2003 Chevy Impala has OCD


Well, not really, but get this … it’s like those poor people who can’t enter their homes without unlocking and locking the door a million times. My wife’s '03 CI will not start on the first crank. You can lay money on it. It even sounds great while you’re turning the key, and you’ll swear that the ignition has caught. Let go of the key, thinking it’s started, and it dies. Turn the key again and, without fail (again, you can place bets on it), the sucker starts right up. Thoughts greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

PS - weather, time of day not an issue


The problem might with the ignition module.

The ignition module operates in two modes. These are the START and RUN modes. During the START mode, the ignition module allows full battery voltage to the coils. This ensures the engine starts as quickly as possible. When the ignition switch is allowed to move to the run position, the ignition module switches to the RUN mode. This is where the ignition module reduces the voltage to the coils to save wear and tear on the secondary ignition components. Much like how ballast resistors/wires worked on the old point-type ignition systems.

So it could be that the RUN mode of the ignition module has failed. So the engine starts fine, but stalls out as soon as the ignition switch moves to the run position.



Okay, Tester, sounds good. Then, the fact that it starts right up the second time turning the key means the module could be failing, but hasn’t failed yet?