Join Date: May 2017
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03 LS 3.8 Start & Die, High Idle, Hard Starting
Thanks for having me, I have been surfing Forum topics but can't find my exact issue. I just bought a 2003 Impala LS 3.8 two weeks ago with 144,000 miles. I absolutely love the car! Super comfortable, powerful, great on fuel and drives like a Caddy! I thought I loved my 97 Malibu (I usually drive trucks) for a summer car, but I absolutely love my Impala. The first week/1000 miles was great. No issues, car ran great and suddenly it wouldn't start. It would fire, then die within a few seconds. I got it towed home and the following day went to try and start it, and same thing. It was acting like the Passlock issue I've had on both my 98 K1500 and my 97 Malibu, and upon getting up under the dash I found a pretty badly hacked-in Remote Starter (That I didn't know what there). I pulled it out, and put all the wiring back to stock. It seemed to start a bit better, but would still die after about 5-10 seconds. Finally I was able to get it running by playing with the gas pedal and was able to drive it a few hundred feet around the yard but it was running horribly. At this point I had the HVAC controls pulled out, as soon as I put them back in, it wouldn't start at all.
I left it overnight, the next day I came out, turned the key and it started normally, but at a bit of a high idle, after about 2 minutes it started to sputter and die. Got it running again by feathering the gas pedal and then it started to idle for about 5 minutes, but was surging between 500-2000 RPM. Has started and ran half-decent about four times since then.....I'm guessing a fuel issue but don't want to just start throwing money at it needlessly. Wondering where I should start?
I'm picking up a fuel filter for it today, but considering that I got it started with the HVAC controls pulled out and they are run from a vacuum, could my Fuel Pressure Regulator be gone? I did notice there was some fresh fuel leaking out of it slowly behind the cap where the fuel-pressure guage attaches...I haven't had a chance to check fuel pressure yet but that and a filter are my first plans of attack.
There is no CEL and it's not pulling any codes on the scanner. I'm willing to put about $800 into the car (Paid $1200 ans it's in beauty shape so it's definitely worth $2000 to me to have fixed up) but hoping it's a simple issue. Recent tuneup with wires and plugs, checked air filter and it's also just about brand new. Any help is appreciated!