View Full Version : Won't fire after sitting in the cold


calgaryhhr
02-11-2008, 10:40 AM
Hey y'all,

I know I've mentioned before that my HHR is pretty spoiled and has never really spent too much time sitting outside exposed to weather. My HHR has always been garaged and/or in a parkade. This weekend it spent three nights outside. I had left it at the gym overnight and then it was parked outside my girlfriends house. All three nights the temperature went down to about -15 to -20C (around or just under zero F) and it would not fire the next morning.

On all occassions it would crank and try to come alive, a couple times it actually did but died after about two or three seconds. It would run really rough when trying to crank and fire. The first day I decided that I would try to crank it and give it some gas to see if that would help dispite being worried about flooding the engine and causing an even worse condition. I did this and it actually fired and stayed alive. This had to be done the next two mornings as well.

I'm wanting to take it into the shop to see if I can get the igintion system or fuel delivery system checked and tested. The engine block heater was not plugged in on any night. I'm slightly concerned about this. As a side note, non of my friends how have older cars than mine had any problems starting their cars and they had been sitting without being plugged in as well.

Anyone have any input on this?

pitbull76
02-11-2008, 10:54 AM
only input I have is that mine has started in -10F temperatures with no trouble, if I am using the key. In the cold the remote start doesn't work well though.

GCarp
02-11-2008, 11:10 AM
Sounds like possible frozen gas line. If you can get it started, try loading it up with Dry Gas. I had that exact same problem on a Datsun pickup back in the '80s. Only fix is to warm it up then the dry gas. Possibly a little water in the gas. I haven't had this problem with mine. 9F this morning and started right up (even with the remote). Thank you GM for the remote.

prod
02-11-2008, 11:26 AM
Yep im thinking it could be water in the fuel or a fuel filter that needs changing.
Do you run with a full tank most of the time? You should in winter. If you leave less than half the tank full, water can condense and enter the fuel system.

Don Juan
02-11-2008, 11:31 AM
I've had similar problems. where i live here in colorado its been as cold as -35F. :censored::( It starts, then dies a second or two later. it does this one or two times then i guess the comp adjust to the conditions and stays on. but i have to HOLD the key in the start position to crank it rather than just give it the good old "flick" and let the ignition crank it to start.
Thats the only main thing thats wrong. but i've learned the way to "baby" it and just learned to deal with it. Runs great after a good five minute warm up.:thumb:

GTOMIKE
02-11-2008, 11:44 AM
Pull out your dip stick and smell it for gas to make sure your oil is not getting thined out.If you smell gas change your oil and don`t press the pedal when starting it.Doesn`t sound like it`s your gas line thats the problem.Could be a sensor or the throttle body thats acting up in the cold.

We just had are coldest night here last night and the wife`s 2001 Sunfire started right up.It still has the factory AC Delco battery in it 130,000 KM and spent it`s life outside.

calgaryhhr
02-11-2008, 11:44 AM
Hey guys, I do typically run pretty full on fuel. This weekend when I was having problems it had a nearly full tank of gas which had been filled on Monday or maybe Tuesday (yes, a tank of gas usually lasts me a long time, nearly a month.)

Don Juan, you described my situation perfectly. I experienced that exact scenerio, I would hold the key for a couple of seconds while it cranked and tried to fire. I didn't want to hold the key for too long for fears of damaging the starter. I tried about half a dozen times and the computer didn't seem to adjust at all. I'm just glad that when I finally cranked it over and applied some gas it fired up, I was really worried about flooding. I don't want to have to do this too often.

Hopefully, I can take my car in at some point soon and find out if they have any recommendations on this situation.

Don Juan
02-11-2008, 12:07 PM
Hey guys, I do typically run pretty full on fuel. This weekend when I was having problems it had a nearly full tank of gas which had been filled on Monday or maybe Tuesday (yes, a tank of gas usually lasts me a long time, nearly a month.)

Don Juan, you described my situation perfectly. I experienced that exact scenerio, I would hold the key for a couple of seconds while it cranked and tried to fire. I didn't want to hold the key for too long for fears of damaging the starter. I tried about half a dozen times and the computer didn't seem to adjust at all. I'm just glad that when I finally cranked it over and applied some gas it fired up, I was really worried about flooding. I don't want to have to do this too often.

