View Full Version : 99 Olds Alero 2.4 ltr won't crank !

11-04-2008, 08:21 PM
99 Olds Alero 2.4 ltr won't crank !

Only runs when the sun is shining on it, LOL ! It seems as though as long as the sun is shining and warming the vehicle and runs like brand new. But at 5:30 in the morning when it's time to go to work it won't crank. It's the craziest thing I've ever dealt with. I am convinced that it is an electrical problem because after continued cranking I can smell gas. I have had the system tested and results were "crank shaft position sensor" replaced and still have problem. Following the manual I replaced the ignition coils & control module. Still have problem. Also have taken battery terminals off & let it sit for awhile, replaced & tried again, still have problem. Just about the time I give up, try to crank car and the stupid thing cranks & runs. Short of cutting all the hose off of wiring harnesses, I have checked everything and no short to be found. Checked all fuses & fuses are fine. It has 145,000 miles & runs like a top when it runs. PLEASE HELP !

We got the print out from AutoZone and the tech there said that he would just
about bet the problem is the outside fuel pump draining gas back into the tank
and not getting back up to the injectors in order to start the car.. I have my
doubts though because yet again this morning the car would not crank first thing
this morning and I had already investigated that possibility. But yet about 1:00 this afternoon it cranked.

The diagnostic codes are as follows;

P0420 = Catalyst efficiency low-bank 1
Definition = The oxygen sensors monitor the catalytic converters ability to
store oxygen.
Probable Causes = 1) Catalytic converter defective (Failure due to #2, 3 or 4)

2) Engine misfire or running condition
3) Large vacuum leak
4) Engine oil leakage into exhaust-valve guide
seals, piston rings

P0342 = Cam sensor condition
Explanation - The camshaft position sensor signal is monitored for errors
Probable causes - 1) Cam sensor defective
2) Check connector and wiring to sensor
3) Engine mechanical condition-timing belt/chain out
of time.

Please take into consideration that I have already replaced the Cam shaft sensor, crank shaft position sensor, ignition coils ignition control module. I have checked for
shorts in the wiring, checked fuses. I'm absolutely bumfuzzled and
frustrated at this point.

Please let me know as soon as possible what you might think the problem might
be. People are getting very frustrated since they just purchased the car and started having problems with it the very next day.
The manual number is 5K2-38026, the cam shaft sensor has been replaced yesterday and this morning, once again, the car would not crank, engine is a 2.4 litre. I would appreciate a prompt response as the woman who owns the car is having to ride a bicycle in the cold to work every morning at 5:30 a.m. in the cold because this crazy car won't start until she gets off of work and the sun warms it up ! Craziest thing I've ever seen and I've worked on alot of cars in my day. Could this possibly be the "brain" ? I just don't know at this point.
This afternoon, after attempting to start the vehicle with no success, the key was left in the on position for about 15 minutes. When it was realized that the key was in the on position, just for kicks we tried to crank the car again, and low & behold it cranked. This brings me to think that something electrical or in the circuitry needed to warm up before it would crank.

11-05-2008, 05:07 PM
Danotech - Sorry, we don't have any other ideas than the ones our research department sent you. I'm sure you understand how hard it is to diagnose a vehicle over a computer from a remote location; we really can't. You have the car there and all the tools and equipment to do the checks. This is a strange one, still sounds like a poor connection somewhere.

11-07-2008, 03:39 PM
Danotech: Have you found a solution?

We have EXACTLY the same problem on a 2000 Alero.

You start the car and the moment the "ignition sequence" ends the car turns off as if you turned off the key. The car is running PERFECTLY otherwise.. NO hesitation, sputtering, etc. Fuel is getting through (if you press the gas and rev it during the start you can really smell gas strong after it turns off).

I too believe its electrical.. I'm wondering if a circuit board or a wire is contracting in the cold and breaking a connection somewhere?

ONE time I pulled the fuel relay switch and the car started immediately after replacing it with the horn's relay. I now think that was a coincidence of temperature as that did NOT work this morning.

The car is sitting dead right now.. its in the 30's here. As the day warms up I'm sure it will start like in the past; but as we're about to go into winter here in Colorado this is unacceptable.

p.s. The security light does NOT blink in our case as I've seen some others report the security system to be at fault.

11-07-2008, 03:53 PM
update: I just went out to make a video of the "ignition sequence/die" .. its now 46 degrees out... car started perfectly and is purring like a kitten.

Still have to figure this out because every morning for the next 7 months will be below freezing. ARGH!

12-01-2008, 08:53 AM
i have the same problem car won't start early in the morning its been doing it for 4 days. Luckly its manual and i can push and start it but i live in Chicago today it snowed i doubt i'll be able to push it anymore.
I thought it was the battery and then might be the starter but on one of the forums someone replaced both battery and starter and is having same issues.

Anyone any ideaS?

12-01-2008, 12:27 PM
99 Olds Alero 2.4 ltr won't crank !

Only runs when the sun is shining on it, LOL ! It seems as though as long as the sun is shining and warming the vehicle and runs like brand new. But at 5:30 in the morning when it's time to go to work it won't crank. :confused:

IF the starter won't crank the engine when it is cold, but will crank the engine when it is warm, assuming that your terminals and connections are clean, then you need to replace the battery.
The colder it gets, the fewer amps the battery can deliver. That's why one will see more battery failures in the winter than the summer.

As for the rest of your post, if you mean that the starter cranks the engine fine, but the engine does not start. AND you suspect a fuel delivery problem, then get a fuel pressure guage and test the pressure at the rail and follow the instructions in the manual to test the fuel pressure regulator.

12-01-2008, 02:29 PM
Next spot you may try is a signal from the ignition switch. I have two in my shop with the same prob and the switch is not making contact all the time.