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Baffled by a Blazer

We have an '89 Chevy S-10 Blazer with issues. After it has been driven for any amount of time and then shut off, it will not start again for about 8 hours. When it does start, it runs perfectly- until it is shut off, at which time the cycle starts over. Could something be over heating? This is a totally sporatic problem- it doesn’t always die after every drive- just most times. However, when we use it for more than two or three stops, it will die. HELP!

Is it turning over and not firing, or is it not rotating at all?

If it’s turning over and not firing, spray some starting fluid down the intake. If it starts for a sec and dies, the problem is fuel delivery; if it still won’t kick, you’re not getting spark.

Which can be verified by removing a spark plug putting it back on the wire and while holding it so the treads are tight against the engine have someone try starting the car, you should see a bright blue spark at the end of the plug. Works best in a dark area, like night or in a garage.

BTW if you don't use a well insulated tool to hold that spark plug, you could find it a very electrifying experience.

Yes- it turns over just fine. It just isn’t getting fuel. But after sitting for about 8 hours, everything seems to reset and it starts just fine.

Yes- it turns over just fine. It just isn’t getting fuel.

Have you tried Joseph Meehan’s suggestion? It’s not clear whether it’s a fuel or spark problem.

I always wear a leather work glove for these sorts of tasks. It prevents getting zapped and impaling the back of your skull with the hood latch. It’s the secondary effects that’ll get you.

You can try this to see if the fuel pump is running:

When you know the vehicle is going to start, have a ‘volunteer’ turn the ignition on without starting the car, while you are crouched down by the fuel tank. Listen for a ‘whizzing’ or buzzing sound in the fuel tank when the key is turned on. The sound will last for maybe 2-3 seconds and stop. Now start the car. You should hear the sound continuously in the fuel tank. This is the fuel pump running, and the previous steps were to familiarize you with the sound of it.

Now, when the vehicle won’t start, try the same thing—listen for the fuel pump while someone turns on the ignition. If no whizzing sound, you have a flaky fuel pump, bad relay, or other electrical problem. Sometimes when fuel pumps get old and worn, they will work fine—until they heat up or you shut them off. Then they need to cool and they’ll seemingly work perfect again. The problem is likely worn brushes in the motor.

Good luck.

Thanks- we’ll give it a try