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Corsica Won't Always Start

I bought a 1995 Corsica, v6, with 46,000 miles on it (original miles on the whole vehicle, not just the engine–or so I believe) today from a little dealership. It started yesterday at the dealership, and again today when I took it for a kind-of short test drive and for a third time when I drove it off the lot.

I drove it home (around 17 miles on the interstate), went inside for a minute, and then went back out to start it up. It would crank but not start. It would only try cranking for a few seconds and then give up. I tried over and over, and it never started, always sounding the same. Giving it some gas while it cranked did not help start it either, nor did it make it sound any different, make it crank for longer, etc.

Many hours later, this evening, I tried starting it again and it started right up. So just to reiterate, the one time it wouldn’t start was right after I drove it a somewhat significant distance. I know this could just be a coincidence though. Since I’ve only had it a day I can’t be too sure of any patterns, but I will fill you in later when I test it out more tomorrow. Obviously it’s not an issue with cold weather right now, as I’m in 90+ degree heat. Also no rain. It appears to have a proper amount of oil. According to the meter, the car has enough gas.

I know I probably won’t be able to fix whatever the problem is myself. I just wanted to know what it most likely was so I wouldn’t sound too ignorant at the auto shop. So I could walk in and say “yeah it’s probably the starter,” or something like that. Not that I’m too embarrassed, it’s just that I’m paranoid that the people at an auto shop can sense my ignorance on car issues and might rip me off. On top of that, I will also be asking the repair guys to carefully check everything over and replace anything that looks questionable, as I’ll be going on a very long road trip in the car soon. I’m on a budget and don’t want to be ripped off.

Hopefully I’ve given enough information. Any ideas?

Probably a bad air temp sensor or coolant sensor. On this car NEVER use the gas pedal like we used to on a carburetor car. This just messes with the bad mix you have and floods the engine. The car does not see the engine or air as warm. So it makes the mix too rich when warm. The sensors are ~20 bucks and not hard to do. Any shop should help you for not a lot of money. Depending on the state you could take it back to the dealer and nicely ask that they replace these cheap sensors and see if this helps.

Have someone test the Crankshaft Position Sensor. GM vehicles are noted for the crankshaft position sensors being effected by heat where the engine will crank but won’t start.

By the way, on a modern fuel injected engine, when you step on the accelerator while trying to start the engine this tells the computer that you’re in the flooded mode. The computer then cut’s the fuel injector pulse width signals in half in order clear up the flooded condition.


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