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1997 LHS will not start, have replaced ignition coil, camshaft sen., and crankshaft sen., now what?

Hello and need help,
Drove 97 LHS home from work back at the end of June on a 100 plus day, it seemed fine, no indication of any problem. Got in it the next morning to go to work and it would not start. Cranks fine, hear fuel pump. So a few days pass before my husband can look at it. He did get codes. He replaced the ignition coil, put on a new fuel filter, and replaced a couple of modules. It would still not start. We towed it to a service station that we have used for years. They replaced the camshaft sensor (and fixed the AC). I drove it for 8 days, no problems. Then on the morning of the 9th day, it would not start!! Exact same symptoms. So towed it again back to the service station. Then they said it was the PCM (control module). Husband went to junk yard to get one (much cheaper). Service shop put it in and then said that was not the problem and replaced the crankshaft sensor instead. Say it was ready to pick up. I went and paid again! Got key and came back later with husband to pick it up. IT would not start!!! Service shop closed for night. I am going back in the morning and need advise!! What else is left?? Not paying for anything else if I can help it. Please help! Thanks!

May have been ECM (engine control module) instead of PCM. We still have the one from the junk yard that we could try???

Do you have the 2.7 engine?

all LHS s have the 3.5l in them from 94 on up till the car was dropped from the lineuin 02 i believe

Its really hard to tell with the available information. It would help if we knew what codes it was throwing. One thing I would look at considering the symptoms is the shaft play in the distributor.

They should not have bothered with the cam position sensor, as these cars will start and run with it disconnected. Could you possibly post the codes he got from it?

If it has spark and fuel, the remaining thing is the timing… the timing belt could have jumped. When it is cranked, does it sound like it almost starts? Does it sound unusual, like it’s cranking faster than normal?

Has it actually been verified that there is a healthy spark present and fuel is getting to the engine?

@Keith: These engines do not use a distributor.

jecars “He replaced the ignition coil, … It would still not start.”

That’s why I thought it had a distributor.

It is the 3.5L engine. By the way it has @145,000 miles on it and we have replaced the timing belt some time back (not recently I think @120,000 with out looking at my records).

@Keith The codes were 300, 305 and 340. We looked them up on line and in the book. They do seem to lead to parts that have been replaced including the Ignition coil. Just other

@oblivion No, it does not sound like it will almost start and no it does not sound unusual or like it is cranking faster. It just cranks normal with no results.

Here is a bit more to the story. I when back the the service station Friday morning and before going in to talk to them I decided to try to start the car. It started on the 1st try. Grrr. I went in and told them. They keep it. I when back at noon and while test driving the car and I believe stopping and turning it off somewhere then it would not start for them and it had to be towed back to the station again (on them). They were hoping it stored another code again.

I was unavailable this weekend, so we will be checking with them tomorrow.

Oops, did not finish a thought! “Just other” fuel related reasons with the codes like:

  • Incorrect fuel pressure
  • Intake air leak
  • Insufficient cylinders compression
  • Ignition coils poor electrical connection
  • possible issues with injectors

Not sure if “Has it actually been verified that there is a healthy spark present and fuel is getting to the engine?”

you need to monitor environmental conditions, my guess it does not start in the am after a rain or heavy dew, if this is the case new plug wires and distributor cap.

Sorry, no rain here. In the beginning it would not start in garage in mornings. I wondered about heat, but it would have been cooler in garage. It started not starting after our first few days of 100 plus temps. After two times not starting for me in garage in mornings, then it would not start in late afternoon/evening sitting outside. I had an '88 Buick that had a bad plug wire that had issues in the rain once. We have had very very little rain :frowning: We are in the red zone on the drought maps.

Good thought @Barkydog, but I don’t think we have had enough moisture and the heat does not seem to pan out either.


So the shop says it was a bad part. They think the crankshaft sensor they put in was bad and replaced it today. I picked up the car and made a few stops on the way home. So far so good. Keeping my fingers crossed. I will feel better after a couple of weeks pass and it is still starting.

it does happen i hope that does the job.