Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:19 pm Post subject: 2004 Chevy Impala base starting issue
Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me out finding the root cause of this issue.
This morning my car completely stopped starting while I was up on a hill. This has only happened once before (2 nights ago) however my car in the past month has been randomly killing power steering, brakes and the engine from running while driving. I had to pull it over (electronics still worked, lights/computer/radio/hazards were on) and turn it off and then turn it back on again. The battery light came on when this happened but I don't believe the issue to be the battery as someone attempted to jump my battery this morning and it charged it up but the starter wouldn't turn the engine over.
Luckily a truck mechanic happened across me and we did some trouble shooting. He said the alternator seems fine and has enough power going through it from the battery to start the engine. We tried making a bridge between the boot from the spark plug to the plug itself to see if there was a spark but no such luck. We could hear the fuel pump turning on when the car was put into ACC so that seems operational.
I don't think I'm missing anything here. The car has recently had oil/transmission fluid change and is gently driven. I had a short between some wiring setup for a HAM/CB radio (was from the battery terminal at the fuse box in the engine bay to the trunk and the wires sprung up and shorted on the trunk lid.) it took a jump to get the car started again and I got no errors for dead fuses from the car computer so I assumed that wasn't part of the issue but just in case I figured I'd say something.
Thanks in advance for any help! I'm hoping to get to a parts store today and get what I need to fix it up where it is since I can't afford a tow.
The mechanic mentioned it might be the coils near the spark plugs which seems like the closest connection to the spark plugs that could be preventing them from sparking FYI
I posted here earlier about the previous problem and people said it was the alternator that was dying but I'm not so sure now. Any clues?
Go back to basics-fuel, air & spark. You have air (open up the air filter to check), your pretty sure your getting fuel, spark is questionable. An alternator either works or it doesnt, so you can probably eliminate that. You need to get a voltmeter out & start checking stuff. Something as simple as a loose battery cable can really make you go crazy looking for an intermittent problem.
Gut feeling says ignition module. No reasoning, just a feeling. You can check your ignition coils easily with a spark tester or timing light. If you dont have one, use an old spark plug. One bad coil will not kill the car but it will cause bad fuel mileage, rough running & a fuel/egg odor from the tailpipe. Heres a decent link to checking coils-
It took a couple of hours of checking with my multimeter to find out that it was the ignition relay that was toast. Swapped it with the AC fan relay which is the same and it started up great. I almost replaced the coils but thought before to do some continuity testing thank goodness!
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