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VE SSV Redline - Cold Start Issues

Discussion in 'VE Holden Commodore (2006 - 2013)' started by scrano, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Hi, I'm hoping that someone might be able to tell me what might be causing my 2011 VE SSV to sputter when it starts cold in the morning, because I'm running out of ideas.

    The car has just been serviced a few days ago, and I've just had the battery replaced a little over a week ago with a much better battery than the stock one, which when tested showed it was on its way out, so I've put a Supercharge MF66H in there instead, which is rated at 750 CCA's, and when I had it serviced the other day I asked my mechanic if it could need new plugs, but he said that it shouldn't because the iridium plugs have lifespan of around 90,000 km's before they're due to be replaced.

    He tested it for any tripped error codes, which there were none, and gave it good going over to see if he could find the issue, but couldn't find it, so he put a bottle of injector cleaner in it, and said that thought that should do the trick, but I'm still having the same issues, and I'm at a loss as to what's going on.

    Can anyone tell me whether they've had a similar issue, and what the cause was, and whether the plugs could be the culprit, and possibly need changing now?

    I'd really appreciate any help or suggestions guys, so thanks in advance
     
  2. showtime9

    showtime9 New Member

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    I have the same problem with my LS3 but I'm thinking/hoping it's my starter motor
     
  3. MYVESSV8

    MYVESSV8 Well-Known Member

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    how many klm's, is it struggling to start-poor turning over, could be starter, also the positive red post is a joint where the cable goes under the engine, iridium plugs, I change mine at 50,000, check leads are connected but this would show most of the time, what fuel you running,
     
  4. scrano

    scrano Member

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    I always run 98 octane, so I wouldn't think that it'd be the plugs fouling up, and and it only sputters the once, which is the very first start of the morning, and from then on its flawless.

    Like I said earlier my mechanic serviced it the other day, and I would've thought that he would've checked any potential starter motor issues, especially considering I'd told him what it was doing, and also the fact that he owns the same model car, so I would like to think that he'd be familiar with any normal types of issues, or at least how to test any potential problems, but he might've missed something, and it's only just had its 70,000 km's service, so I'm wondering if it's plugs.

    Is there a way that can test the starter motor to see if it's faulty, or on its way out? Surely the starter shouldn't fail under 100,000 km's at the very least, but maybe it's a well known issue with the VE SSV??

    I did ask him specifically when I picked the car up whether he was able to find what the issue was, and he said he couldn't find anything, so he put injector cleaner in, and that he thought that should fix it, because I asked him directly if it needed new plugs, and he said with iridium plugs they don't need replacing until 90,000 km's

    The positive post that runs under the engine, is it pretty easy to spot? I'm just wondering whether I might be able too check it, and also whether he's missed it??
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  5. showtime9

    showtime9 New Member

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    I changed my plugs too. Thinking it could be the problem but it didn't fix it
     
  6. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    Sputters?....do you mean it misfires? .....idles rough?

    I assume this is after the car is left over night?
    Is it consistent every morning or is it intermittent?
    How long does the sputtering last?
    Is the MIL (malfunction indicator lamp) on the dash coming on?
    Do you drive it to work and leave it parked all day? If so, does it do the same thing for a cold start in the arvo when you finish work?

    Cylinder misfire will give you trouble codes:
    P0300 - P0308
    or
    P1380 / P1381

    The top range Tech 2 scan tool (which is what Holden workshops use) can pull and diagnose a huge amount of data, it can even display a count or history of misfire events for every cylinder for the last 200 crankshaft revolutions. But only if a misfire or DTC is active.
    Depending on the problem, the technician may need to have the scan tool connected while the problem is occurring or the ECU has to at least log a fault code to point the tech in the right direction.
    The scan tool can even display which injector was turned off if a misfire is detected by the ECU.

    High level misfires can also potentially damage the cats.

    With a fault like you describe it would be very difficult or near impossible to find the cause (unless you got lucky) without a Tech 2 scan tool connected while the fault is occurring and a very knowledgeable or factory trained tech diagnosing.
    Computer Engine management on these vehicles are very complex.
     
  7. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Yeah Nitro X it only seems to happen when the car has been sitting for an extended period, which is usually overnight, but it has happened once when I've driven it to work and it was sitting there all day and hadn't been started until I was ready to go home.

    It doesn't seem like a rough idle, or like there's any unusual behavior other than that initial start, and then it kind of sputters about bit, almost as though the timing isn't quite right, or its not getting enough fuel or something, and then fires up, and it's fine.

    I've seen people mention that plugs that are on there way out have been known to cause this exact same kind of behavior, and that replacing the plugs had fixed it.

