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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I never noticed this until recently as I just started to drive my 2013 since I swapped the motor last week. Every trip I’ve made, until recently, had a long break between start-ups. I’ve noticed that I must wait a period of time before the car start up. There is a pattern here - time seems to “heal” the issue. While waiting, I’ve been able to browse the forum and learn that it can be one of several different odd faults. The most obvious one that I suspect is the engine-bay fuse box. Apparently there are “internal relays” hidden in the circuit board of the box.

Anyone else experience this?

Is this the same part in the 2006-2011’s too?

 

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Well I never noticed this until recently as I just started to drive my 2013 since I swapped the motor last week. Every trip I’ve made, until recently, had a long break between start-ups. I’ve noticed that I must wait a period of time before the car start up. There is a pattern here - time seems to “heal” the issue. While waiting, I’ve been able to browse the forum and learn that it can be one of several different odd faults. The most obvious one that I suspect is the engine-bay fuse box. Apparently there are “internal relays” hidden in the circuit board of the box.

Anyone else experience this?

Is this the same part in the 2006-2011’s too?


More information?

When the car doesn’t start - does the starter engage and the engine turns over (but no start)? Is there no crank and no start? Does the starter engage, but the engine turns over slowly?

Since GM began installing the 3.6L V-6 in the Impala models beginning in 2012, I’d bet the fuse block shown is not compatible with 2011 and earlier models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No crank. I turn the key and everything dims and the starter does not turn. No solenoid sound. Voltage is 12.4v. Battery has 600CCA and it tests at 580CCA. I’m wondering if this was just a matter of the starter relay (GM HI PWR 13500114) going bad. I swapped it with an identical relay that is for the rear defroster. I’ll report back with my findings.

The fuse box I showed is indeed for 2012+ Impalas. I circled the Starter relay here in red and the Rear Defroster in blue.

 

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If you’re sure the battery is good, have you checked the battery cable connectors and the battery posts? Are they clean and the connectors tight? Since you changed the motor, are the connections on the starter also clean and tight?

Some people think the battery is good due to age or previously working okay. How old is the battery?
 

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Voltage dropping "Everything dims" tells me the starter is trying to pull current and can't.
One of your high current cables are slightly loose or the battery is getting dodgy.

Load test the battery when it won't start. Load testing it when it's working may not reveal an intermittent problem. Dendrites on the anode plates can intermittently short the battery when a flooded lead acid plate battery is on its' way to the happy hunting grounds. Rechargeable Lithium Metal Oxide, Nickel Metal Hydride, & Nickel Cadmium cells suffer from the same type of degradation at different rates depending on a bunch of factors.
This is an article about dendrites in batteries. Mildly dry reading but it does explain things. Structural and Morphological Evolution of Lead Dendrites during Electrochemical Migration - Scientific Reports
High frequency pulse chargers can extend battery life but eventually the battery will fail. I run a recondition cycle on my batteries every 6 months or so and they seem to last longer than I would normally expect. Good HF chargers have a bit more than just a linear high frequency low current wave overlaying the DC charge current. They're pulsed and usually have several frequencies that they ramp up and down to based on proprietary data. No doubt from experiments run by actual electrical engineers. Industrial HF charge and conditioning units have been in use for decades to extend the life of large battery banks and traction batteries in electric trolley transit coaches. San Francisco Muni uses a handful of them to "level" the battery paks on their small fleet of Orion Hybrid transit coaches.

Remove, clean, grease, and re-install the battery cables. Peel the molded cover back from the battery cable terminals so you can scrub both sides and rinse out the rubber with water and clear em with compressed air. I spray the terminals with red battery protectant goo or Wurth HHS.
Check, clean, and grease your main ground stack on the front of the engine / transmission assembly. On the 2011 & earlier cars it's on one of the bellhousing bolts. I've seen the 14-20ga ground wires corrode away inside the wire jacket.
Check, clean, and grease your starter high current hot cable connection to the big stud on the starter and check the other end of it as well.
Check, clean, and grease the 10ga connection to the fuse / relay panel.
Check, clean, and grease the alternator BAT wire. I usually hit the Metripak plug with some protectant too.

I hit all of the above in my SS with WURTH HHS-K in 2010. I haven't had any corrosion issues so far. Knock on wood.
 

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Rap resets after 10 minutes but it should have nothing to do with starting...Do the self check lights come on when you turn the key like check engine light is it on or off??...if all connections battery starter and grounds are good ...check for a bad ignition switch
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Everything appeared like it’s a normal start event. Ever since I swapped the relays and also cleaned the ground above the passenger side headlight and the two grounds hidden under the headlights, I have not be able to replicate this issue. I’ve only been on one trip so far that exceeded 20min of driving though.
 

