04 Sunfire randonly stalls, won't start afterwards...then starts next day

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#1
My car will stall randomly, then take numerous tries to start...sometimes doesn't start 'til next day.
I have a 2004 Sunfire (53k miles). My car usually starts on the first try most of the time, but on 4 different occasions in the past month it has not started for me. The time between failed start-ups has shortened. One night I tried for an hour to start it and it finally started. Ran well for 2 days and then the same thing happened; I stopped at gas station and it wouldn't start again. I had it towed, the dealership said it was the fuel pump, they put a new one in and I paid way too much money to get a new fuel pump installed. That worked for about a day. Then the next morning it wouldn't start again...and after 20 minutes, it started. The dealer couldn't find any problems and couldn't find any "computer codes." The day after that, the car had been running for about 30 minutes and stalled when I was at 50 mph cruising. 2 days ago, my car wouldn't start and I finally got it to start, then I was going about 25 mph and it stalled once I applied the brakes, at about 0-2 mph. Everytime I try to start it and it won't start, it spins and tries to turn over, and sometimes catches, but only for a second, then turns off.
- I have had the starter, battery, spark plugs, wires...all checked out fine.
- I have heard that it's possibly the TCC solenoid or the crankshaft position sensor...I know other people have had this very similar problem.
- This site has numerous TSBs that describe my problem...http://www.carcomplaints.com/Pontiac/Sunfire/2004/tsbs.shtml .
I am exhausted having to deal with this car...this shouldn't happen on a 2004 model...but stuff happens.
If someone can help me, I would be SO appreciative.
thanks.
 
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#2
suerte41
Here is your post from transmission forum to add to your post here..

Well right now, it won't start and I'm tired of towing it back to the dealership/shop, and then they can't seem to duplicate the problem. So...I'm going to do some troubleshooting. I want to check the crankshaft position sensor and the cam position sensor but I'm not sure how to do that, besides looking at them. What should I look for...cracks?
I also want to check the fuel pump relay, to see if it's working properly/connected properly.
And then I am also going to clean the MAF sensor (if my sunfire has one...I'm guessing it does).

Last thing, regarding my problems, what fuses should I be checking? i.e. fuel pump relay, etc. ?
 

Gus

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#3
This was a GM dealership that replaced the fuel pump? Did you call them the next day and complain that you still had the same problem? If they gave you any static, you should have called GM Customer Assistance and COMPLAINED!

If your car starts and stalls a second later, if the key is left on does your THEFT or SECURITY LIGHT flash? When it won't start, spray carb cleaner into the intake, then see if it will run until the carb cleaner is burned up....if it does, you have a fuel delivery problem. And if the THEFT LIGHT is flashing, your injectors are being disabled by the PCM, because you may have a potential PassLock problem....

This car is no different from any other....when it won't start, YOU CHECK FOR FUEL PRESSURE, INJECTOR PULSE, AND SPARK......whatever is missing is your problem....
 
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#4
Yes, it was a GM dealership and the fuel pump has a lifetime warranty. The next morning it wouldn't start, and then after 15 minutes of trying it started and I drove it straight to the dealership. I told them my problem wasn't solved and that I wasn't paying for anything else. They took off the gas tank/fuel pump again and reattached them. They couldn't find anything else, of course! So, I drove it home and it was fine...but then a couple days later the problem surfaced again...sometimes will not start for 20 minutes, then starts and stalls very shortly afterwards.
I think I might still take your advice and call GM customer assistance.

I will go through the things that you asked me and get back to you. Yesterday, when it wouldn't start, the check engine light and theft system light came on when I was cranking the key, but I will see if the light comes on or flashes when I just leave it in the ON position.

thanks.
 
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#5
Okay, tonight I drove my Sunfire around the parking lot for a good 10 minutes. Then parked the car, turned it off and came back an hour later, and it would crank and crank and not start. I left the key in the "on" position, and the check engine light was on. Then I tried again, cranked it and it tried to start but cutoff after a half of a second. Then I turned the key in the "on" position to see if the fuel pump was engaging (listened for a hum), and there was no humming. Now, I know the first 2 basic things I need to do is check to see if I am getting spark and fuel. There was no hum and I'm not sure how to check for spark, when my car won't start.
How do I check for spark when my car won't start...what steps do I need to take? I mean, the car ran fine the hour before and I when I drove it, it showed no signs of messing up. This is my problem that keeps occurring. Any help would be great. Thanks.
 

Gus

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#6
Why don't you go back to the dealership...describe how you can make this happen......leave the car with them, and have them give you a loaner......have them drive the vehicle the same way....

If not that, have them attach a VDR, and drive the vehicle...when it won't start, activate the VDR(they will explain how to do this)....this will record data at the time the vehicle won't start....
 
P

Pacer76

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#9
Like said before-Your PassLock system should be checked.
If there is a problem with the key lock cylinder, the PCM "thinks" the car is being stolen and turns off the motor.
Problem codes for this system are stored in the cars BCM (Body control computer), which works, so to speak, as a go-between the sensor in the lock cylinder and the PCM.

Try reseting the PassLock by turning the key to "On" then wait 10 minutes. This should clear the system to allow a start, if no other problems.