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Gary
Gary, Australia Car Mechanic
Category: Australia Car
Satisfied Customers: 742
Experience:  Senior Technician
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Holden VZ: , Problem with a 2005 VZ Calais. Does not start

Customer Question

Hi,
Problem with a 2005 VZ Calais. Does not start on the first attempt when cold but will start on the second attempt. Problem is there every time, exactly the same, but starts fine when engine is warm.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Car
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,I work for Holden, I'll try to help you.Your engine cranks for a long time and doesn't fire up cold, is that correct?How does the car perform once running, power, idle, fuel consumption etc?Does it ever put the engine light on?Gary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
The car is my son's which I am probably buying from him. It is a problem that he has not been able to resolve. On the first attempt at starting, the engine seems to fire once and then fails to continue, with the starter staying engaged for a few seconds, unsuccessful in starting the engine. The second attempt, the engine starts without a problem and then runs perfectly, plenty of power, idles properly and fuel consumption is great, no engine light.I had hoped it might have been a common problem with this model that you might have been aware of. I need to mention that it has an Impco gas conversion but it starts on petrol and changes to gas when the engine warms so the problem exists when it is starting on petrol.To summarize, on the first attempt at starting, it seems to fire immediately on one or 2 cylinders and then quit and not complete the startup. The next startup attempt is successful. I think the fault exists even when the car is switched to run solely on petrol but I will have to confirm that with my son who is more familiar with the car.Regards, John
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hi John,If you can confirm with your son, by your description, I'd say the LPG module is dropping out the fuel pump too early, and/or not suppling LPG to carry over. I have seen that on rare occasions, we have and still do sublet for LPG cars, with that sort of problem. Try it on petrol only, and if that is the case, it would be wise to take it to an Impco specialist.It doesn't sound like there is anything wrong with the factory EFI, which is a good thing.Hope you resolve your problem.Gary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Gary,I have confirmed with my son that the problem exists when switched to petrol mode. I also tried it myself this morning. The engine fires as if it is going to start and then quits with the starter motor hanging in for a few seconds. Once again it started fine at the second attempt.The changeover from petrol to gas on this system is progressive, one cylinder at a time with 2 rpm between when the next cylinder switches to gas. The car has been back to the installer for him to check and he could not find a problem.I will try leaving it switched to petrol and try a start later in the day but I am sure it will not make a difference.Thanks, John
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hi John,Normally I'd say this a fuel pump issue, but you have replaced the fuel pump.It would interesting to hook up some gear, Tech 2, fuel pressure gauge, vacuum gauge etc, while watching engine data to see what is happening.Unfortunately with 2 interacting modules performing a similar task, it is difficult to say which one is to blame.Suffice to say, VZ (petrol only) normally would only have this fault with a leaking non-return valve in the pump or a lazy pump.They are VERY common for a no-crank condition which ends up being the ECM.At one stage ECMs were unavailable. That's how big the demand was for ECMs.Talk soon.Gary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Gary,I have already proceeded, suspecting that there is insufficient fuel in the fuel rail so I tried starting after the ignition key was on for over 30 seconds. The car started normally this time, first try.I am sure he had the starting problem before the old pump was changed. The old pump was noisy and he replaced it. Are there any other check valves in the fuel system that could allow the fuel to drain away and not be available to the injectors?I will try again tomorrow morning when it is cold, switching the ignition on (which I assume runs the fuel pump) for 30 seconds and then trying a start.Will let you know.Thanks, John
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hi John,Normally fuel pressure would be up by the time you key on (checking all the cluster lights are working) prior to cranking the engine, typically 1-5 seconds for the average user.Some go straight round to crank without checking the cluster.The pump would only run for about 10 seconds at key on.Let's see how you go, hopefully all good now.Gary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Gary,Tried starting the car again this morning, once again allowing a few seconds with the ignition on (the amount of time it takes for the aerial to extend) and the engine started first attempt as it did yesterday. Obviously it is a fuel draining back problem, possibly the check valve in the pump that you mentioned, but we can live with that now that we know what to do.Thanks for your input.Regards, John
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hi John,Good to hear you are happy.Kind regards.Gary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Gary,I just got an email saying that I haven't reviewed your last answer. I am happy that we have resolved the car issue by keying the ignition key on for several seconds before trying a start.The link to "view my response" has not worked for the last few emails that I have received from you but I have got around that by going to one of the original emails to get to the dialogue of the problem, so there is an issue with the response link coming from your end, I think, that might need to be sorted.I think our dialogue is completed.Cheers, John
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hi John,I don't know how that part works. Comes from the management people.I'm happy that you are happy with the result.Best regards.Gary