    Like I was saying, my mechanic has put a scan tool on it, and no error codes or anything had been tripped, and I'd like to think that he's probably got a pretty good Tech 2 scan tool, especially given that he owns a VE SSV himself, so I'd like to think that between his own personal knowledge and with the scan tool that he uses, that he should've been able to find the cause, but given that he says that the plugs shouldn't need changing until 90,000 km's + and it's only just done over 70,000 km's, I'm not sure whether it'd be them that's responsible.

    I might just need to call him and say it's still happening, and hasn't improved at all, and book it back in, and say I want it checked again because that's basically the reason that I put it in to begin with, and that I want it checked again, and to put it in the workshop overnight, and hook a scan tool up before they start it in the morning, so they can see what it's doing as it starts up, because I honestly don't know what to make of it at all
     
  8. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    Sounds like a good plan.

    re: the scan tools, not all Tech 2 scan tools are equal, and there are a few cheap clones out there (eBay etc), branded as Tech 2 but are actually cheap Asian knock-offs, you'd have to query him on the scanner he uses.
    Apparently the genuine units are made in the US and have a manufacture date stamped inside the top.
    Also many mechanics don't actually use a "Tech 2" branded scanner, there are a couple of manufacturers who make different platforms, eg: Snap On tools have a range.
    You also need to pay a subscription fee for the genuine diagnostics and software updates etc.
    I've also read that some cheap scanners available on eBay can actually create problems when connected and even damage the vehicles computer modules.

    Tech 2 Pro Optima | Bosch Diagnostics
    https://www.acdelcotds.com/acdelco/action/home

    Snap-on Australia - Diagnostics Platforms
    Snap-on Australia - Diagnostics Software
     
  9. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Thanks Nitro X, I really appreciate it mate, seriously, because at least now I have a starting point
     
  10. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    ps
    Recently I had a fault occur with my (MY07 SV6 sedan) where my traction control was randomly switching itself off & on multiple times while driving.
    Two mechanics initially thought it was a faulty wheel speed sensor.
    I also had the 'engine check light' come on permanently after fitting a K&N high flow air filter into the standard air intake box.

    I discovered that Holden had released a software update, so thought I would try that and booked my car into my local Holden workshop so they could update the ECU software ($130) and it fixed both problems.
     
  11. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    No worries :)
     
  12. scrano

    scrano Member

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    I'm wondering whether there has been any sort of software update for the ECU on a 2011 SSV Redline at all? It's probably worth ringing them, and finding out.

    A mate of mine that owns a wreckers over in WA, and knows a hell of a lot about cars in general, but especially Commodores because he's owned a heap of them, and done a lot of work on them, actually also suggested to check and see whether there's any sort of problems or damage to AFM plug and wires, and/or whether the plug has come loose, because as soon as I described it, he said that he'd be checking that out.

    I just wish I had a photo of the AFM plug, so I know what it looks like, and where it's located in the engine bay??
     
  13. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    He might be referring to the MAF (mass airflow) sensor, which is located on the air intake tube between the filter and throttle body

    It's prolly worth checking the MAF sensor for dirt/contaminants.

    Just out of interest, what fuel do you use?......[edit] I forgot you already mentioned this, doh.
    I run mine exclusively on BP Ultimate 98 (or equivalent if travelling)

    You can check your current software version by going into 'engineering mode' and scroll to 'software ver.' and hit the enter button.
    Write down the version number and ask Holden if it needs updating.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2016
  14. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    Although, I can't see how a faulty MAF sensor, plug or cable could cause the symptoms you describe.
    I would think a fault in this circuit/hardware would activate the engine check light and/or a diagnostic trouble code (DTC)
     
  15. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Yeah I think he was definitely referring to the AFM wiring, bcoz we were speaking about the MAF sensor and a few other things to begin with, and then he specifically said to check that the AFM plug and wires aren't damaged in some way, because I think that he thought at first that I'd put OTRCAI on and removed the MAF sensor, and done a MAFless tune, because that's something that has always been on my list of things that I wanted to do, but once we got past that, and started talking about some other stuff, he said specifically to check the AFM plug and wiring for any damage, and he gave me a list of a few other things to try, but I'll speak to him soon and make sure that he was referring to that. I've cleaned the MAF sensor on my old Gen 3 a few times, and I've seen how they play up when they get fouled up, but it's generally not just as its starting up, not like what's happening with mine, it usually means the car runs rougher, and chews more fuel, but I suppose it's probably worth cleaning it anyways and seeing how it goes.

