Help me be the hero!

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
My wife just called. The TB is stuck at the grocery store. It cranks, but won't turn over. New (Interstate) battery as of January. New stealership ignition switch as of February. No check engine light previous to this. She said it had a half a tank in it. She says when she turns the key (without trying to start it), all the dash lights come on, then the check engine light comes on (which to me sounds normal if you turn the key without starting the vehicle).

The only possible explanation I can come up with is vapor lock (although really rare on a modern fuel injected vehicle).

I have a smart phone, so I can check the forums in the field.

I remember back to GM's earliest computer contolled vehicles, you could short two terminals on the OBD plug with a paper clip and count check engine light blinks to get trouble codes...probably not like that any more :no:

Thank for the help, guys!
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
No way to read codes other than a code reader now. Lighting the SES light up is normal. Could be any of a dozen bad fuses or fuel pump or fallen off connectors.
 

willn513

Member
Dec 4, 2011
918
This might be a no-brainer but make sure the tranny is in Park or Neutral. You never know...

EDIT: nevermind- I didn't see that it WOULD crank...
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
Turn the key to ON (2nd position, just short of START) and listen for the fuel pump whine. If you don't hear it, smack the bottom of the tank and see if the pump starts up. You may have to turn the key off and back on as it only runs for a few seconds to pressurize the system. I did this on my sis-in-law's car to get her home a couple of times until she could get the fuel pump replaced.

Having 2 people is a must, but if your wife is there, she can work the key.
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
Wifey gave up & walked home. I'm here with the truck. Sounds like it's trying to startbut losing fuel pressure. Where's the !#$%&* fuel line! Got a nice cup of ice water to try & cure vapor lock.
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
I had a fuelie t-bird that vapor locked at the first hint of ethanol in the tank...ice water on the fuel line cured it every time :tongue:
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
Thanks for the help everyone...turns out I was the hero after all. Good suggestion Roadie-turns out it was the fuel pump relay in the fuse box. And than you GM for making the washer pump use the exact same relay so I had a spare :biggrin:
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Glad you're up. Note: the starter relay is the only one of its kind in the vehicle. Everybody should be carrying a spare fuse kit AND a couple of relays.

Show of hands - how many ARE carrying spares? :what:
 

limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
the roadie said:
Glad you're up. Note: the starter relay is the only one of its kind in the vehicle. Everybody should be carrying a spare fuse kit AND a couple of relays.

Show of hands - how many ARE carrying spares? :what:

Most manufacturers that haven't gone bankrupt recently include spare fuses *FREE* when you buy a new vehicle :smile: That means most of you here are out of luck.

GM realized a while back that the fuel pump relay is 1) a single point of failure that completely shuts down the entire truck and 2)with their electronics, is pretty likely to fail. They commissioned the SW group to write a failing relay algorithm. Don't know if it's still implemented. Makes sense to have a couple in the glove box.
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
Well guys it burned up another relay...had to use the hi beam relay this time. Is my fuel pump going bad?
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
the roadie said:
Or the wiring between the fuse block and the pump. Odd that the fuse didn't blow. If it was me I'd take the relay apart to see HOW it failed.

A post mortem analysis was fairly inconclusive. Taking the thing apart without totally destroying it was not easy. The only thing out of whack seems to be that the relay contact looks like it has a big pit in it where it makes contact with the botom of the electromagnet. And I bent the hell out of everything getting it apart that far.

P.S. There is a resistor (tests at 670 Ohms) between two of the legs. I thought that that is a diode in modern relays!
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
It died on my wife 5 min. from the stealership, so she burned our AAA tow for the year. I called the dealer and told the maintenance guys what was happening.
 

limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
Hmm, what about an intermittent somewhere in the wiring. I have a hard time with relays spontaneously blowing up.
Do you still have the first one you took out. Try it in the headlights, see if they work.
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
limequat said:
Hmm, what about an intermittent somewhere in the wiring. I have a hard time with relays spontaneously blowing up.
Do you still have the first one you took out. Try it in the headlights, see if they work.

Well, it's the dealer's problem now. They are saying they don't know what the problem is (yet), and they don't know if it will be covered by the extended warranty or not (I guess they have to have a definitive diagnosis to know that). The word "electrical problem" came down the wire...:lipsrsealed:

I doubt it's related, but you don't think that blowing a fuse in the trailer running light fuse about a month ago would be related (that was due to a dead short in the trailer where a wire chafed through)? I haven't said a word about that to the dealer :wink: I would think a fusible link would have blown before any permanent damage was done to, say, a wiring harness...

P.S. The first relay I yanked (the actual fuel pump relay) was sacrificed in the name of science at Roadie's suggestion this morning. I whacked the case with a ball peen hammer when I was unable to pry the cover off with a screwdriver. I then used the screwdriver to pry the guts of the relay apart...
 

limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
ElAviator72 said:
Well, it's the dealer's problem now. They are saying they don't know what the problem is (yet), and they don't know if it will be covered by the extended warranty or not (I guess they have to have a definitive diagnosis to know that). The word "electrical problem" came down the wire...:lipsrsealed:

I doubt it's related, but you don't think that blowing a fuse in the trailer running light fuse about a month ago would be related (that was due to a dead short in the trailer where a wire chafed through)? I haven't said a word about that to the dealer :wink: I would think a fusible link would have blown before any permanent damage was done to, say, a wiring harness...

P.S. The first relay I yanked (the actual fuel pump relay) was sacrificed in the name of science at Roadie's suggestion this morning. I whacked the case with a ball peen hammer when I was unable to pry the cover off with a screwdriver. I then used the screwdriver to pry the guts of the relay apart...

I guess we wait for word from the dealer.
Can't see the trailer fuse being related, but who knows...
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
Dealer said that the relay was losing the signal from the computer and blamed the wiring. Total bill: $165. We were already at the coast with the in-laws borrowed minivan when they called. Won't be able to get truck (or full story!) till Tuesday (on account of Labor Day). Humiliated for being demoted to minivan driving...
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
My buddy said he didn't drive minivans, but he was rather fond of his wife's AWD Town & Country - called it his "manlyvan".

I will not own one (even though I drive a Sienna when I take driving trips for work), and neither will the wife, even with one child and one on the way. She has an Impala and I have my TB. No minivans for us!
 

Fire06

Member
Dec 18, 2011
7,223
Cya it sounds like you are still in the closet and in denial over this minivan problem..:rotfl::rotfl: We may have to hold a online intervention for you :raspberry::raspberry:
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
Fire06 said:
Cya it sounds like you are still in the closet and in denial over this minivan problem..:rotfl::rotfl: We may have to hold a online intervention for you :raspberry::raspberry:

Agreed...the only possible MANLY minivans would be a Chevy Astro or Ford Aerostar that has been converted to 4 wheel drive and had a lift kit, body lift, and 35 inchers applied to it :cool: +10 coolness points if it is one of the few Aerostars built with a stick...
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
Fire06 said:
Cya it sounds like you are still in the closet and in denial over this minivan problem..:rotfl::rotfl: We may have to hold a online intervention for you :raspberry::raspberry:

The Sienna belongs to work. I'm not putting the mileage on my truck or car for them!
 

ElAviator72

Original poster
Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
The dealer said that the (fuel pump relay) wires going into the bottom of the fuse box showed some burning...wha?!?!? The service guy said it is rare, but he has seen it before. Anyone else seen this?
 

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