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Chevy Tracker will not hot restart.

WilliinTalkeetnaWilliinTalkeetna Posts: 5
edited June 7 in Chevrolet
I have a 2000 Chevy Tracker 4x4 with a 1.6 Liter 4 cylinder. It has developed a problem, and there are no associated error codes from the computer. It runs perfectly, but if taken on a long highway run, especially when the weather in warm (Alaska), as in never in winter, if the engine is shut off it will not hot start until you wait about 20 minutes. Then it starts and runs fine. In warm weather it will occasionally stall when idling in traffic for too long, or going at slower speed up a steep hill after a highway run. I replaced spark plugs and wires (needed after 101,000 miles) and did other tune up chores. No difference. A GMC dealer was convinced that it was due to both catalytic converters being plugged—I was skeptical but had them replace them. No difference. I was able to catch the engine when it wouldn't start and pulled a plug and attached a spark tester and there was no spark. I replaced both coils (no distributor in this model) thinking it may be a coil pack failure. No change. The only other think I can think of is a malfunctioning control unit (computer). Anyone have any thoughts?

Best Answer


  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,882
    Could be a coil. Could be a problem with the temperature sensor in the coolant system, thinking the engine is cold when it's actually hot, and you get too rich a mixture for it to start.

    ECT engine coolant temp sensor itself could be bad, or maybe just a wiring problem to the sensor.

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  • Thanks for taking time to reply. As I noted above, I replaced both coils already. Also, as noted above, when it doesn't start, there is no spark, so it is not a mixture problem.
  • Thanks "thecardoc3" that's some concrete steps to take before messing with the control unit!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,285
    edited June 9
    If you know where the crankshaft position sensor is located, an empirical test on the 3800's which had some failures was to pour cold water on the CPS and the area around it to cool it. This was because the typical restart time was about 20-30 minutes waiting for the lower engine to cool and the sensor to be able to read the magnetic signals. If your leSabre started up after cooling that area quicker than normal, that was a good sign it was the CPS causing your problem.

    The other was a unit the Tracker doesn't have and that was a small computer unit that received the signals from the CPS and generated the spark in the 3 coils sitting on top of it. Those also could fail and yet test okay at the parts stores. Called ISC, ignition spark control, IIRC. I don't see that in a parts list for ignition.

    So I'm hoping you can isolate it to your CPS.

    There used to be some instructions on the net for isolating the ISC units by checking for the signals from the CPS when the engine was cranking to see if the CPS was sending electrical pulses. I believe there were two lines actually and if they were both carrying pulses, then the ISC was bad.

    Cardoc3's symptoms of cps versus camshaft position sensor match what usually happened on the 3800s in H-bodies with which I'm reasonably familiar. The occurrence in hot weather because cold weather has more air cooling on lower engine, the higher temp of engine block with climbing hill or sitting and idling..., all make me think the CPS needs checking FIRST.

    Removing the harmonic balancer to get to it is not a difficult task for a fast garage tech.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Thanks! My next to do. The Tracker 1.6-Liter engine has a CPS easy to get to, the 2-Liter engine which I do not have requires removal of the transmission (ducked the bullet on that one!).
  • Well, the crankshaft position sensor was not the culprit. Mine tested fine cold, but was just outside spec for resistance between the two terminals when hot, so I replaced it, despite being skeptical. No change. Next, I'll test the camshaft position sensor, but am skeptical of this too. I'm tending more toward the computer now. . .
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