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Hi Pete!I would really appreciate any help I can get to fix this problem. In our country a car that doesn't start could cost your life.What makes it very difficult is that the problem is intermittent and only pops up once in a while, some times as long as 6 months apart.
When I get to the dealers the fault has disapeared.
It means that nothing happens when you turn the ignition key. The starter does not work at all and the fuel gauge needle is on empty and the computer says "Fuel gauge error. Contact dealer." All other accessories does work.
Then after a while, after many atempts, all of a sudden when you turn the key, the gauge would pick up to where it should be and the car would start.
I replaced the battery recently and the connectors are like new. I do want to add the following: It NEVER happens when you start the car from cold, like in the morning. It never happens when you start the car immediately after switching it off. It always happens when I drive into town, park for an hour or so and then get back and try to start it. A few days ago we stopped at a shopping mall and after having switched off the car, I first tried the car and it was fine. An hour later it refused. The fuel gauge does pick up sligtly so as to be level with the lowest red marking but then stops there in stead of going to where it is supposed to go. At the mall it was about 75% full.
Remeber that the agents already replaced the fuel sender unit and updated the computer firmware. All to no avail.
I am sorry to have kept you waiting. I had to properly check your advice and it took some time. I did check the ignition switch but it seemed to be perfect.
The latest is that I tried to start the car whilst it was acting up by removing the starter relay and applying 12 volt to the starter solenoid and the car started immediately.
I then checked the wiring diagram and noticed that the starter relay coil is activated by earthing it in the ECM upon turning the key to the start position. I checked this and it worked perfectly. I then followed the 12 volt supply to the relay coil and noticed it came from fuse F15 under the steering wheel. I removed the fuse and noticed signs of corrosion on the blades so I replaced it. The car has since started perfectly every time.
I am quit certain that the problem it is now something of the past.
I do think however, that taken everything into consideration, your assessment of the problem was very close. Hence my rating.
Thanks for the help.