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My 2009 has been giving me starting problems for almost 2 months, Hard starting as I had to floor it in the mornings to get it to start then having to keep the rpm up over 1500 for 30 - 60 seconds and it would start running smooth and not rough. 227,000 miles on her so I changed plugs and wires throttle body, maf sensor along with new air filter over a month or so. It started a lot better but still have to hold pedal down ( like its flooded ) but it smooths out within 10 seconds or so then will idle without stalling out. I then started thinking it may be coolant leaking into one or more cylinders and I had to floor it to clear out the antifreeze before it would run smoothly. It would put out white smoke when starting. So I put some head gasket sealer stuff in it and it got much better but not good. Is there a way I can determine if its the head gasket or the intake gasket which if it's the intake gasket that would make life easier. A friend told me that impalas had problems with intake gaskets so changing that would be much easier than having to pull the heads too. I didn't use much coolant and I've never overheated the car. also it's a 3.5 flex fuel and has been running great until...then it kicks out a code bank 2 rich.
 

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My 2009 has been giving me starting problems for almost 2 months, Hard starting as I had to floor it in the mornings to get it to start then having to keep the rpm up over 1500 for 30 - 60 seconds and it would start running smooth and not rough. 227,000 miles on her so I changed plugs and wires throttle body, maf sensor along with new air filter over a month or so. It started a lot better but still have to hold pedal down ( like its flooded ) but it smooths out within 10 seconds or so then will idle without stalling out. I then started thinking it may be coolant leaking into one or more cylinders and I had to floor it to clear out the antifreeze before it would run smoothly. It would put out white smoke when starting. So I put some head gasket sealer stuff in it and it got much better but not good. Is there a way I can determine if its the head gasket or the intake gasket which if it's the intake gasket that would make life easier. A friend told me that impalas had problems with intake gaskets so changing that would be much easier than having to pull the heads too. I didn't use much coolant and I've never overheated the car. also it's a 3.5 flex fuel and has been running great until...then it kicks out a code bank 2 rich.
There are a few things to check:
1. Check the pressure in the cylinder where you think it's leaking.
2. Check the spark plug and see if it has coolant on the end.
3. Check the oil and see if there is coolant in the oil.
4. If either the intake gasket or head gasket is leaking, replace it with a new one. Anything else is temporary and it will eventually get worse. It won't be the least expensive thing to get done if you're paying someone, but it will be worth it in both the short and long terms.
 

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Thanks I just gave the car to my son and am going to get the top end gasket set, I was just wondering if there was a way to check for a coolant leak in the intake or heads. I don't lose much coolant but its noticeable after about 1500 miles. We are going to do it next weekend, also no coolant in the oil and it seeps in the cylinder after it sets about 6-8 hours under that time it starts right up no problem.
 

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Thanks I just gave the car to my son and am going to get the top end gasket set, I was just wondering if there was a way to check for a coolant leak in the intake or heads. I don't lose much coolant but its noticeable after about 1500 miles. We are going to do it next weekend, also no coolant in the oil and it seeps in the cylinder after it sets about 6-8 hours under that time it starts right up no problem.
You're welcome! I would use a compression test for that cylinder and see if it leaks down, but it sounds like you're on the right track!
 

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No man, if you're leaking coolant like that you wouldn't be running good after your initial starting problems. More than likely you'd be constantly adding coolant I mean if your head gasket is leaking you won't make it 10 miles without overheating and being completely out of coolant (that's if it leaks into the exhaust), that or your oil would be really milky and probably spewing out of the dipstick hole...

When's the last time the spark plugs were replaced?
If it has been a few to several years and/or more than 40 thousand miles (even if they were 2x platinum or iridium) it is quite possible gap erosion has taken it's toll.
Normally one thing about hard starting engines is the gap has gone wide (usually .045 or even .050 or worse), then once it warms up a bit it runs good and strong, that is definitely a sign that leads me to believe it could use new spark plugs.
And if I'm wrong it's not a terribly difficult nor expensive fix, especially if it hasn't been done in some time.
On a side note I know the manual states to gap them (I think) .040 but I usually gap mine to .025 as this keeps me in the running longer, contrary to popular belief a shorter gap doesn't provide "less" spark nor does a wider gap provide more spark... A shorter gap provides a WIDER but shorter spark while a wider gap provides a longer but narrower spark, personally I believe a spark is a spark and I've never noticed a difference in terms of performance between either of an .025 gap vs. say an .040 one but boy the .025's take a lot longer before they're too wide (such as .050) from the results of gap erosion. Even standard copper core plugs I can usually go 50+ thousand miles before .025 becomes .050 (I believe the gap erodes by around .005 every 10,000 miles but I could be wrong on that).

Also what kind of wires did you use?
I always use either Accel or Taylor 8mm wires.
Granted if it's bad spark on the wires that would also manifest itself throughout the driving range and not just on starting.

That's my take on it, worn spark plugs would be my next check, I just mentioned the wires for general purpose show-'n-tell.
 

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