Hopefully, I can take my car in at some point soon and find out if they have any recommendations on this situation.

sounds like your car is worse that mine. Usually it fires after holding in start for a maximum of 2-3 seconds. I know how bad the weather affects the starts, but i know that it comes with the weather and is expected, i don't really worry to much bout it and don't see and problems occuring from it. Just a extra hassle that takes an extra 30 seconds.
I don't thing that flooding is and issue with efi, all that stopped with carberation. The computer should only receive a signal when it is started to send fuel. The extra gas that gets sent in the few seconds that it takes to start would be sufficient enough, but not over doing it. In Colder conditions a little more fuel would help due to the cold spark. just don't go over board and rev it all crazy. just enough to get it to start and idle..

I don't see it being a big problem, but if you can always take it in to be sure.

an08HHR
02-11-2008, 03:15 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/02/11/minnesota.cold.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories
Should be glad it wasn't this cold where you are. MINUS 40 F. that is cold.

Snoopy
02-11-2008, 04:26 PM
I guess a couple of us are lucky to live where we do. I walked around outside today, without a shirt, absorbing the cancer causing rays of el Sol.:cool:

But, it won't last. Cooler later this week. And of course, July, August temperatures where everyone hides from the sun.:roll:

afs9
02-11-2008, 05:34 PM
I guess a couple of us are lucky to live where we do. I walked around outside today, without a shirt, absorbing the cancer causing rays of el Sol.:cool:

Snoopy, I drove into work with the sunroof open this morning...:red:

Snoopy
02-11-2008, 05:38 PM
I use my sun roof almost everyday. Either fully open or just the rear open to allowing some venting/fresh air.

Really a nice option !!:thumb:

Anyhow....I want to stay on topic.

Calgary, I would think if the engine "turned over" you had enough battery energy and I would also think the oil was NOT sufficiently thick to prevent ignition. Therefore, my guess, would be electronics or fuel. Maybe as other suggested, water in the fuel system. Keep us posted.....it's kind of an interesting scenario.

GCarp
02-11-2008, 08:01 PM
... but i have to HOLD the key in the start position to crank it rather than just give it the good old "flick" and let the ignition crank it to start.

I've had mine continue to crank after letting go of the key (but not turning it to off). Kinda wierd. It doesn't crank after it kicks, just cranks longer when it needs to.

Don Juan
02-11-2008, 09:01 PM
I've had mine continue to crank after letting go of the key (but not turning it to off). Kinda wierd. It doesn't crank after it kicks, just cranks longer when it needs to.

It does crank longer the first time on its own, then dies once or twice. thats when the hold comes into play. i noticed that after it dies, i can set the key back to the off position and then i can give it the "flick" once again cranking on its own to start.
The only time this occurs is in the mornings every so ofter, first start of the day. for the rest of the day i don't have the problem. It doesn't do it every day, just once in a while.

HHR GUY07
02-11-2008, 09:33 PM
yur tank has a lot of water in it from condensation if your running a month before you are filling it up you have a lot of water in your gas tank . you need to put several bottles of gas tank water remover ...... my buddie has a sabb and he sometimes goesa month before he fills it up it acts the same your you described......good luck.

Overload
02-12-2008, 08:54 AM
Try this method in winter or in humid climate: Put the key in the ignition, turn to on (don't start yet) and listen for a 'whirring' sound coming from the rear
of the HHR (that's the fuel pump giving you just enough gas to start). When it STOPS making the noise (2-3 secs) turn the key and HOLD it there 'till the motor starts. If you just get in the car and cranck the starter without waiting, there's not enough gas pumped to start the engine (in damp or cold weather anyway). If you miss, wait at least 5 - 10 mins for the gas to evaporate from the engine. If you attempt to start again right away, you'll flood the engine, especially if you step on the gas pedal (I know I know, you hear the engine 'sputtering' and it seems to cry out for a 'little' help from the gas pedal). If you do, then it's REALLY flooded and it will not start.
***I've seen mechanics and touring club mechs. use the technique of flooring the gas pedal on a flooded engine and holding it there BEFORE they turn the starter but that only works if it's not seriously flooded***
If you try this and miss, then you're really up the creek :(
The trick is basically: in exteme weather, don't miss the first try.
It could also be a TON of other stuff. Deffective gas pump, worn out wiring,
frozen gas line, water in the gas, etc etc....
Pluggin' it in one hour before starting it will really help if your car has no ohter starting problems (the heat provided gets rid of the excess humidity also)
Anyhoo, that's the price to pay I guess for living in a winter wonderland :lol:
I would LOVE to see some of you guys from the southern states driving in a snow storm when the road is so icy it's like a mirror and you can barely see the front of your HOOD because of the wind and snow. And while your nose is in the frozen windshield (your not-so-new wipers are covered with ice and just smearing) a huge 18 wheeler zooms by 'cause he's sitting tall above the snow drifts, and it makes your heart rev faster than your engine :eek:

