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Pontiac Forum: 2008 G6 Starts only when it feels like it
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  #1  
Old September 17th, 2017, 06:06 AM
RNtoNP RNtoNP is offline
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2008 G6 Starts only when it feels like it

My friend has a 2008 Pontiac g6. Beginning several months ago it will randomly not turn over at all when trying to start it after she drives it and then stops the car.
There have been times when she's had to wait a few hours before it'll start , and other times may be 20 minutes. However she says that right when she kills the engine, and she tries to crank it back up right away, IF it starts then it will start the next time she tries it (for example if she goes into store for 30 minutes she's confident it'll crank up ).
HOWEVER, if it fails to crank again right after killing engine, she says she KNOWS it'll be unpredictable how long it'll take before it will crank.
She's had plugs changed and I think plug wires.
She does NOT have money to just leave at dealer and both mechanics she's brought it to fiddled with it and gave up. I'm sure I can get more specific details from her if needed. I've never been in her car but I'm trying to help her figure it out. She's also called dealer hoping it was recalled but there's been no recall.
I read online about putting key in accessory position and waiting several seconds before trying to crank ~ I think in case fuel pump was faulty? That didn't work. I am in no way shape or form a mechanic but I can't figure it out in that it's not directly a "temperature" issue I don't think because the restarting is unrelated to distance driven and not consistent after every drive. And it's not a specific "time" thing either ~ because the time required before it'll start is not consistent.
And once it cranks, it runs fine. Doesn't stall out, misfire, etc. doesn't idle rough I don't think.
Please , Any advice or other questions I can ask her that would help you narrow it down would be so helpful. .
In return, if you have a medical question, I'd be happy to try to answer it for you.
Deepest appreciation,
Andy from Louisiana
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Old September 17th, 2017, 10:31 AM
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first I have to make sure I understand your definition of crank, an engine that cranks is one where the starter motor functions as opposed to turning the key and hearing nothing. So I'm going with the engine always cranks but doestn always start.
1. Does the car have a check engine light on?
2. Did the mechanics that fiddled with it experience the problem, it sounds like if she drove it to them turned it off and they waited a half hour it shouldn start. At that point they should be able to determine whether it is lack of spark or lack of fuel.
3. Thoughts that come to mind are a fuel pump showing it's age, when turned off and hot it seizes and will not work until it cools off. Try banging the gas tank with a hammer the vibration occassionally will jar a frozen pump. The other thought is ignition related, bad ignition control module or poor connection/ground.
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Old September 18th, 2017, 01:51 AM
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Thank you for the feedback. I don't think anything is lit up on dash because I asked her Tonight if she noticed a "security" light of some type (after I was told about possible anti theft bypass thing). She said no lights stay on, but who knows if that's accurate. And one mechanic she brought it to (her uncle who's an "unofficial " mechanic kept it for at least 3 weeks and couldn't determine source (and again, who knows how much effort he truly put in it). So I'm trying to gather some helpful "ammunition " for her to ask him about to see if he checked or didn't. So I truly appreciate every suggestion and comment on here!

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first I have to make sure I understand your definition of crank, an engine that cranks is one where the starter motor functions as opposed to turning the key and hearing nothing. So I'm going with the engine always cranks but doestn always start.
1. Does the car have a check engine light on?
2. Did the mechanics that fiddled with it experience the problem, it sounds like if she drove it to them turned it off and they waited a half hour it shouldn start. At that point they should be able to determine whether it is lack of spark or lack of fuel.
3. Thoughts that come to mind are a fuel pump showing it's age, when turned off and hot it seizes and will not work until it cools off. Try banging the gas tank with a hammer the vibration occassionally will jar a frozen pump. The other thought is ignition related, bad ignition control module or poor connection/ground.
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Old September 18th, 2017, 10:10 AM
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ask the uncle if he checked the computer for codes, if he says no because he doesnt have the equipment find a real mechanic that is ASE certified.
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Old September 19th, 2017, 12:06 AM
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Good point. Thank you

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ask the uncle if he checked the computer for codes, if he says no because he doesnt have the equipment find a real mechanic that is ASE certified.
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Old September 21st, 2017, 02:32 PM
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*I was told someone replaced some fuses, replaced battery, and spark plugs. (Don't know about plug wires)
*What is potentially MORE relevant is that I learned that it DOES matter how long it's driven in predicting if it'll restart. If it's driven just a few minutes, she says it always restarts.
*But if she drives it more than 20 + minutes, it may take 2 hours before restarting (granted she doesn't sit in there for 2 hrs trying to crank it. She usually goes in somewhere and tries intermittently).
*She also says if she drives for 30 minutes, for example, and after killing engine tries to crank it again right away and it starts, then she says it'll start when she eventually returns again : BUT, if it doesn't start again, then she prepares to wait 2 to 3 hours !
And finally, which seems very relevant, when she turns key and it DOESNT crank, she says all the usual dash lights and chime etc are normal AND she hears a "click, click, click..." sound until she turns key back off. ( not a single "click" but continuous as long as key is engaged ).
That seems like another good clue.
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Old September 21st, 2017, 02:34 PM
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I greatly appreciate any comments. It is a convoluted situation in which I don't have physical access to the vehicle.
I'm trying to collect theories and suggestions and forward them to her to then forward.
You're very correct in stressing importance of action over words.
She is in a particularly difficult home situation with very limited income (in fact, none right now) so she can't just leave it somewhere to rack up charges.
But thank you to anyone on here willing to suggest or recommend next step.
Andy
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Old September 22nd, 2017, 10:48 AM
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1. if the problem is after sitting nothing happens, no cranking no sound other than clicking she has an electircal problem related to the starter. Check the battery connections to make sure they are clean and tight both at the battery, the engine ground and the starter. The other thing to consider in this area is a bad starter or starter solenoid.
2 If the problem is after sitting the car cranks but does not start consider leaky fuel injectors flooding the engine. Try some injector cleaner.
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