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VT stalling, crank no start

S/K Commodore

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Hey guys, I am hoping to get peoples opinion/input with a problem that I’m having great issues with.

I will start with the vehicles details of course so you know what car it is.



Year- 2000

Make- Holden

Model- Commodore (S2 VT)

Body type- Sedan

Engine- 3.8 Litre V6

Transmission- 4 speed automatic

ODO- 323,330



Now I will start with the problem in as much detail so it’s understood so might be long, then I will state all parts that have been done and at what kms it was done.



It all started just over a month ago (8th May), was driving to the chemist, got into town (about 8 minutes from home) come to a set of lights at full stop, next minute the I see the check engine light on, I go to drive and the car has stalled with no rough idle or any signs, just cut out like it was turned off. Tried turning on, cranking fine just not starting. The highway patrol then pulled over to control traffic and help me push the car off the road. Trying to then start again and only cranking. I left the car for about 20-30 minutes then rang a tow truck, the minute I get off the phone to them as they on their way, I try again (after good 30-45min) I try again, cranks and starts first go no problem and got home easily.



Next day I replaced spark plugs and leads, plugs didn’t look good at all so all new. Drove for another few days but under a week with no problems.

Then just under a week, happened again. So I thought I would just wait as the same thing happened, (cranking but not starting), after 15-20 min she cranked and started fine and got home which was about 5 minutes from home.



Next day, replaced with brand new coil packs (all 3) and DFI module and cleaned completely.



Drove again for a few days with no problems at all, then after a few days of no problems, yet again, no signs or anything, just cuts out, tried started and only cranking. Waited like 15 minutes and cranked and started first go no worries.



It was no I was getting frustrated and booked with an auto electrical and mechanic business.



They had the car for 2 weeks, at first they could get it to play up at all till it happened, first guy said they tried for over an hour but couldn’t and left car for the night where it was. The next day when they got it back they said it was throwing 2 codes but can’t remember the numbers and they said it was related to either CAS or DFI module, I said the CAS was done end of January 2021 at 308,000kms coz it would die in the heat coz it was summer but it’s been freezing, and also said that the DFI module is brand new but they said it didnt look new at all. They then went and did a few more checked and come back and said still either DFI module or ECU instead coz apparently they are not uncommon to go and if didn’t work then DFI module even tho I know it’s brand new but yet, it’s common to get brand new ones that still faulty. So anyway they ended up replacing ECU thinking it was a new one. After 2 weeks, I get the car back, driving excellent for a few days till Thursday morning, leaving the dentist, I felt it slightly shudder a little like struggling to go but come good, get down the road, going thru the lights and bang, it died again, tried to start, cranked but no start, but instead of being around 30 minutes, it was well over an hour, got it to start then about 400 meters drive, straight away again and died, got it 2 park this time and wouldn’t start just cranking. Now waiting a bit (20-30) minutes and started first go but this time still in part and handbrake on, just died again on the spot, waiting again another 30 minutes started again after 20 seconds I heard and felt the shudder again then within 10 seconds died on the spot. So I replaced the fuses under the bonnet on the spot, tested all relays, and I threw water at the CAS and still no start, then decided called a tow truck, but as soon as the truck got there after about 20 minutes, it started straight away and so it could drive out of the park and onto the truck. Got to the mechanic (same one) and they tried to start it to drive it off and again, crank fine, no start and got reversed in shed, still so start, then mechanic said that night it started fine to drive out the back.



Now the the odd few things I noticed-

1- before went to mechanic it would start after 20 minutes and I could least drive it home.

After mechanic, it wouldn’t start for a lot longer than when it did start, would die even more faster or on again on the spot so much more frequently.

2- they said the DFI didn’t look new at all, so I ended taking it out, and swapping over as I know people can get faulty new ones. But as I was taking it out, the female plug (harness) looked forced in and it was so tight getting out even with screw fully undone but got it off with no damage, replaced with new and cleaned the plug completed and on nice and tight.