jdmcomp
02-14-2008, 09:11 AM
Overload, I have to take issue with your analysis. Most, if not all, EFI systems cut off any fuel flow with the gas pedal floored and the engine not running (EPA concerns among others). These systems are very intelligent and will not allow the engine to flood if the system is operating correctly. The easy way to clear a flooded engine (a rare occurrence today except for the extreme cold climates where the gas simply will not vaporize) is to simply hold the pedal to the floor and crank the engine until it begins to hit (but typically no more then thirty seconds) then release the pedal quickly.

Flooded engines overwhelm the vapor control systems, and defeat the environmental systems and are a danger if the car is in an accident. This condition has been programmed out of the EFI control systems years ago. However, having sent the extremely low mental state of General Motors, anything is possible in a Chevy.

I had this problem years ago with a Volvo wagon parked outside and a block heater solved the problem with -25 degree starts. One should warm the car enough to get other circulating liquids to operating temps so as not to blow out seals with an over pressure. A couple of minutes and a slow easy start out is all that is required at these extreme temps.

calgaryhhr
02-14-2008, 09:28 AM
The HHR was in the shop yesterday for an oil change and to have this problem analysed. They checked the starter, battery, fuel delivery and all were found to be okay. They did however clean the throttle body due to some carbon buildup. They said to monitor and bring it back if it happens again of course who knows if and when my car will sit out in the cold like that again. I don't like waiting to see if a problem will happen especially when it's a problem that could leave me stranded when it's freezing cold.

CGYHHRSS
12-23-2008, 12:16 AM
Sorry to bump this.

Same issue with me, actually in the same city as the OP.
08 SS.

Its been in the high -20C's the last 10 days at night, -20C as high's those days.

The first week, had in our attached semi heated garage. Even though it was probably -10 to -15C in there with the -28C outside, it started each morning.

Made the mistake on Friday of leaving it outside overnight one of those night...12 hours later when wanting to start it Saturday morning, no dice.

Had to push it out of the driveway to get the other vehicle out, and sat out Sat night. Each time, more then enough cranking, although I knew the battery was cold, it cranked only a few times, but its not a starter or battery issue.

Sunday I went through the hassle of usuing our Denali to push the HHR back into the garage. A space heater, and cranking the furnace while opening the door to the house, and the garage has gone up in temp the last two evening to around 10C. Tried this morning to start..no luck. Repeated procedure tonight a couple times, still the same...cranking but not firing nothing...the car cranks and has plenty of juice, but won't fire.

I figure its gas...only 1/3 tank left. I put in gas line antifreeze Saturday and again today, and hoped it would get through the system (I pushed the gas down as the manual states, hoping to get gas and thus the antifreeze through the system), with the help from the much warmer temperature.

Probably don't have enough gas and water's forming in the line (unless my guage is wrong and I am out of gas, dobut it)...but how warm will it have to be and for how long for that line to unfreeze? Anything I can do to expediate the process?

calgaryhhr
12-23-2008, 09:01 AM
Hey CalgarySS, sorry to hear about your problems. It really sucks when you can't get fired up especially when there is probably a lot of things to get done before Christmas.

I must say that I haven't had any starting problems outside of that one night when my car sat outside. This winter is the first winter my HHR is outside 24/7 because my girlfriend uses our parking spot in our garage. My HHR has been outside with the block heater unplugged since the cold weather rolled in and it has not had a problem turning over at all.

Hopefully your problems can be remedied somehow.

