Engine dying a second or two after cold start

TonyT

Original poster
Member
May 6, 2012
108
Engine died today a few seconds after startup. Yesterday and the day before it almost died a few seconds after startup but kept on going. These were all on cold start ups. Any ideas? I do have to check my battery and see if it's got some decent life left.

TB is new to me as of a month or two to me and I'm catching up on all the mtce issues that weren't done. Fortunately the previous owner discounted it sufficiently that I didn't mind paying for the tranny flush.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Is the idle steady at 600 RPM as the AC compressor cycles on and off? If not, it could be a dirty throttle body. We seem to need to clean them every 30K miles, but many owners are clueless until they find the forum with members who know the secret.
 

TonyT

Original poster
Member
May 6, 2012
108
the roadie said:
Is the idle steady at 600 RPM as the AC compressor cycles on and off? If not, it could be a dirty throttle body. We seem to need to clean them every 30K miles, but many owners are clueless until they find the forum with members who know the secret.
No idea if the idle is steady, I'll have to pay attention tomorrow. Not sure how I can tell if the AC cycles on or off. Hmm, guess I can start with a warm interior and turn off the AC. Then observe the behavior when I turn the AC on.

As far as throttle body needing cleaning, highly unlikely that's been done. Hmmm, My Chilton's book only describes how to replace it. And I'm pretty useless as a mechanic. Ahhh, I found a Youtube video [video=youtube;VdvgsaDmkac]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdvgsaDmkac[/video] ("Wife's toothbrush"? And I'm sure she's the holding the camera. :smile:) Not sure I feel comfortable doing that myself but maybe.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
That's the secret to a lot of erratic idle issues. I would just do it.

And how many miles (or km) do you have? The 4WD transfer case needs its fluid changed every 50K miles, a surprisingly short interval and a lot of lazy owners don't read their manuals or respect that interval even if they read the book. Can be expensive to lose a transfer case.
 

TonyT

Original poster
Member
May 6, 2012
108
the roadie said:
And how many miles (or km) do you have? The 4WD transfer case needs its fluid changed every 50K miles, a surprisingly short interval and a lot of lazy owners don't read their manuals or respect that interval even if they read the book. Can be expensive to lose a transfer case.
I did indeed read the owners manual and have had the differentials and the transfer case oils replaced recently as well as the tranny flush. I was a bit surprised that the transfer case was half the service interval of the differentials. I was quite surprised to understand that it does not have a removable cover and magnet inside which the tranny and diffs have.

(I do put the vehicle in 4x4 mode for a km or so once a week or month just to splash some fluids around a bit.)

Let me quickly add that I don't mind at all you asking. I do have a 1000 mile one way trip coming up sometime soon for an uncles funeral so I wanted to make sure all the critical mtce issues were done before I get the phone call.

I might get my bro-in-law to replace the spark plugs and the fuel filter. He's a lot less $$$ than a mechanic. I'd have to reread the service section of the manual but I think that's it for scheduled mtce items. OTOH those aren't much work relatively speaking so I'll decide on that in a bit.
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
TonyT said:
I might get my bro-in-law to replace the spark plugs and the fuel filter. He's a lot less $$$ than a mechanic. I'd have to reread the service section of the manual but I think that's it for scheduled mtce items. OTOH those aren't much work relatively speaking so I'll decide on that in a bit.

Don't get your BIL to do the work. Get him to TEACH YOU. As the old saying goes, build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. Or something like that.

Cleaning the throttle body and changing the fuel filter are easy, easy jobs. The TB work doesn't even require a jack. I've never done the plugs on the I6 engine, but I'll wager it's relatively simple too. For plugs, only replace them with the OEM Delco plugs - no aftermarket stuff. Buy a set of spark plug sockets for $10 or so.

This is a perfect time to start building up your tool collection if you don't have many right now. Sears/Craftsman sells mechanic's tool sets of varying sizes and prices. The 154 piece set is a great starter kit and will pay for itself many times over. Add to it as time, money, and jobs dictate.
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,412
Delmarva
TonyT said:
Ahhh, I found a Youtube video [video=youtube;VdvgsaDmkac]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdvgsaDmkac[/video] ("Wife's toothbrush"? And I'm sure she's the holding the camera. :smile:) Not sure I feel comfortable doing that myself but maybe.

Well i sure as crap wasn't gonna use mine!
 

TonyT

Original poster
Member
May 6, 2012
108
MAY03LT said:
Well i sure as crap wasn't gonna use mine!
Hehehehehe

BTW it would've been quite amusing, assuming it was your wife behind the camera, if she had squawked a bit on that one.

Thank you for your videos. I think I've watched a few others of yours in the past. Having the videos makes things a lot clearer for us non mechanics than a page or two in the Chilton's manuals.
 

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