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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Hard Starting After Sitting and P0016

I just got a 2008 Cobalt for free after my Trailblazer was totaled in an accident. It was in sad shape, but gets me from here to there. Problem is, after it sits for a few hours, it's really hard to start and throws a P0016 code. After it starts, it runs good and restarts easy, but looses power going up hills. Changed oil and filter, and put in new plugs. I know just the basics about engines, but suspect a timing issue. Am I correct with this assumption?
EDIT: I also cleaned the throttle assembly. It was nasty.

Last edited by Tim Woodruff; 08-31-2017 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Update
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 05:46 PM
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My guess is a rusted and perforated return gas line. It lets fuel return to the gas tank but empties the fuel line. So when you need to start it, fuel pump has to refill and prime the lines before the engine will start. Going up hill fuel can't keep up with demand because return line is dumping fuel and main line can't build up pressure.

Do you smell gas fumes around the car?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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I've checked over the fuel lines and fuel filter. They seem fine and no leaks. Very little rust. I didn['t replace the filter, could it be that?
EDIT: Can't even get it started now.

Last edited by Tim Woodruff; 09-02-2017 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Oops
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 07:57 AM
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Failing Pump? When you turn the key (but not to start) just to where all your warning lights appear on the dash, listen for a humming sound from the back that lasts for a second or two. That's the sound of the fuel pump priming. If no noise, that could be the problem. If you have access to a fuel pressure test kit (can rent one from Auto Zone), that may give you clues as well.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-08-2017, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I've done a few things and it starts and runs a lot better. When it needs more power, like going up steep hills, the engine sputters and I get a P0016 again. I clear the code, and it runs again until I get to another hill. I can hear the fuel pump running. Haven't been able to check fuel pressure yet. I did take off the engine top exposing the cams, and it was full of gunk. Cleaned it out best I could and cleaned the cam sensor.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 10:05 PM
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Hey Tim
Take a quick look/ feel of your cam chain tensioner and see if you have the early type or later model with the bump on it.

There are images hear at yourcobalt or check ebay for " Timing Chain Tensioner Chevy Olds Chevrolet Impala Cavalier Malibu Grand Am"

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Checked timing tensioner and put in a new cam position sensor (old one had a tiny crack). Now, the car will not start. It rolls over and almost starts. One time it started and ran but it sounded strange, and quickly died. I rechecked the fuel lines and filter. If I hold the gas peddle to the floor, it tries. It's sitting in a parking lot right now, so until I get it home, I won't be able to check anything. I think it's something beyond what I can do.
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hard starting , p0016 , timing

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