CGYHHRSS
12-23-2008, 09:27 AM
Yeah, I really didn't think one night would freeze it up, considering its 6 months old. It did sit out another night, but its since spent two nights warming up to above freezing temperatures, and two days in the garage in temperatures warmer then it was sitting in all week. Apples and oranges, but the Denali sat outside all through this every night (only have single garage) snd started without being plugged in all last week. The SS doesn't come with a block heater which is really rare up here in Canada, but judging by my problem, not sure if that would help.

Tried it again this morning, again almost fired but nothing.

Unless my fuel guage is wrong and I have no gas left, it shows 1/3 a tank. When turning the key I hear a slight whirr in the back that I think it my fuel pump, but I am still thinking it has to be my fuel pump frozen, or the lines.

I just don't want to do any damage to the starter by continually trying.

Good and bad about the holidays coming, we don't need both cars after tomorrow until Monday, bad part being the dealer isn't open either until Monday.

I already had an appointment for an oil change and a rattle for Tuesday, looks like, with temperatures getting not much warmer (at least in comparison to it being in the home heated garage...something I can't continue as my gas bill will show at the end of the month after trying to heat a cold garage) it will have to wait until then.

Arly08
12-24-2008, 04:25 PM
I hear ya, calgaryhhrss.

I have a 2007 - only the second owner - and I have outdoor parking only.

A couple of mornings I had to fire it up at -29 (or colder - I don't think the LED thermometer wanted to even TRY and read the temp ;) ), and it DID start on the first try.

I am now using the tip from earlier in this thread - turning the key to "on" and waiting for the short whirring sound to stop. That gives the vehicle a bit of fuel, and works well for me.

At -25 or colder, I let it idle for a full minute if possible. I was quite startled to see the coolant temp at -16 (3.2 F) one morning!

Kennys2009HHR
12-24-2008, 04:54 PM
I would LOVE to see some of you guys from the southern states driving in a snow storm when the road is so icy it's like a mirror and you can barely see the front of your HOOD because of the wind and snow. And while your nose is in the frozen windshield (your not-so-new wipers are covered with ice and just smearing) a huge 18 wheeler zooms by 'cause he's sitting tall above the snow drifts, and it makes your heart rev faster than your engine :eek:

Ha ha that would be me

CGYHHRSS
12-24-2008, 06:51 PM
I hear ya, calgaryhhrss.

I have a 2007 - only the second owner - and I have outdoor parking only.

A couple of mornings I had to fire it up at -29 (or colder - I don't think the LED thermometer wanted to even TRY and read the temp ;) ), and it DID start on the first try.

I am now using the tip from earlier in this thread - turning the key to "on" and waiting for the short whirring sound to stop. That gives the vehicle a bit of fuel, and works well for me.

At -25 or colder, I let it idle for a full minute if possible. I was quite startled to see the coolant temp at -16 (3.2 F) one morning!


Yeah, I have been letting the whirr do its thing...but its not doing the trick.

Its pretty much toast now for until Monday when the dealership reopens, at the expense of the the furnace running for hours upon end, I've tried yet again heating the garage as best I could, and I've gotten it to above freezing temperatues and tried it. Still nothing. Either something is really frozen that needs a couple days in constant well heated garage for things to thaw (which I can't provide) or there's something more terminal that's gone wrong the dealers are going to have to look at.

I have to stop trying to start it, based on the fact that it sounds like my battery's going now, and all this can't be too good for the starter.

So it will thus be at least 11 days, around the worst time of the year, without the car. And the charade on the weekend of pushing it out of the garage, down the driveway, and then once again using the truck to nudge it into place so that it can be towed away.

Pretty frustrating, especially racking up miles twice as fast on the truck, having to drive the wife too and from work everyday so I can have a vehicle, and we're trying to keep the miles down on the truck as there's only 6K miles left of the factory warranty (bought it used 4 months ago) that we want to try and make last for as long as possible in order to cath any issues with that before those expenses start coming out of my pocket.

Certainly I know I am to blame for having it sit out 1 (which turned to 2) nights, but in all honesty a 6 month old car should be able to start after 12 hours out in the cold....it had sat 8 hours out (when my wife took it to work the previous week with the temps really cold) with no issue...when our used Denali, 4 months removed from Arizona, starts up every day in the extreme temps with no issue, having to sit outside all day and night.

Anyways, thanks for letting me rant.

