350 TPI - hard starting


Asked by Nov 15, 2008 at 12:55 AM about the 1988 Chevrolet Camaro IROC Z

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Mother bought new in June 1989. Has always been hard to start, especially when warm. Cranks over lots before firing and smokes. Has alway ran good once started. Car was taken back to dealer many times in the early years but finally just gave up when they never really got it fixed. Car is in pretty good shape with 140K on it but I'm going to give it an overhaul. ONLY if I can get it running great first. Anyone have this problem in the past and/or know what the solution is???

5 Answers

Keith Allen

Starter is possibly going bad, they have a issue with heat. Sometimes when its hot outside its hard for them to start. Id try looking there first.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Seth-Tabitha Hagen

I doubt the starter is the problem, since you said that it cranks over alot before starting. I think the problem is in the coolant temperature sensor. ESPECIALLY since it happens more when hot. Usually when the coolant sensor fails, is sends a false reading of "full cold" to the computer. If the engine IS cold, it will start right up, no problem. If the engine is hot, and the computer is receiving the "cold" signal from the sensor, it goes into fuel enrichment mode (the fuel injected equivalent of "choke") this would explain the long crank time and the smoke, since the engine is trying to ignite WAY too much fuel at once. Have someone hook a computer scan tool to the car when the engine is warm and see if the coolant temperature value seems accurate. Remember that the gauge on the dashboard uses a different sensor than the one for the fuel injection computer, so the dashboard gauge is not an accurate way to test this. If you run the car for 10-15 minutes and check the sensor, it should read between 175 and 210 degrees. If it is lower than this, you probably have a faulty sensor. If the scan tool reads something like 40 degrees below zero (-40) that means that the sensor is completely failed, or it is unplugged. Check the sensor connection if you see this reading. Seth (ASE certified Master Auto Technician)

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Keith Allen

Yeah that must have been my selective seeing i passed completely over the cranking part *doh*

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Keith Allen

I know having one of those cars that they come with a 9th injector, a cold start injector. If the coolant temp sensor is out like set says then it wont stop spraying causing a enrichment. This sensor you can see is located on the driver side head between the #1 and #3 cylinder. There's two sensors one for the temp gauge and one for the ECU make sure you get the right one, if you plan on checking it out or replacing it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
George Purcell

If it were me I would check for any trouble codes through the computer using a diagnostic scan tool.

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