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Starting Problem

My car is 6 cylinder 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue. It won’t start after a short time of being off. It has to be more than 2 hours off before it starts up. Can you tell me what is wrong?

Yes. I can tell you what is wrong. It won’t start after a short time of being off.

:wink: Ok, sorry. Its just that with what you’ve said there are 100 things that could be going on. So fill in the blanks.

  • Start here: When it won’t start what does it do? Does the engine crank over? Or do you just turn the key and get nothing? Or do you turn the key and maybe get some clicking or grinding or something like that?

  • Does this happen only when the engine is hot? Or only when cold? Or it doesn’t matter if its hot or cold? In other words, does it only happen after a relatively short drive? Or after a relatively long drive? Or just any old time?

  • Provide basic info about your approach to maintenance. How old are your spark plugs & wires? Filters? Battery? Has anyone actually looked at the car for this problem?

When i turn the key it just simply wont start. I can hear stuff going like the gas pump but it wont finish the “transaction” if you can understand that. I always have gas and the battery is fully charged.

Ive had the car for almost a year this coming august, the battery is new because i did have to change it and the alternator as well, about the spark plugs and other stuff i do not know but i know it passed the emission test about a wek ago if that helps!

It does that problem pretty much everytime, doesnt really matter if its a short drive or long drive, i thought it was the cold weater at first since im in Chicago, but now ther weather is a lot nicer and it still does it, so there went that theory.

If this helps, sometimes im able to turn it on when i put the car in “neutral” but only after i try to turn it on a few times by turning the key and then my “service engine soon” light comes on

A few people have looked at it, some say it could be electrical, some say its the starter and some are stumped…

Is the motor turning over?

cig ya owe me one

I can hear stuff going like the gas pump but it wont finish the “transaction”

OK more details.  Does it sound like the engine is being turned by the starter, like it usually would when you turn the key?  Does it sound any different when it starts and when it will not start? 

 That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here. 

 [i]  sometimes im able to turn it on when i put the car in "neutral"[/i]

Another possible hint.  I am assuming you have a manual transmission.  You might try wiggling the lever while the transmission is in park and or neutral.

It sounds like it wants to start everythig makes a sound except that when it needs to do that final step it just wont start.

The problem with the service light is that it wont turn on all the time and the times it has it wont show the same problem. However last time i had a friend check with his machine he gave me these codes

i hope these help

Its not manual, its automatic…

But again the mecanic who i would trust my car with doesnt want to change a bunch of things cause that would cost to much money and unfortunately i need my car on a daily basis so he hasnt been able to really take a look at it. Everytime ive had him check my car, it wont act up, it will turn on every single time without a problem, so thats real annoying and i have no choice but to just keep using it which has become real inconvenient, since it wont start

“It won’t start after a short time of being off” and “mechanic … will turn on every single time without a problem”.

Aren’t those contradictory? doesn’t start for you at all unless you wait 2 hours, but the mechanic can’t duplicate this?


Yes i understand that its contradictory but it is true…yes unbelievable

Those codes you posted above don’t look like anything I’m familiar with in terms of OBD 2 error codes. And I am familiar with GM codes. The codes should be a P followed by a 4 digit number. Most frequently the 4 digit number will be somewhere between 0001 and something in the 2000 range.

The next time the car won’t start hold the gad pedal to the floor while you turn the key. If it fires up gradually release the pedal. Report back with results.

Well the problem continues and ive done what you said to do, to hold the gas pedal and turn the key and still nothing.

Ive also payed attetion to hear what kind of noise it does when it wont start and it does a very very low buzzing sound

This weekend i used my car and i had to turn it off a few times and get back on in less than half hour and for some reason it turned on, but it turned on the second time i turned the key…

But after that its pretty much gone back to its usual not turning on problem…

You need to go all the way back to the beginning.

Don’t talk about “transactions” or impressions or vague references to “everything making sounds” or “final steps.”

Just be very descriptive about your senses. You put the key in. You turn the key, and you hear…

If what you hear is the very healthy sound of the engine going RR…RR…RR…RR…RR then you’re going to have to have someone who knows at least a bit about cars to be around when this happens. At that time you need to find out whether you are lacking fuel or spark. The former can be done with some starting fluid. The latter with a spark tester.

“Ive also payed attetion to hear what kind of noise it does when it wont start and it does a very very low buzzing sound”

From the descriptions, I can’t determine if the car is cranking or not.

A few things come to mind. A poor battery cable / engine ground strap connection or a bad starter or a bad starter relay.

I’d clean all ends of all battery cables and ground straps/wires. Also, some light raps on the starter with a screw driver handle, when it won’t go, could be tried. Rapping too hard can damage the starter if it’s alright. A couple taps on the starter relay could work or find a relay to swap.

Other possibilities are ignition switch or ignition key. Have you got a different (newer) key to try ?