GTOMIKE
12-24-2008, 08:29 PM
KAPUSKASING, Ontario At -40C, weird things happen to cars:
Tires freeze up, becoming glass hard.
And grease, it freezes, too. So when you drive away your tires won't rotate at all. If you don't notice that the tires aren't turning, then two blocks later the rubber will have worn off the bottom of at least one tire and you're stuck with a flat.

Leather seats, at -40C, become hard as rocks (unless you have seat heaters).
Plastic body parts crack, and sometimes even explode if pushed or kicked.
Power steering fluid can become frozen, as thick as glue, which can lock the steering.
Knobs can break off of radios. Windows snap out and break. Window channels can simply pop out because the materials have frozen and the glue no longer holds.

And, of course, there are those familiar cold-weather starting problems. All of which explain why more and more manufacturers now do extensive cold weather testing in Canada. Ford Motor Co. has a cold weather testing site in Thompson, Manitoba and Toyota Motor Corp. just opened a facility in Timmins, Ontario, last November.

But the granddaddy of all cold weather test centres is right here in Kapuskasing, Ont., 840 kilometres (520 miles) northwest of Toronto. It belongs to GM of Canada and it's managed by GM engineer Garry Whorpole.

"Nothing beats hot weather and cold weather extremes," says Whorpole. "If a car is going to falter, it's going to be in very cold weather or very hot weather. So here, we're testing the extremes, hoping to learn something to prevent something from happening over five or six years in a more regular environment."

There certainly isn't anything regular about Kapuskasing weather. The daily mean temperature for January is -23C. From December to the first of March, the mercury creeps above freezing for only an average of seven days. It's not unusual for the temperature to hover at -40C for weeks on end. And the record low, recorded in January, 1935, is -47C. Without factoring in the wind chill. Of which there is plenty on most winter days.

But 34-year-old Al Dixon doesn't mind. He's lived his whole life in Kapuskasing, a Cree name meaning "bend in the river," and every winter he's one of 100 or so seasonal workers involved in testing vehicles at GM's Cold Weather Development Centre. His job: among other things, cold start, with several other workers, dozens of vehicles each morning. Sometimes he and the rest of his crew change 160 batteries a day. Then they take those vehicles out onto a test track and abuse them, trying to squeeze out driveability problems.

"It's a great job," says Dixon. "The best thing is that over the years we see the things we log in these log books get fixed. So we feel like we're really doing something."

The two main activities at the centre involve cold weather starts and related testing for some 200 vehicles each year, and cold weather durability tests for an additional 60 or more vehicles.

In the latter, technicians and drivers not only record data from on-board computers, but also log the results of their vehicle abuse. That is, the testers try to replicate two years of typical usage in a test period of about 10 weeks. So they run the vehicles through 11 different test loops, stopping and starting, and frequently slamming doors and hoods, cranking up fans, turning down mirrors...cycling anything and everything that moves and operates. And, of course, they also run tests on snow? and ice-covered obstacle courses.

"Our winters up in Kap. are such that 99 per cent of North American vehicles will not experience a winter as severe as here," says Whorpole. "So if you can survive Kap., basically you can survive anything anywhere."

That's by design. GM of Canada first began serious and extensive winter testing in 1968, but 30 years ago it was all a pretty makeshift affair. A handful of engineers tried cold-weather starts in the parking lot of the Kapuskasing Inn, recording their data with the instruments in a large van that had previously been used to develop hot rod automobiles.

Soon, though, then-GM of Canada engineering director Dick McLaughlin, nephew of GM Canada founder Sam McLaughlin, recognized the value of a permanent cold weather facility. He assigned a young engineer named Gerry Malloy the task of doing the research to justify the expense, and then to make the business case to senior GM management.

"At the time there were a lot of small groups within the company off doing testing of their own," says Malloy today. "They may have gotten what they needed, but we felt that by putting everything together there were some real economies of scale and some real opportunities for real learning."

They chose Kapuskasing not just for its extreme weather, but also because it is relatively near GM
Canada's Oshawa headquarters and the parent corporation's head office in Detroit. They also needed a place accessible by air, highway and at the time by rail. And they needed a place that could accommodate an influx of dozens of engineers each year. That meant hotels and restaurants.
Kapuskasing, a town of 9,500 with a pulp mill as its major employer, was perfect.

