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Old 01-21-2011, 01:12 AM   #1
droggy
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2004 ION-1 Sedan
Dazed Manual Trans "Push-start" question

I own a 2004 ion and noted in the manual that one shouldn't try to "push start" the car by rolling down a hill, turning the ignition to on and then dropping it into second gear. Now given that this seems like a useful thing to be able to do (in case the battery dies or say you lock the wheels on ice and the engine stalls), I'm wondering:

Why is the car not push-start capable?
Is there a way of making the car push-start capable?

Thanks
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

The Manual probably states that for safety reasons as push starting a car is not the safest thing in the world to do. I could be wrong about this, but I have never heard of a car with a Manual Transmission that you could not push start.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

ive always thought it is because it could wreck the catylitic converter.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

Let's see now. From GM's point of view (L-I-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y), any suggestion of push starting a manual drive car down any slight decline opens up a huge area for lawsuits from those not too swift of mind and body. A car rolling down hill without power means no vacuum boosted power brakes so the brakes don't work too good. Never mind not needing brakes when you're trying to push start a car but the nimrod amongst us that has never done a push start before may not be aware of his brakes not working and may panic - too late as he rolls down the street into a tree/another car/child playing in the middle of the street/elderly person hanging out/drug dealer peddling pharmaceuticals/etc.. And don't forget we don't have power steering too. So the newbie trying his/her first push start may not realize that power steering is lost along with power brakes. Does anyone see a recipe for disaster in this scenario?

For the rest of us that learned how to do it right and thinks ahead (of all the wrong things to occur), push starting is a no brainer.

If the engine isn't running, no exhaust exists. In the absence of exhaust the catalytic converter is stone cold and not operating. Once an engine starts and runs, exhaust starts flowing through the catcon and begins heating the substrate (along with an external heater if used) until at least 600F is reached before it begins to start outputting any valid signals for use.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

I can tell you from experience (instead of just guessing), that sometimes you cannot "pop" start these cars. in order to pop start these cars, you need to have enough power to try to start it normally. once it senses a failed start, it will disable passlock, and let you pop start it. if all the electronics fail during the start because of too little power, the computer cannot disable passlock, and you cannot start it, as you will not get fuel or spark.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
I can tell you from experience (instead of just guessing), that sometimes you cannot "pop" start these cars. in order to pop start these cars, you need to have enough power to try to start it normally. once it senses a failed start, it will disable passlock, and let you pop start it. if all the electronics fail during the start because of too little power, the computer cannot disable passlock, and you cannot start it, as you will not get fuel or spark.

This is true, I tried to pop start my car when my passlock was enabled,(due to the infamous ignition switch problem) although I had no idea this is what happened since it was my first encounter. It happened at work in a warm hangar right after a wash. It would run/rumble for a few seconds, then die out.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

Well, I know that any anti-theft system that's enabled and a security indicator is lit, its tellling me even push starting isn't going to work. Why anyone would even think that push starting can overcome Passlock or any aftermarket ignition/fuel kill system is beyond me......................I thought most people knew this.

The majority of push starting is presumed where there's still enough battery power to power the ignition system; all the dash lights light up during the power up self test and then turning off everything, leaving the battery, oil, seat belt and e-brake light on. This tells me that at least there's more than enough power to to run the EFI system with a push start. After all, isn't the EFI system effectively running @ignition ON time? Think about it. just because the engine isn't running doesn't mean the EFI system isn't...........the EFI system is just waiting for cps signals.............using the starter or push starting the engine...........
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

no. you need to be able to try to turn the starter without killing power to the BCM. you cannot just turn it to "on". at least from what I remember. then again, I could be wrong. last time I tried this was with my old ion. if I can find a decent enough road, next time I drive my car I will try this.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

Quote:
Originally Posted by droggy View Post
I own a 2004 ion and noted in the manual that one shouldn't try to "push start" the car by rolling down a hill, turning the ignition to on and then dropping it into second gear. Now given that this seems like a useful thing to be able to do (in case the battery dies or say you lock the wheels on ice and the engine stalls), I'm wondering:

Why is the car not push-start capable?
Is there a way of making the car push-start capable?

Thanks
I don't have an ION. However I pushed started my 1992 SC in the past. The battery was too dead to actuate the starter motor. So I opened the door, pushed it to ?? mph then hopped in and pressed the clutch pedal, put it in gear, released the clutch pedal and it started up. Then I drove to Saturn to have the alternator replaced. I recall that the battery was good, but the alternator wasn't fully charging it.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

s series doesn't equal ion. and, fdryer, passlock would be the limiting factor. if passlock doesn't play in "on", that would stop you from starting it.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

Correct, as long as Passlock or the security light isn't ON after all the normal self tests are done (its presumed a no-start preceded this event ending with a dead battery unable to power the starter) a push start is possible as the last resort before calling AAA.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

Not to get too off topic, but one thing I did notice is when the passlock is active, the clock light stays lit until the 10 min. reset is done. I have a new switch, but I figured, I'll wait the 10 minutes, until I can't stand it. It doesn't seem to happen that often though.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:37 PM   #13
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Cool Re: Manual Trans "Push-start" question

Good discussion guys. Thanks.

The other thing I was wondering about then... If I'm driving on the highway and brake suddenly, find myself on ice so the wheels stop and I don't realize the engine has stalled.... when I let go of the brake and plan to continue my driving.... I'm gonna find that I've gotta put in the clutch and crank the starter before dropping into a gear?

I just ask this because I've driven a simpler car for years and I recall locking up the wheels on the highway in the winter, and then just letting go of the brake and continuing on my way.
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