Alero 01 V6 GM3400 SFI Hard Cold Start - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Alero 01 V6 GM3400 SFI Hard Cold Start

Hello guys!

I realize this posts is getting pretty long so if you have some time on your hands please check this out, maybe you have an idea that could help. Thanks in advance!

I just got my second car. Being on a really tight budget I saw a lot of Cavaliers of Craigslist that had numerous problems so after all I got an Alero 2001 with a V6 GM3400 SFI and 180k so I'm kind of on a cheap car challenge right now.

This car has one problem that drives me crazy and I'm looking for somebody to point me in the right direction.

When I start it first time in the morning takes a few seconds ( around 5-6 ) to start and then everything is fine. I'm afraid that when the cold weather hits I'm gonna be in big troubles trying to start the engine.

Now after gets warm will start right away. Even if it's just hot outside will be enough to make it start without problems.. I don't know were to look at anymore.

I did some work to this car so far in the 2 weeks that I had it, just note that the engine had the same problem before I did all this work on it so I didn't cause it in the process .

High mileage oil change
Coolant flush
Replaced brake fluids / throw a Lucas bottle in the transmission and in the fuel tank .
Fuel pressure regulator ( was leaking gas into the vacuum lines )
PCV Valve ( was leaking engine oil into the vacuum lines )
Replaced some gaskets and vacuum lines that were old / dry and made sure that are no vacuum leaks .
Cleaned throttle body, MAF and IAC sensors from the intake because of all the leaks in the vacuum lines .
Replaced starter ( died on me )
Checked battery and charging system and those are ok.
Replaced spark plugs with original AcDelco pre gaped and cleaned / put some dielectric grease on the wires - wires and coils looks good I may be doing more checks on that though .
I cleaned all the fuses and relays related to the fuel / ignition system from the engine fuse box and sprayed some penetrating oil on all the ground points that I saw around the engine bay.

What should I check or try next?

I tried to pump the throttle before start, and cycling the key on and off to try to build some fuel pressure because I was suspecting low fuel pressure with no luck.

Now the car does has some codes for P0440 - EVAP system malfunction and I replaced the fuel cap but didn't fix it. I believe is the fuel neck being rusted but I want to fix this starting problem before I throw any more money in this car.

The car runs great, clean idle, builds speed fast is responsive, no problems or leaks just that annoying hard start in the morning .

If you have any thought in the manner just post it, I'm gonna check everything I can . Thank's for reading this and sorry for the long post. :D

Have a great weekend!

Last edited by chip1990; 09-04-2015 at 07:47 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 06:05 PM
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When my grand prix with the 3800 did this it was a crank sensor going bad. Never threw a code. Only reason I found out was because the new owner changed it and it started everytime after that.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 06:06 PM
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Have you tried holding the pedal to the floor? Sounds like the plenum is full of fumes, maybe the purge valve is stuck open.

DTC P0440
Description
The EVAP large leak test applies vacuum to the evaporative emission (EVAP) system and monitors vacuum decay. The powertrain control module (PCM) monitors the fuel tank pressure (FTP) sensor signal to determine the vacuum decay rate. At an appropriate time, the PCM turns the EVAP canister purge valve ON (open) and the EVAP vent valve ON (closed). This allows the engine to draw a vacuum on the EVAP system. At a calibrated time, or vacuum level, the PCM turns the purge valve OFF (closed), sealing the system, and monitors the FTP sensor input in order to determine EVAP system vacuum. If the system is unable to achieve the calibrated vacuum level, or the vacuum level decreases too rapidly, DTC P0440 will set.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Money-man I read that the crank sensor failure manifest just when the engine is hot, that's why I count it out, now is back on the list! :D

Coby, when you say floor it, you mean to keep the acceleration pedal all the way down when I crank the engine, or when the engine is warm to just go to 4k rpm for a few seconds? I imagine cranking it with full throttle will make that engine scream .
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 10:58 PM
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Cranking with the gas pedal to the floor will disable the fuel system. It should help to clear the vapor or drain a flooded engine (car will not start normally).

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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I tried the all the way to the floor throttle and cranking, after this the car started right away so we may be on something. I'm gonna try to start the engine again in the evening when it get's a bit colder ( now is 90* F outside temperature )

I hooked up the car on a fancier scanner tool and I got more codes:

The same P0440 x2 times
P0442- Evaporative semission control system, small leak detected x 2 times

and then I looked into the ABS DTC's and i got one there to:

C1245 - Right front ABS channel does not move .
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 11:15 AM
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P0442 is probably a rusty filler neck. But P0440 I would look at you purge valve.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coby7 View Post
Have you tried holding the pedal to the floor? Sounds like the plenum is full of fumes, maybe the purge valve is stuck open.

DTC P0440
Description
The EVAP large leak test applies vacuum to the evaporative emission (EVAP) system and monitors vacuum decay. The powertrain control module (PCM) monitors the fuel tank pressure (FTP) sensor signal to determine the vacuum decay rate. At an appropriate time, the PCM turns the EVAP canister purge valve ON (open) and the EVAP vent valve ON (closed). This allows the engine to draw a vacuum on the EVAP system. At a calibrated time, or vacuum level, the PCM turns the purge valve OFF (closed), sealing the system, and monitors the FTP sensor input in order to determine EVAP system vacuum. If the system is unable to achieve the calibrated vacuum level, or the vacuum level decreases too rapidly, DTC P0440 will set.
I used to floor my grand prix and it would start right up. That's why I never figured out what it was.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update here. I did some research - if watching Youtube videos on the subject counts - on the EVAP system and I located the purge valve under the hood. Not having a wobbling extension for my socket ratchet at home, and with the labor day weekend going on - btw I hope everybody had a great and safe weekend - I wasn't able to do to much...

What I did though was to clean the connections and to check the harness that looks fair. I was able to get with ignition on a 11.45 voltage but NO ground on harness at the purge valve though ( I had to use the negative terminal from the battery in order to get a reading ) . I would assume that the system uses the ground to turn it on / off or will come alive when the engine is on - not sure how that works...

I guess I will see tomorrow when I'm gonna take the valve of the engine and somehow test it with some alligator wires - I know I'm not gonna spend $80 for the power probe right now - it would be nice to have though ...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 03:19 PM
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When you pull the purge valve out you should not be able to blow through it with no voltage applied. If you can the solenoid is probably stuck open.

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