While GM's Cold Weather Centre became official in 1971, construction of the extensive facilities began in the summer of '72 and the official opening came in February '73. Today, the permanent facility covers 159 acres and includes a 1.9 km. oval test track and a variety of buildings that include 19 vehicle work stalls, offices, a data acquisition centre, eight cold cells (giant refrigerators for testing vehicles in completely controlled environments), work yards and even fuel dispensing stations.

GM's testers spend their days and nights assessing cold cranking, cold starting, driveability, heater performance, front and rear defroster performance, tires, brakes batteries and various components, and the abilities and capabilities of advanced braking, traction and stability control systems.

The facility has also had a hand in dramatically improving battery performance, in the development of multi-grade oils for winter use, in improving heater performance, and in ensuring that electronic components and systems work in extreme weather. Of course, there is also the essential work related to making sure your car starts when it's -30C.

"When it was -30C back then (in 1971)," says Malloy, "if you could get a car started in 30 seconds it was more than a competitive product. Today, if the temperature is down to -35 or -40, it will probably start in five seconds. And if it doesn't, it probably won't start at all."

CGYHHRSS
12-24-2008, 10:17 PM
Today, if the temperature is down to -35 or -40, it will probably start in five seconds. And if it doesn't, it probably won't start at all

Unfortunatley, I'm the latter.

Anyways, in light of the GM Test facility, it is surprising that the SS doesn't have a block heater...of all the Canadian GM vehicles I've owned over the years, the only one that didn't have one on it. Not that it possibly would've helped in this case (if it is a frozen fuel line as I suspect) but still something you think that was mandated by GM Canada, even if its a dealer installed accessory before sale.

Happy holidays to all....

CGYHHRSS
01-01-2009, 03:18 AM
Finally got the SS back.

After 10+ days without it, finally back in the fold.

After finally giving up about a week ago in trying to start it for 4 days, I had to wait for last weekend to tow, as the dealer wasn't open since Christmas Eve. It got towed there Saturday, they didn't look at it until yesterday (Tuesday), then the battery was so bad it didn't hold a charge so they couldn't get it in the shop. They had to get a different tow truck to move it 100 ft into the shop, as the lot truck would've pulled off the front end, being so low. So it finally gets inside last night. After repeated calls today, I finally get the word...it was flooded. New plugs, oil change (which it was scheduled for already, prior to the starting issue) as gas was in the oil. I had to call a couple more times to get them to tell me when it was done...a bit of a hassle after the last 10 days without a car.

Battery's fine, everything seems to be fine. The did another reflash of the ECM for the brake issue, and looked for a rattle which I thought was the door, but appears to be the header panel/sunroof upon further investaigation after it left the shop. Due to fact that a 3 hour job took 3 days, they threw in the oil change for free. All the new spark plugs etc was warranty covered.

I am a bit leery, I assume they put in synthetic, and I assume they put in proper plugs. There aren't too many SS's around here/through that dealer, and given that they seemed to be rushing a bit today, I'd hope they didn't cut any corners.

Also, I am trying to figure how it flooded...I assumed through all thist that something had froze that night 12 days ago. Turns out it was flooded. Having never flooded a car (even the first one I had 17 years ago that had a carburator) I didn't know the signs I guess...but given the events that night, have no idea how it got flooded. Could the cold have had something to do with flooding the engine?

The only thing I can think of, is when my wife pulled into the driveway that cold Friday night, while getting out of the car/putting parking brake on, she was inadvertantly stepping on the gas pedal, as 12 hours later that car never started again until today.

Anyways, all is well.

halfpanel08
01-01-2009, 03:46 AM
glad to hear you got it back
and now its in working order
hope you dont have this issue
anymore.. didnt know u could
flood a 09' car w/ all its electronic
stuff. i could see a carbrated car
having that issue, but not a HHR ;)

GTOMIKE
01-02-2009, 10:02 AM
[QUOTE=CGYHHRSS;342067]Finally got the SS back.

After 10+ days without it, finally back in the fold.

I finally get the word...it was flooded. New plugs, oil change (which it was scheduled for already, prior to the starting issue) as gas was in the oil. /QUOTE]

Just what I said in post #6 pull out your dipstick and smell it for gas once your oil gets thined out you have no compression.

CGYHHRSS
01-02-2009, 11:15 PM
^
Thanks...I guess I just assumed with the extreme cold that it was some other issue, and had no idea how the engine would've been flooded in the first place.

