View Post
How many miles ?
115,000 approximately.

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
Past:
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Could be as simple a a fuel filter. Have you replaced it? How about having the battery and starter checked?

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Old 11-06-2012, 11:58 AM   #5
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnproblems View Post
Could be as simple a a fuel filter. Have you replaced it? How about having the battery and starter checked?
Starter is new, battery is 4 years old. Cranks very fast so I have little reason to believe either is bad.

Fuel filter is a possibility as it has never been changed. However, why would it only cause problems when cold?

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
Past:
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-06-2012, 01:41 PM   #6
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

1-Saturns from '01 and up use the brass coolant sensor. The coolant sensor wasn't the problem. The connector is another issue that may need to be checked for any corrosion, interfering with signal output and possibly causing a richer fuel mixture than necessary for cold engine starts.

2-Fuel filter should be replaced at 100k miles.

3-Without ever removing any spark plug after failed starts, its almost impossible to know whether or not cold engine starting results in flooding or lean conditions. Remove a plug to see/smell for fuel.

4-With plugs out, a spark test can be done to ensure spark occurs.

5-A fuel pressure test may help here.

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Old 11-19-2012, 10:08 AM   #7
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
1-Saturns from '01 and up use the brass coolant sensor. The coolant sensor wasn't the problem. The connector is another issue that may need to be checked for any corrosion, interfering with signal output and possibly causing a richer fuel mixture than necessary for cold engine starts.
Okay, checked connector - no corrosion, appears to be in good shape.

Quote:
2-Fuel filter should be replaced at 100k miles.
Okay, replaced fuel filter - was definitely clogged!

Quote:
3-Without ever removing any spark plug after failed starts, its almost impossible to know whether or not cold engine starting results in flooding or lean conditions. Remove a plug to see/smell for fuel.
This is my next check tonight after work.

Quote:
4-With plugs out, a spark test can be done to ensure spark occurs.
Did the spark test where you remove wires from the coils and crank the car. Nice thick spark between coil towers.

Quote:
5-A fuel pressure test may help here.
I've heard hit-or-miss on the Harbor Freight fuel pressure tester. How is Autozone or Advance Auto?

Thanks for the tips!

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
Past:
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-19-2012, 01:33 PM   #8
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

The only issue with HF fuel pressure gauges are the 'occasional' leaks if you can deal with it otherwise it can be hit or miss with loaners. Its been said that first impressions count so look at a loaner and go with your gut feeling. The last person is the one to blame (or store clerk) for mishandling equipment. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best..............

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Old 11-19-2012, 09:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by OdieTurbo View Post
Okay, replaced fuel filter - was definitely clogged!
what brand of filter did you use? it matters.

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by magtec View Post
what brand of filter did you use? it matters.
Purolator through Advance Auto parts.

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
Past:
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:19 PM   #11
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Okay, checked the plugs last night - lots of black carbon! I bought a new set of Bosch platinum +4's to put in it. Still no start.

Did a quick check of the fuel pressure by using a screwdriver to activate the little schrader valve. A teeny bit of fuel burped out under no real pressure. Tonight I'm renting a Fuel Pressure Tester from Autozone and will check it while cranking.

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
Past:
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:35 PM   #12
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Forgot to add - when cranking I tried holding the gas pedal all the way to the floor. That resulted in the engine backfiring through the intake.

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
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2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:30 PM   #13
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Well, the last post suggests something wrong and the fuel/air mixture went too lean instead of rich for cold start up. The fuel not spraying out the fuel test valve reinforces a low pressure issue - the fuel pump will run for only 2-seconds when the ignition switch is turned ON. Shut off occurs for safety. When the ignition switch is turned to the START position, the crank sensor outputs signals to the pcm to turn on the fuel pump, ignition system for spark, and pulse the injectors. You can wire a short jumper across the fuel pump relay socket terminals 30 and 87 to send 12v immediately to the fuel pump.

Attaching the fuel pressure gauge to the test valve should show pressure when the ignition switch is cycled ON. Pressure should remain for at least 5-minutes before bleeding off.

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:33 PM   #14
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Well, the last post suggests something wrong and the fuel/air mixture went too lean instead of rich for cold start up. The fuel not spraying out the fuel test valve reinforces a low pressure issue - the fuel pump will run for only 2-seconds when the ignition switch is turned ON. Shut off occurs for safety. When the ignition switch is turned to the START position, the crank sensor outputs signals to the pcm to turn on the fuel pump, ignition system for spark, and pulse the injectors. You can wire a short jumper across the fuel pump relay socket terminals 30 and 87 to send 12v immediately to the fuel pump.

Attaching the fuel pressure gauge to the test valve should show pressure when the ignition switch is cycled ON. Pressure should remain for at least 5-minutes before bleeding off.
Okay, fuel pressure test gives a good 58psi of pressure. What could cause this too lean condition you mentioned?

