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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all!

04 V6 GLX auto with ~190k miles. I apologize for the long post but want to give as much info as I can.

It has started getting cold here in Ral, NC. and I have noticed a strange occurrence (happened 3 or 4 times in the past 2 or 3 weeks) with the motor when trying to start the car. After it sits while at work (8-9hr shift) and sitting overnight in the garage.

A few times recently when starting it will turn over but all of a sudden (within a second) it seems to want to lock up:icon_eek::icon_eek: I immediately stop cranking. Lock up meaning that the motors turning over but suddenly sounds/feels like something is getting jammed mechanically.

That is the best way to describe the issue.

I pause and take a deep breath and try again and it starts. Yesterday it happened (after a work shift) it idled rough for about 3-5 seconds then smoothed out. 1st time idle was effected. No check engine lights on.



Points of possible interest/ relation/ notations.

All other starts are fine and it will not have this issue after driving it. Turning it off then starting again.

I think my battery is getting a little weak (going on 3 yrs old) I put it on a trickle charger overnight. Usually takes a few hrs for the charge light to go from charging to maintaining. I think it was reading around 11-13? volts before the charge but after sitting an hr.

Starting does seem to lag slightly after my work shift or overnight. Especially if I don't trickle charge it. Alt is putting good numbers out. 14 IIRC.

Full timing belt service being done this weekend. No idea when it was last changed so can not scan it. Guy doing the work is going to scan it.

Car runs fine going down the road.

Any ideas? I let my mechanic know but want other opinions on what this might be.

Thank you
 

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When the engine is cold especially in freezing outside temps it sucks a lot of amps to start. The oil is thick and the pump needs more juice to move it. This is less of an issue when the engine is warm as the oil flows easier.

So, in order to at least eliminate one of potential culprit, go to AutoZone and let them check your battery with their tester. Pay attention to the AMP number not the Volt. The volt may still be at 12 but there might be a drop in Amp. This happened to me in 2012 and I changed my battery. It's a miracle that after nearly 7 years my battery still as solid as a rock.
 

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yeah up in PA here this is the time of year people start having issues and its usually battery related. Had a friend with 2 different cars have issues, weather gets cold batteries give you the finger. should have 12.5v after a charge and then should start without issue. Have them check the alternator too, just for peace of mind.

I haven't worked on the V6 much but I know the Crank Position Sensor tends to be an issue but that wouldn't be temperature related.
 

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...After it sits while at work (8-9hr shift) and sitting overnight in the garage...when starting it will turn over but all of a sudden (within a second) it seems to want to lock up. I immediately stop cranking. Lock up meaning that the motors turning over but suddenly sounds/feels like something is getting jammed mechanically. Yesterday it happened (after a work shift) it idled rough for about 3-5 seconds then smoothed out. 1st time idle was effected.
I'd take out the spark plugs right after a start attempt (even if it fires, shut off and pull them out). My worry would be hydro-lock; from coolant getting into a cylinder. If that's going on, perhaps skip the timing belt for now, as that would mean pulling a cylinder head off at the very least. If you find any wet plugs, or even one that looks suspiciously clean, that would be a clue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update.

Thank you for all the replies.

I had the timing and VC gaskets done this past weekend. All ready had it scheduled 2 weeks ago. I have started it a handful of times since Mon morning and no issues with starting. It's gotten down in the high 20's at night.

I Haven't had it on the charger either. I had the guy at ORileys test the battery yesterday and it tested good but it is getting close to the end of the 3 yr time frame (warranty) and I should bring it in and have them charge it and bench test it. I will try to do it this weekend.

For the past month I could smell a little oil burning through the vents. The cam caps, tensioner and VC gaskets had some oil leaking. Those were all replaced and don't smell oil anymore.

On a side note. Could the tensioner be the cause of the few second rattle on a cold start up I had? I haven't heard it since the work was done.

ylwagon
I will check the plugs for signs of coolant. If it were leaking into a cylinder I would think it would be a consistent issue not random. No?
 

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The few second rattle on start up is usually the Cam Chain Tensioner at the back of the heads. Not usually timing belt job related. Did you replace them too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The few second rattle on start up is usually the Cam Chain Tensioner at the back of the heads. Not usually timing belt job related. Did you replace them too?
No he replaced just their gaskets. I am guessing the tensioner looked ok or I would hope he would have let me know. Strange how there is no rattle now.
 
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