3- I thought it would of been new ECU not second hand unless that’s what mechanics do



Now last part-

Parts been replaced and kms/date in order from latest-



11/6/2022

323,330- Replaced DFI module (previous new possible faulty)



6/6/2022

323,204- Second hand ECU fitted (mechanic)



17/5/2022

323,039 - New DFI module and all coil packs



8/5/2022

322,735- new plugs and leads



12/2/2022

320,179- New fuel filter



3/2/2022

320,090- New 02 sensors and clean IAC valve



28/1/2021

308,528- New Crank angle sensor



It’s got both new yellow top and HO alternator that are both not even 12 months old,

Fuel pump was done about 80,000kms ago as the kinda same problem, crank but no start, ended up getting it to play up and hit the tank and it started straight up, but other than that, I’m lost



I have a feeling the mechanics were ******* me around so if anyone at all has any idea or clue even the slightest clue, any help would be great.

I am so sorry the post was soo long but I do know the more details of the problem and things already done and car details helps a lot but again, I apologise. Thank you guys for the patience
 

Lex

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Hi
I suspect the cas?
You know about the water bottle trick? Have a water bottle in the car for the next time it stalls. When it does, pour some water over the cas, or the area where the cas is located. If the car starts, thats probably your problem.

Something else you can check? Has the wiring & plug for the cas been checked? The plug dry, no corroded or bent pins.

Dfi wiring from the plug, strip back the tape plastic shielding, are all the wires intact. The plastic around the individual wires in good condition?

Same for the cas with checking the wires.

If you solve it, let us know, for other readers of the forum may help them?
 

lout

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you need a new mechanic
from your detailed description (awesome work btw)
i suspect the engine relay or ecu fuses
was fuel pump a good brand
if bendigo is as cold as i remember i would not be suspecting crank angle sensor
 

S/K Commodore

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Hello there, thank you for your reply, as stated, I do know about the water trick, I was told about that just after I had it replaced at the start of 2021. When it stalled on me when it was on idle after like 20 seconds, I threw water all over that area and nope, same thing, crank with no start, when it was at the mechanic, they said they checked all wiring including to the CAS and at the DFI and was all fine and when I put another new DFI I even checked it, cleaned it and made good connection and still nothing. I’m kinda leaning over towards fuel pump due to the signs I’m getting and trying to get it to play up and hit the tank, coz I know that trick works and is in the workshop manual that I’m reading
 
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Lex

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Hello there, thank you for your reply, as stated, I do know about the water trick, I was told about that just after I had it replaced at the start of 2021. When it stalled on me when it was on idle after like 20 seconds, I threw water all over that area and nope, same thing, crank with no start, when it was at the mechanic, they said they checked all wiring including to the CAS and at the DFI and was all fine and when I put another new DFI I even checked it, cleaned it and made good connection and still nothing. I’m kinda leaning over towards fuel pump due to the signs I’m getting and trying to get it to play up and hit the tank, coz I know that trick works and is in the workshop manual that I’m reading
Take notice of @lout, as he is an auto electrician. He has helped a lot of people nut out problems. :cool:
 

S/K Commodore

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you need a new mechanic
from your detailed description (awesome work btw)
i suspect the engine relay or ecu fuses
was fuel pump a good brand
if bendigo is as cold as i remember i would not be suspecting crank angle sensor
Well I replaced the fuses under hood the day it stalled again after I did the water bottle trick, all new fuses related to the start, ignition and engine, I also noticed that the top of the start relay has a crack in the top that wasn’t there. Also I don’t remember the brand of fuel pump, cost $150 from A1 auto parts (beeps auto parts) that was done about 80,000kms ago and i believe this problem is showing same signs but I can’t get it to play up again to test it by hitting the fuel tank, I might have to drive it for a bit to warm the fuel pump motor up. I will add, I have been doing a lot of heavy towing lately and I did a fair bit of heavy towing between getting the car back from mechanic and it playing up again. I must say I was gonna get a new mechanic as they fucked with **** that wasn’t a problem which was the front drivers headlight which I fixed
 

lout

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maybe change efi and fuel pump relays, be careful of type a and type b relays, they look the same but terminal numbers are swapped
also check the wiring to dfi where it wraps around themostat housing, known to rub through there
 

S/K Commodore

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maybe change efi and fuel pump relays, be careful of type a and type b relays, they look the same but terminal numbers are swapped
also check the wiring to dfi where it wraps around themostat housing, known to rub through there
Yeah I’m about to re look at the wires, can’t be to sure. I was also gonna research how to test a relay using a multi meter, is it worth it or not really?
 

lout

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a little tricky for diy to test relays
as you need to energise relay and then measure n/o tips
and intermittent makes for more fun
 

S/K Commodore

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One of the only things I can think of is get the car to stall and crank but not start and then give the tank a smack to test if it’s the fuel pump
 
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