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
Past:
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:00 AM   #15
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

The majority of engine start issues relative to faulty sensors relate to the coolant sensor. For cold starting, engines need more fuel than a warm engine so coolant sensors detects cold coolant and signal the pcm that interprets this in programming to run extra fuel. The coolant sensor is relied on heavily at every start up whether an engine is cold, warm or hot. Since all EFI systems depends on electronics, coolant sensors operate electrically by converting temperature to low voltage signals between 0.1-4.9 vdc; cold = voltage around 0.5vdc, hot = 4.5vdc. A thermal resister (thermistor) is the coolant sensor that detects temperature changes and varies the main input voltage, 5vdc, to a variable amount that the pcm can use to determine which way feed fuel - cold engine/rich (more fuel than normal), hot engine/lean (less fuel than normal. The coolant sensor and its low voltage connections are important here. A short anywhere in the coolant sensor or wiring to the pcm will be perceived by the pcm as a very hot engine even though you know the engine is cold. An electrically low resistance coolant sensor/circuit is the equivalent of a hot engine. The opposite would be a high resistance coolant sensor/circuit that's seen by the pcm as freezing engine. Its possible that the coolant sensor or wiring is shorted.

While a short circuit to the coolant sensor circuit can cause a lean fuel mixture, low fuel pressure can do the same by not pushing fuel quickly through an injector. Since fuel pressure is correct, be sure it stays high when the engine is idling. A faulty/intermittent fuel pump, pump relay, loose wiring, etc., can contribute to lean fuel mixtures. Monitoring fuel pressure at ignition ON time, during starting and idling covers all the possible areas to lose pressure whether mechanical or electrical.

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Old 11-22-2012, 09:10 AM   #16
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Okay, more news to add:

Hooked up my ScanGuage, all temp sensors read correct. Coolant temp, intake air temp, transmission temp all read about 40 degrees F when I checked them last night.

While searching through these forums I came across another SL1 with a no-start condition and someone thought it might be having an IAC (Idle Air Control) problem. So on a whim, I whipped out my voltmeter and my Haynes manual and did the test described therein. I measured voltage across the two green wires (green with white and green with black). Haynes says it should be alternating between 5 and 10 volts. It reads a steady 12.2 volts.

So just for fun, I disconnected the IAC and used the flooded start procedure - gas pedal to the floor then turn the key. It starts instantly.

This morning, after I had put it all together last night, I tried starting it (30 degrees out). Regular starting procedure - no start, just cranks. Flooded starting procedure - backfires a lot. Disconnect IAC and used Flooded starting procedure - fires up instantly!

So, what's wrong? Engine computer because voltage to IAC is off? Or is Haynes manual incorrect and 12.2V is fine so IAC is bad?

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
Past:
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-22-2012, 09:50 AM   #17
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Okay, finally able to be home during daylight. Took off the throttle body to check the IAC valve and found out 2 things.

1 - Frikkin' cold weather makes vacuum connections brittle. Can I buy that vacuum connector that connects the 2 vacuum lines to the top of the throttle body?

2 - I have never seen so much carbon buildup in my life. It's at least a quarter inch thick! I'm gonna clean all that out of the throttle body and the intake manifold. This stuff is from the PCV correct?

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
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2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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Old 11-22-2012, 10:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by OdieTurbo View Post
Purolator through Advance Auto parts.
something you should be aware of: WIX/NAPA or OEM are recommended. your fuel filter has a built-in regulator, the cheaper aftermarket filters are notorious for not regulating properly. this can cause a lean condition that could potentially burn exhaust valves.

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Old 11-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #19
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

I'm not sure if you can buy vacuum parts as these are specifically designed, making them dealer items only. Try gmparts online, rockauto, junk yard.

The pcv valve has been part of emissions control to vent crankcase blowby gases since the 60's/70's - venting all crankcase gases back to the intake manifold instead of releasing it into the air as a way of recycling. All this means is coating the intake air system with spent combustion byproducts, carbon/oil/whatever. Every car has a coating of this as years go by, some more than others depending on how bad blowby gases are generated and the oil used. Lately, using a smaller diameter orifice pcv valve without shutting off this flow of gases helps decrease oil misting entering into the intake system but not eliminate it. A thorough throttle body cleaning is all that's needed but the intake manifold - the engine doesn't know its passages are coated. If you feel the need to remove the intake manifold for cleaning then go for it.

The iacv extends/retracts according to the needs of idle speed control. The pcm controls it. Unless you can observe iacv movement, measuring voltage has little benefit. Blocking the bypass air port in front of the throttle plate with your finger with the engine fully warmed up and observing rpm drop/unblocking to see rpm jump/drop back to normal idle may be a better way to observe iacv influencing immediate rpm control.

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Old 11-22-2012, 04:53 PM   #20
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2005 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cranks for a long time before starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
The iacv extends/retracts according to the needs of idle speed control. The pcm controls it. Unless you can observe iacv movement, measuring voltage has little benefit. Blocking the bypass air port in front of the throttle plate with your finger with the engine fully warmed up and observing rpm drop/unblocking to see rpm jump/drop back to normal idle may be a better way to observe iacv influencing immediate rpm control.
When I start it by unplugging the IAC then plugging the IAC back in, it immediately lowers the RPM to about 1,200.

...
Current:
2005 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5-Speed FWD
2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic
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2002 Saturn SL1 1.9L Automatic (Sold to Sister-In-Law)
2001 Saturn SL1 1.9L 5-Speed (Transmission grenaded twice)

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