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I just love intermittent problems. :rolleyes::cautious:

Hopefully those grounds fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just now I was on my way home from work, about a 10 min commute, and I stopped to drop off a letter at the post office. It would not start. I waited like 10 seconds and tried to crank it again. This time it exhibited something I have never experienced: it cranked for 2 seconds and stopped instantly as if there was zero voltage. I turned the key again and nothing. Then I immediately turned it once more out of frustration and it cranked and started successfully.

My fingers are now pointing at a wonky ignition switch as you have pointed out already. I’m curious if this is something I can repair with using DeoxIT D5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Replaced the switch today. $32 from my local auto parts store.




Besides the single T25 screw to remove the bottom wheel cover, you’ll need an E5 or E6 (reverse torx, I can’t remember which size) to remove the tiny screws that hold on the actual switch.
 

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Hopefully that's the end of the problems.
I'd do a Hail Mary run through the ground stacks and main power wires if it continues.
 

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Been there, done that... replaced ignition switch, ignition relay, checked battery, etc. Go to a junk and pull another under the hood fuse box or buy a new one, it will solve your problem! Since I replaced mine, no more start issues.

See my post here
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Incredible - I didn’t think that there were more relays inside of that box. Wow I suppose I’ll start looking around for used boxes as it’s a little pricey. I’m experienced with replacing circuit board components but I’m not sure if replacing the board relays is worth the time versus swapping out the unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here I sit…parked at a Kwik Trip eating my sausage egg croissant and enjoying my Karuba Gold (refill) coffee…waiting for my engine to start again as it won’t crank…

Oh wait - the time it took to write this reply it started!

I’m 100% dead-set on replacing the fuse box now.
 

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You can get 4 terminal SPST 25amp continuous and 35amp switch rated Fujitsu FTR-P3AN012W1 board mount relays or the five terminal SPDT variant.
You can clip the unneeded terminal off the SPDT relay and install it on the board.

This is the datasheet for the SPST variant. FTR-P3CN012W1-01 Datasheet(PDF) - Fujitsu Component Limited.

At the price they're asking for the fuse relay centres the $5 each price for those board mounted relays is pretty reasonable.
A used box is kindof a crapshoot. Maybe worth it so you can crack open the old one and replace the relays to have on-hand.
 

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Hey Man
I was gone for awhile and missed your posts... Seems your in the replace parts trap... Time to sit back and reflect.... How did the car start before the engine swap ? No problems or a 10 minute wait ?... Is it possible a wire is short circuiting in the starting circuit .... You jump in and out of the car harness moves just slightly..trace wires starting at left strut tower...between ecm to fuse box... Also check wiring at BCM ... IP ground by steering column left side
The harness just above the trannie below ABS module is a very good source of short circuits...AKA honey hole
The waiting around then going is almost like a faulty crank sensor
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I keep a code scanner in the car. When this start issue happens I have seen some unexplainable codes pop-up. It is not consistent and I have zero codes pop-up in between this intermittent no-crank condition — the codes are clearly tied to the issue.



I did notice that when the no-crank condition occurs AND while the key is still turned to the START position, the only dash light lit up is a solid check engine light. Everything else is dark.

This behavior is very unpredictable too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You can get 4 terminal SPST 25amp continuous and 35amp switch rated Fujitsu FTR-P3AN012W1 board mount relays or the five terminal SPDT variant.
You can clip the unneeded terminal off the SPDT relay and install it on the board.

This is the datasheet for the SPST variant. FTR-P3CN012W1-01 Datasheet(PDF) - Fujitsu Component Limited.

At the price they're asking for the fuse relay centres the $5 each price for those board mounted relays is pretty reasonable.
A used box is kindof a crapshoot. Maybe worth it so you can crack open the old one and replace the relays to have on-hand.
I bought a used one from eBay for like $40 so I think I’ll consider rebuilding it before installing it and rebuilding the old one too as Im gonna probably swap this impala with my other one in Utah once I get the gremlins figured out. Then I can start doing preventative maintenance on that way to avoid these weird issues in the future.
 

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You have an old crank sensor on the pulled engine so its free to swap them out... Might be worth a shot in the dark as a bad crank sensor can pull down some big power as l found out in 1992 same as what is happening to you ...but 20 years later could it happen again ... Did GM improve since then...
Saw the BCM codes not good news if there is not a short or bad ground...l didn't want to mention a bad BCM until all wiring tests were done
 

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Here is the starting circuit description from GM

Circuit/System Description

When the ignition switch is placed in the START position, a discrete signal is supplied to the body control module (BCM) notifying it that the ignition is in the START position. The BCM then sends a serial data message to the engine control module (ECM) that crank has been requested. The ECM monitors the park/neutral position switch and the clutch pedal position sensor. If the transmission is in Park or Neutral, or the clutch pedal is pressed, and there are no DTCs that inhibit engine starting, then the ECM supplies voltage to the control circuit of the STRTR relay. When this occurs, battery voltage is supplied through the STRTR relay to the X2–S terminal of the starter solenoid. The starter solenoid energizes, and supplies battery voltage to the starter from the B terminal to crank the engine
 
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