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3800 3.8L V-6 "hard start"

This is a discussion on 3800 3.8L V-6 "hard start" within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; hey guys i got a 03 grand prix that needs to crank for 5-10 seconds before she fires up.....any clue ...

  1. #1
    Member 2000dreambird's Avatar
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    3800 3.8L V-6 "hard start"

    hey guys i got a 03 grand prix that needs to crank for 5-10 seconds before she fires up.....any clue what the prob is? no codes getting,has fuel psi, clean fuel fillter ??????????????? maybe cam/crank position sensor???

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Have you tried checking fuel pressure at the rail just by turning the key to the on position?

    You could have a bad "choke" (forgot the name of it, but it basically holds fuel at the rail instead of letting it go back to the tank so when you go to start your car up it doesn't need to prime and have gas delivered all the way from the tank first).

    What happens when you turn the key to the "on" position for a few seconds and then try to start it?

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    Member 2000dreambird's Avatar
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    it has fuel pressure at the rail. i didnt turn to the on position and wait but i did recall hearing the fuel pump

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    I would turn the key to the "on" position for about 5-10 sec and then try turning it over.

    See if it starts right away when you do this.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    If the the fuel pressure drops off after you shut the engine off, you may have a bad fuel pressure regulator.
    Remove the vacuum hose from the fuel pressure regulator and tap on the hose and regulator to see if an gas comes out. If so, then you have the classic fuel pressure regulator failure.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Check your fuel line connections @ the rail..

    Recalls
    In March 2008, GM announced a plan to recall all 1997-2003 Grand Prix GTP models (as well as sister car Buick Regal GS) due to a problem which causes fires in the engine compartments of these vehicles. Over 230 fires were reported. This recall affected over 200,000 vehicles equipped with the Supercharged 3800 Series II Engine. GM sent a letter to the owners of these vehicles on March 13, 2008, instructing them not to park in garages or carports until the problem was resolved. The recall for the Supercharged engine was to change the left (front) valve cover gasket, as GM says oil leaks onto the exhaust manifold cause the engine fires. However, many people in the Grand Prix community believe this recall did little to nothing to fix the fire problem, and instead the problem is likely faulty fuel rail quick disconnect o-rings. There have been reports of fires happening after the recall has been performed.

    In April 2009, the recall already posted for the Supercharged iterations of the 3800 Series II was expanded to cover all 3800 Series II engine-equipped vehicles after many fires were reported with Grand Prix GT and 3.8 equipped SE versions, as well as the sister car Buick Regal LS. The recall for the non-supercharged V6 is to remove the front spark plug retainer only, and a valve cover gasket is not changed on non-supercharged 3.8 engines. At this point, the recall now covers nearly 1.5 million vehicles.
    Last edited by Smittro; 12-04-2010 at 08:35 PM.
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    Member 2000dreambird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Check your fuel line connections @ the rail..

    Recalls
    In March 2008, GM announced a plan to recall all 1997-2003 Grand Prix GTP models (as well as sister car Buick Regal GS) due to a problem which causes fires in the engine compartments of these vehicles. Over 230 fires were reported. This recall affected over 200,000 vehicles equipped with the Supercharged 3800 Series II Engine. GM sent a letter to the owners of these vehicles on March 13, 2008, instructing them not to park in garages or carports until the problem was resolved. The recall for the Supercharged engine was to change the left (front) valve cover gasket, as GM says oil leaks onto the exhaust manifold cause the engine fires. However, many people in the Grand Prix community believe this recall did little to nothing to fix the fire problem, and instead the problem is likely faulty fuel rail quick disconnect o-rings. There have been reports of fires happening after the recall has been performed.

    In April 2009, the recall already posted for the Supercharged iterations of the 3800 Series II was expanded to cover all 3800 Series II engine-equipped vehicles after many fires were reported with Grand Prix GT and 3.8 equipped SE versions, as well as the sister car Buick Regal LS. The recall for the non-supercharged V6 is to remove the front spark plug retainer only, and a valve cover gasket is not changed on non-supercharged 3.8 engines. At this point, the recall now covers nearly 1.5 million vehicles.
    . Holly

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Dude, there's nothing wrong with the fuel rail quick connect fittings. That copy and paste is just internet scare tactic bull shit. There are probably 100 million cars out there with the exact same quick connect fitting. Its tried and tested fitting with a better safety record then a Boeing 747

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    What's the mileage on the GP? Could be numerous things. Fuel pump, clogged fuel pump pickup screen, crank position sensor, fuel pressure regulator, ignition module connection, etc.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    Dude, there's nothing wrong with the fuel rail quick connect fittings. That copy and paste is just internet scare tactic bull shit. There are probably 100 million cars out there with the exact same quick connect fitting. Its tried and tested fitting with a better safety record then a Boeing 747
    However it was more used as stated in the opening line as a place to look.
    ANY connection can leak ESPECIALLY one that "floats" in the fittings and is supported by a rubber O-ring.. (even 0n a 747.)....
    Which could also cause the system to lose it's prime after a few hours...
    Loss of prime = lengthy crank up.. I'm sure it wont hurt nothin' to simply look @ the fittings..
    Last edited by Smittro; 12-05-2010 at 08:11 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Member 2000dreambird's Avatar
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    @ cammed goat 80,000, new cat, O2's, coil packs, plugs, an wires.i may have also done ignition mod but dont recall.
    @Smittro where should i look the way it was explained to me (because i gave the car to my mom after buying my TA) was that it would crank and not start for 5 seconds or so: now it seems more like a start and stall the first and second time then stays running no problem.does that still sound like it could be losing its prime? like i said before its not throwing a code.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2000dreambird View Post
    @ cammed goat 80,000, new cat, O2's, coil packs, plugs, an wires.i may have also done ignition mod but dont recall.
    @Smittro where should i look the way it was explained to me (because i gave the car to my mom after buying my TA) was that it would crank and not start for 5 seconds or so: now it seems more like a start and stall the first and second time then stays running no problem.does that still sound like it could be losing its prime? like i said before its not throwing a code.
    Start by checking the fuel line to rail connections while the car is running wiggle the lines if they start to weep fuel this could be where air can get in when the engine is not running. Air getting into the line can cause the fuel to drain back towards the tank when not hot and under constant pressure..
    If that checks out ok. Move to a leak down test with a pressure guage @ the rail.. A drop off in pressure can be, a worn injector/s, pressure reg valve, or possibly a pump issue..

  13. #13
    Member 2000dreambird's Avatar
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    il check this out thanx bro

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    Paid off 1/27/14 cammed goat's Avatar
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    I agree with Smittro's post. I am thinking weak fuel pump if everything else checks out.

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    Ever get this issue solved? My 2001 Grand Prix is also having a hard start issue for 5 to 10 seconds and then also runs fine after that. Fuel psi is 60 and doesn't drop after shutdown.

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