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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, my Dad has a 2004 Impala that I am trying to help him with that suddenly decided not to start. It is a 2004 Impala, 3.4L engine with around 113000 miles.

Anyways, the car was running fine, no problems at all, aside from the engine light on for an egr issue & the broken gas gauge. The low fuel message dinged at him so he stopped to get gas. He filled up & tried to start the car but it would not start. The car cranked funnier than normal. Instead of the fast crank it starts to crank slow & almost stops, then cranks at a slower than normal pace.

Until today the car has not given him any starting problems at all & has been doing alright aside from that.

On a side note, at the beginning of June the thermostat & water pump went out & the car overheated a little bit. Both parts were replaced & the cooling system flushed, with regular coolant put back in place of the dexcool.

Any ideas?

Thanks for any help!
 

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Battery may be shot, thats the most probable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Battery may be shot, thats the most probable.
Checked with my Dad & they tried to jump start the car but no go. We haven't had any electrical problems with the car, aside from the gauge, alternator, battery have been okay. I am going to get it checked today to be sure but I am almost 100% sure the battery is not the issue, especially since it is not cranking like normal & no issues before.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I totally forgot something my Dad reminded me of. The car goes through belts like crazy. It chews off one rib of the belt & when the car is running you can see the crank pulley is not running true. It shimmys something fierce.
 

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The crank pulley? There must have been some sort of major service performed on this car, what was it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The crank pulley? There must have been some sort of major service performed on this car, what was it?

That I don't know. We got the car back in July 2007 & the car had 68000 on the clock. When he had the car in the shop for the thermostat they asked him when he had the intake worked on, as it looked like it was recent, but he hasn't had to have any work done to the car, aside from normal maintenence.

When we replaced the serpentine belt the tensioner was worn so we replaced that too. We noticed the crank pulley didn't run as smooth as the other pulleys & shimmys quite a bit. He's been waiting to replace the pulley & since then it chewed up the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got out the battery charger & was going to remove the battery while I check out the car. Just for kicks I went ahead & switched it to "12 volt start", got in the car & it fired right up. I checked it with my portable battery tester & it showed the battery weak, so I'm gonna charge it up & see what happens. It'a a delco, so I am sure it is the original one, if not pretty darn close to it. A new battry will be coming for the car very, very soon to see if that resolves any further issues. It did have a little trouble starting, so I'm not sure if it is a possible fuel issue or just that the computer needs to relearn. Gonna drive it tonight to see if it improves any.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The problem came back with a vengence. The car cranks over fine but won't fire. I went ahead & removed the air cleaner hose & sprayed some starter fluid in the intake to see if it wasn't getting fuel & the car backfired & popped.

I'm not sure but I think it is a bad ignition module, as the car would start & run when cool but when it warmed up it would take a lot to start, before finally not starting at all. I am going to remove the module from the car & have it checked. At the same time I am going to replace the spark plugs, as they are the originals the car came with from the factory.
 

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Sounds like a good plan, those are symptoms of a bad ignition control module. Not the cheapest part in the world, even with my discount I paid $116.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Checked the coils & had the module tested. All parts tested good. The plugs are the originals so I pulled them. 5 out of 6 were worn but not too bad. the 6th plug was majorly burnt out. I didn't mark what cylinder they came out of but now that I think of it I wish I had. I am replacing the plug wires while I am at it, as they are the originals as well show some age. I ran out of daylight so I couldn't finish installing the module & plug wires. I will get to that tomorrow & see what happens. I am beginning to think it is the fuel pump, as it acts sorta like my 2004 Malibu Maxx, which has a bad pump. I could get it to kick over today & stumble but then it falls flat on its face & dies.
 

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The ignition module could only be failing when it gets warm, thats pretty typical.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The ignition module could only be failing when it gets warm, thats pretty typical.
I thought of that & when I had them test it they checked it multiple times so it was up to temperature. It never failed, even when hot.

I went ahead & relocated the ignition coils so the numbers matched up with the cylinders, hooked up the plug wires & started the car. It fired right up but the more the car ran the harder it was to start. I took the car for a drive & shut off the car. Tried to start the car & it took a couple times but it started. I shut it off again & tried to restart it but got nothing.

I went ahead & removed the plug wires from the module & cranked it. The ignition coil did spark. I am thinking it possibly could be the fuel pump since the car has spark.
 

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Have you checked the crank position sensor? Those are always aggravated by heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Have you checked the crank position sensor? Those are always aggravated by heat.
My Dad went ahead & started to car & was revving it, to have the check engine light come on. I went ahead & drove the car over to the local parts store, where it gave a code for the crankshaft position sensor A. When they were pricing the sensors online there were two listed. One on the block & one behind the crank pulley. What one would be sensor A?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the help... It was the crankshaft position sensor that went bad. I removed the crank pulley & found A LOT of shredded serpentine belt in the openings in the ring on the crank pulley. The belt apparently was shredded to the bad crank pulley that had a shimmy in it & when left alone the rubber went somewhere. I guess it goes to show had my Dad replaced the pulley when I told him it was bad he would not have had to replace a crankshaft sensor that got chewed up by the rubber jammed in the pulley.

I did also go ahead & replace the battery as well, as when the car sat for a couple days it drained to the point of needing jump started.
 

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Glad to hear its resolved, good call on the battery as well, a good battery doesn't have a problem with being left alone a few days, or even weeks for that matter.
 

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We have had a problem with the engine not starting, starter and battery good. Switch replaced still have a problem with at times getting the car to start. Just by chance removed and reseated the start relay, under the hood on the left with a number of fuses. The car started, bought some Dielectric Tune-Up Grease from a parts store and put some on each prong of the relay and each fuse in the start box. We have had no problem for over a month and we were having trouble almost every day.
 
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