    I always run 98 octane fuel, and usually fuel up at servos that look like they've got all new fuel pumps and underground tanks, because I'm always worried about getting contaminants from a bad fuel batch.

    Thanks for the tip about checking the firmware version, because I was going through the options in there the other day, but I couldn't see that option in there at all.

    I appreciate all of the help and advice mate, because this has really got me stuffed
     
  16. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    Oh ok.

    I have no idea what the AFM is....maybe someone else here may know.
     
  17. scrano

    scrano Member

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    The AFM is the Advanced Fuel Management system that cuts the 6.0 litre V8 back to 4 cylinders when it's not required, and then back to 8 as soon as you put your foot down, but I've got not of where the wiring system goes into the engine, or what the plug looks like (Sorry if I read that wrong, and you know what it is, just not where it is, but it sounds like you didn't know know what it was. Anyways sorry if I misunderstood what you was saying there)
     
  18. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    Ah ok
    GM call it Active Fuel Management.
    Which is controlled by the ECM, (also known as Engine Control Unit - ECU) that's the main computer module

    The Valve Lifter Oil Manifold (VLOM) solenoids control each the intake/exhaust valves on four cylinders, which is part of the AFM system, I'm trying to find out where this wiring loom/plugs connects to on the LS3 engine, that's prolly what your mate is referring to, not the ECU plug itself. (which is what I originally was thinking he might have meant)

    But I can't see how a loose/damaged/faulty plug or wire on this circuit would just create a momentary issue on cold start ONLY and then work fine for normal driving and hot start.
    Also, the ECU would know if the signal was missing from a bad connection on this circuit and log a fault code.

    The following is a technical description of that circuit:

    Each of the 4 valve lifter oil manifold (VLOM) solenoid windings, are connected in parallel to a fused
    ignition circuit, supplied by the powertrain relay, in the underhood fuse block. The control circuit for
    each solenoid is connected to an individual low side driver, internal to the engine control module
    (ECM). Each low side driver has its own fault detection circuit, which monitors the solenoid control
    circuit for an incorrect voltage level. If an incorrect voltage level, such as an open/high resistance,
    or short to ground is detected, the low side driver will turn OFF, and the fault detection circuit will
    communicate the condition to the central processor internal to the ECM. These DTCs will set when
    the ECM detects an incorrect voltage level on the ignition circuit, the solenoids, or a solenoid
    control circuit, after the ignition switch is turned ON. If a VLOM solenoid control circuit DTC is set,
    the ECM will command V8 mode, turn ON the malfunction indicator light (MIL), and turn OFF the
    fuel injector for that cylinder, resulting in an engine misfire.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  19. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Ah ok, I thought that it was Advanced and not Active, but I've never really looked at the actual wording, I just knew what it did.

    I did a little bit of reading up on the AFM, and I'm not sure where it is on the engine (because that's what I think that he was actually referring to, not the plug on the ECM/ECU), but from the little bit of info that I've found already, it seems as though they must've used a lead free solder on joints in the unit, and/or on the wiring harness and plug, and just like these new games consoles like the Xbox 360, PS3 and anything from then on, I'm guessing that because they used lead free solder, that they've had a much bigger problem with dry solder joints, and the solder just generally being a lot more brittle, but that's only what I've read on a few links about issues with the AFM, and I'm not sure why that'd cause a problem on cold starts only, and not a persistent problem, but then again I'm not sure why any sort of problem would only be happening on a cold start up, and not happening persistently.

    I'm just hoping I can gather enough info to take it back to the mechanic and say "these are the potential causes that I've found, and I want them checked out, because I didn't pay through the nose to have something addressed, and basically it's still bloody happening"

    Thanks again Nitro X, you're an absolute legend, because at least you're helping me eliminate certain things and I really appreciate it
     
  20. scrano

    scrano Member

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    I just spoke to my mate Nitro X, and he made a mistake, and did actually mean to check the MAF sensor and wiring harness for it. The reason he initially said you check the AFM plug and wiring harness, was because as a wrecker he just habitually calls them Air Flow Meters or AFM, and I questioned him about it, and he said "sorry but I didn't mean to check the Active Fuel Management, but actually the Air Flow Meter, or in other words the MAF sensor", and he said that apparently it was a really common fault with the LS1, the plug and wiring for the MAF would rub on the belts, and then short out and cause issues similar to what I'm dealing with.

    I can't remember for certain where the MAF sensor was located on my old LS1 VX, either it's in the same location on the new 6.0 litre engines, then the same issue is probably there, so I pull the sensor out when I get a chance and clean it, and then inspect the plug and wiring at the same time.

    It's probably a long shot, but at least it's just another thing that I can eliminate as a potential cause
     

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