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Old 12-04-2017, 12:52 PM   #1
unpolire
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default 2003 Vue 3.0 AWD No start after first tow!

I towed a 1,250 lb trailer with the Vue (2,500 lb hitch) for the first time with a 300 lb refrigerator and couch loaded. After towing at 25-55 mph for an hour, and turning off the Vue, it would not start. Never had this problem ever before. It cranked exactly like it was out of fuel with a nearly full tank, so I immediately suspected the fuel pump or fuel pump relay. After switching out the fuel pump relay for the rear wiper relay, it started right up! After the return drive to drop off the trailer, the same thing happened. It was not the relay. After driving, now you have to wait about ten minutes after shutdown for the Vue to restart. It is consistent and occurs with every hot restart. Everything else is normal.

What could towing possibly have affected in the engine electronics? Factory towing setup.

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Old 12-04-2017, 02:25 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2003 Vue 3.0 AWD No start after first tow!

Intermittent faulty crank position sensor. You're describing symptoms of hot engine crank sensor failure with cool down before the sensor can operate again. When it fails, fuel pump/spark/injector pulses are lost - the ECM will not operate with a faulty crank sensor. It's next to the oil filter housing, mounted with one torx bolt.

If you can measure its resistance, it should be between 700-1200 ohms. When it fails it can read as an open or very high resistance.

Towing did not affect sensor failure. Crank sensors are mounted directly to the engine block and undergo heat, cold and vibration - the enemies of electronics.

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Old 12-04-2017, 07:27 PM   #3
unpolire
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Default Re: 2003 Vue 3.0 AWD No start after first tow!

Thank you for your breadth of knowledge! I'm certain that is exactly what's happened. The towing is the most use it has had since purchase, and after the first 200 miles of short trips, the timing belt broke, so maintenance by the P.O. was sparse.

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Old 12-04-2017, 08:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 Vue 3.0 AWD No start after first tow!

Or 3.0L V6 engine uses a timing belt that's supposed to be replaced (along with the water pump due to lack of ready access) every 100k miles. Personally, I can't imagine a timing belt strained by towing loads. Crank sensors fail at random without rhyme or reason. I don't tow and mine failed after approximately 70k miles. When it failed, I had previous knowledge from members here to make a quick assessment. Same symptoms as yours, died on the highway, coasted off an exit ramp, waited for the engine to cool down then drove to a parking spot when the engine died again (luck of the draw). Replaced it after a trip to Autozone and home to bring a floor jack in another car and was up and running that same day. In NYC, if you aren't blocking traffic and towed off as quickly as police call to remove a vehicle, its wiser to move a car to a safe place on the streets if the car can't be driven home. Five minutes under the car to remove and replace it.

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Old 12-07-2017, 04:29 PM   #5
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Default Update 2003 Vue 3.0 AWD no start after first tow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Intermittent faulty crank position sensor. You're describing symptoms of hot engine crank sensor failure with cool down before the sensor can operate again. When it fails, fuel pump/spark/injector pulses are lost - the ECM will not operate with a faulty crank sensor. It's next to the oil filter housing, mounted with one torx bolt.

If you can measure its resistance, it should be between 700-1200 ohms. When it fails it can read as an open or very high resistance.

Towing did not affect sensor failure. Crank sensors are mounted directly to the engine block and undergo heat, cold and vibration - the enemies of electronics.
Replaced today after special ordering part, as no one had it in stock, including GM dealers and GM Direct. The prices vary widely from $125 dealer list to the $49 I paid a wholesaler who ordered it for me. V-6 OEM part was Bosch Germany 0 261 210 206, used all over the world by Opel and Vauxhall. "Rotational Speed Sensor." GM part number 9198639. Standard Motor Products part number PC567, made in Japan.

I found the protective plastic loom covering cracked and crumbly over the sensor wires and replaced it. I also found that the 6.5 mm external Torx head retaining bolt is easily and properly removed with a 1/4" combination wrench. Leaving the wiring connector attached during removal and before cleaning was the safest way to avoid connector breakage after 14 years of heat exposed plastic.

The sensor is magnetic so keep it away from your electronics and smart phone/laptop/tablet screens!

Daughter is happy and currently running hot start and stop errands to test if it is truly fixed.

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Old 12-07-2017, 05:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 Vue 3.0 AWD No start after first tow!

"Daughter is happy and currently running hot start and stop errands to test if it is truly fixed."

When this restored Vue returns to being reliable for everyday driving, tow on!?

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