2000 Impala intermittant starting problem

My son has a 2000 Impala which will not start if it has been warmed up and then turned off for 30-40 minutes. If you turn it off and wait 15 minutes it will start every time - wait much longer and you are stranded.

The starter sounds normal and you would think it is going to start but it won’t.

The car sat at the dealership for 2 weeks and they couldn’t solve the problem.

If the car is cold it starts every time.

Please, somebody, help!

This problem could come from a leaking fuel pressure regulator or injector(s) dumping in fuel when the car is shut down, thus flooding the engine. The next time it won’t start hold the accelerator to the floor while you turn the key. If that gets it to fire up have someone check those things.

You don’t need to use a dealer - any good local mechanic can figure this out.

If that doesn’t help someone should check for spark - a spare spark plug or spark tester (from an auto parts store) can be used for that.

Thanks, but I’ve been working with a local mechanic on this for 3 months. Also, holding my foot to the floor hasn’t worked. My mechanic checked the fuel pressure and it is normal also. Haven’t looked into the spark yet though, but it starts first time, every time when cold.

Three things cause a car not to start when it cranks over fine. No fuel. No spark. Mis-timed spark.

If your local mechanic has been working on this for 3 months, and the dealership for 2 weeks, and no one has bothered to see if it’s getting spark when it won’t start, you’re dealing with a couple of . . to put it mildly. . idiots and you need to find someone who knows what he’s doing.

“Thanks, but I’ve been working with a local mechanic on this for 3 months. Also, holding my foot to the floor hasn’t worked. My mechanic checked the fuel pressure and it is normal also.”

If you really want help then you really have to give everyone everything you have from the start. If a mechanic did or suggested 10 things by now they’re probably the same 10 things you’d get anywhere. So try to detail what has been done and save everyone the time and trouble.

And I’m with shadowfax - 3 mos w/ a mechanic and 2 weeks w/ a dealer and there is still no word on whether it gets spark or not? Ignition problems only when a car is hot are not uncommon, btw.

Has The “Check Engine” Light Illuminated ? Any Mention From Any Mechanics About DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes), The Ignition Control Module Or The Crankshaft Position Sensor ?


I would be happy to give everyone everything I have, but there is nothing to give. The reason my title said “intermittant” is because it is just that. The dealership had the car for 2 full weeks and could not get the problem to reoccur. My local mechanic also has never actually been able to see it happening. Once when the car wouldn’t start I called him immediately, he came rushing over with his volt meter and the car started. All he has been able to do is look over wiring and check fuel pressure. I can’t attest to whether anyone has checked spark or not but if the car starts there must be a spark (at least when it is being looked at). And yet I continue to get stranded all over town.

No “Check Engine” light. No mention from mechanics of the other items either. My mechanic will be spending some time with it tomorrow. Hopefully we can get it to act up then.

“holding my foot to the floor hasn’t worked. My mechanic checked the fuel pressure and it is normal also”

Well if that’s all you know then that’s all you know. But that’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about.

Ask your mechanic to show your son how to check for spark. Then he can at least figure out whether it is an ignition system problem or not and that cuts the possibilities in half. Basically one can carry a spark tester or spare spark plug in the car. Either one is available at an auto parts store. The spark tester should come with instructions. For a spare plug, you pull one of the plug wires, plug in the spare, lay it on the engine in such a way that the metal on the plug contacts metal on the engine to ground it and then crank the engine & look. Under no circumstances should one have any part of the body in contact with the spark plug or the wires at this point. Its got to lay there in a way so that it is grounded but on one has to touch it.

Has anyone checked for a faulty crankshaft position sensor?


I can’t be sure what the dealership did - other than not being able to locate the problem. I will mention this to my mechanic today. Thanks.