IgottaWoody
01-04-2009, 12:07 AM
Gas petal is electronic...injectors are electronic..there is no live accelerator circuit. So pushing on the petal with the key off is not an issue.More then likely you had an ignition glitch with allowed the injectors to pump fuel but with no spark while cranking.And trying to restart numerous times just aggrevated the problem(more fuel and no spark) or already wet plugs).

Overload
01-05-2009, 08:19 AM
I had the SAME exact thing happen to me with an older Buick LeSabre.
Here's the thing:
1- Put key in ignition and turn halfway (ready lights etc should come on)
2- NEVER, NEVER (I'll repeat it again) NEVER try to start it until the
gas pump stops 'whirring'. In cold (and yes sometimes even in DAMP wheather) if you turn the key ALL the way before the gas pump does its thing, it won't start and the next time you try to start it, it will flood the engine seriously.
3- If you make the mistake of hitting start too soon, then put the ignition to off and wait about 10 - 15 minutes. DO NOT TRY A SECOND TIME because
that's when things really screw up (gas in oil, wet plugs, etc etc)
4- After a while, try again (and don't touch the gas pedal). I know , I know, some auto club towing guys will actually FLOOR the gas pedal and hold it there while they try to start it. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't and it then SERIOUSLY floods the engine (gas in oil etc etc).

On the good side, the HHR (my 2008 LS) has a LOUD whirring gas pump compared to most other cars, so it's easy to hear.

Happy new year and pleasant driving ;-)

CGYHHRSS
01-05-2009, 01:24 PM
I had the SAME exact thing happen to me with an older Buick LeSabre.
Here's the thing:
1- Put key in ignition and turn halfway (ready lights etc should come on)
2- NEVER, NEVER (I'll repeat it again) NEVER try to start it until the
gas pump stops 'whirring'. In cold (and yes sometimes even in DAMP wheather) if you turn the key ALL the way before the gas pump does its thing, it won't start and the next time you try to start it, it will flood the engine seriously.
3- If you make the mistake of hitting start too soon, then put the ignition to off and wait about 10 - 15 minutes. DO NOT TRY A SECOND TIME because
that's when things really screw up (gas in oil, wet plugs, etc etc)
4- After a while, try again (and don't touch the gas pedal). I know , I know, some auto club towing guys will actually FLOOR the gas pedal and hold it there while they try to start it. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't and it then SERIOUSLY floods the engine (gas in oil etc etc).

On the good side, the HHR (my 2008 LS) has a LOUD whirring gas pump compared to most other cars, so it's easy to hear.

Happy new year and pleasant driving ;-)

Thanks...that could've been the issue. I'm thinking on the one cold night it was left out, the fuel pump froze up/slowed up a little bit, and when trying to start it up like normal the next day (without a halfway turn of the key first), I mucked it up right there.

As I said, I started listening for the fuel pump after coming on here (and after a few more failed attempts), as I got the car inside and warmer and I heard it (not an extended or loud whirring, but it was there) before trying to start, but by then it was likely too late and already flooded.

Will keep that in mind the next time its gets -25C or colder and its left out like that.

:thumb:

scrambler
01-05-2009, 09:56 PM
Hey guys you might have had some bad gas as well.Do you always get your gas at the same place.That has been an issue around here for a while.If its a little bad it will make it that much harder to start when its cold.I have heard of a couple of guys with dynos that have had to pump out cars tanks and replace the gas cause it so bad they cant tune the car.

CGYHHRSS
01-06-2009, 12:00 AM
Hey guys you might have had some bad gas as well.Do you always get your gas at the same place.That has been an issue around here for a while.If its a little bad it will make it that much harder to start when its cold.I have heard of a couple of guys with dynos that have had to pump out cars tanks and replace the gas cause it so bad they cant tune the car.

Usually one of two places I fill on (91 rated) Premium...Shell (V-Power) and the odd time a Safeway gas bar. No problems in the first week of the cold snap leading up to that (or the fits 2/3 of the tank that had been used)...just the one night wher it was outside and 10-15 degrees colder than it was used to.

jbug
01-08-2009, 06:32 PM
I had same problem this past weekend while in Colorado. Minus 20 degrees resulted in same problem you described. When it did finally start the engine light and T/C lights both remained on. Need to know if anyone knows how to reset the computers, or do I need to take it in?