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Won't start after jump starting


Trey

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I had a dead battery, so I jump started it with my other car. I hooked up the cables and let the other car run for a minute, but that wasn't long enough, so I walked around the block with the cars hooked up. After about five minutes, the Reatta started. I thought I would leave the car running for about thirty minutes to charge itself up. However, when I went out to see how it was doing I noticed that the car was not running anymore. I tried to start the engine again and it would start, but run really roughly, make some really bad noises then die. Before this, the car ran just fine, but it would hickup every now and then and miss when accelerating sometimes. Does anyone know what could be wrong?

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No, bad fuel pumps don't prevent the ignition from sparking. I would suspect the Ignition Control Module (ICM) or the Crank Position Sensor to be the problem if you have no spark. Be sure to check all fuses since you had jumped the car off before it quit.

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I am not sure about the sparking - it just sounds less likely to start than it did when I first tried to start it. Now the engine doesn't even sputter. It sounds like it is not getting gas. Is an ICM very expensive? Is it easy to install?

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The ICM is available in The Reatta Store - Reatta Owners Journal for about $115. It's not too hard to change. However, I wouldn't buy anything until you know more about what the problem is. The first thing you need to know when the engine won't start is whether or not it is getting spark. You need to find out for sure. Throwing parts at it without troubleshooting will leave you frustrated, broke and without a car that will run.

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Trey, if your car is still sputtering and trying to start those test won't help you much. Those test are for an engine that will not start at all. If you do run the tests in that tutorial be sure to observe ALL the safety precautions and use good common since. Don't get hurt.
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Also, if I want to perform the spark test, do I just pull a wire off the C3I assembly (see item 1 on figure A-7 on 6E3-A-8 in the 1988 service manual) and attach the spark tester to that end of the wire, or do I have to pull out the coil on the end of the wire that goes into the engine? It looks like pulling out the coil would be tough as there is a lack of space. Hopefully, I just have to pull the wire off the C3I assembly.

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Simple spark test, if you have an extra spark plug laying around. Pull a plug wire from one of the front cylinders. Stick it on the uninstalled extra spark plug. Insulate yourself to avoid shock and have partner crank motor. You may have to ground the test plug to a metal surface, but you should hear the spark and see it if you have ignition. Be careful to avoid a jolt up your arm.

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By the way, if you want to attempt spraying starter fluid, spray it into the air filter box with the filter removed. Just spray it up the air duct tubing. Be careful.The best way to test for fuel delivery is to use a fuel pressure gauge at the appropriate test port on the fuel rail.

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Should I follow this video:

That is really a good video. Ronnie should make a link to it from his site.

in addition to what the video shows, some auto parts stores have a DIS module testing machine that can put the module through its paces through a programmed set of electrical tests. Call the store before going over there to make sure they have a tester.

If your module and/or coil pack prove bad, consider doing the "Padgett upgrade" to the newer Delco ignition module at the same time: Padgett's Delco vs Magnavox Page

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That video has been on Reatta Owners Journal for many months.

Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my time posting information on ROJ. Seems like everyone is going to YouTube and Facebook for their troubleshooting help. Won't be long before my site is obsolete. Just a sign of the times I guess.

Ignition System Troubleshooting - Reatta Owners Journal.

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Guest Richard D
That video has been on Reatta Owners Journal for many months.

Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my time posting information on ROJ. Seems like everyone is going to YouTube and Facebook for their troubleshooting help. Won't be long before my site is obsolete. Just a sign of the times I guess.

Not a chance Ronnie, I go to your site first, then if I am still confused I ask/annoy Padgett.

Ignition System Troubleshooting - Reatta Owners Journal.

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No way Ronnie! I hate going through countless youtube videos till I find one that is appropriate for a Reatta. I really did not know you have a stash of Reatta repair videos. I will go there first, so don't feel like it is a waste of time.

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Guest Mc_Reatta

I was going to suggest doing these tests on the ICM (C3I) and CPS. I think the ICM got fried somehow during or after the jump start. But should eliminate the CPS as the culprit first as it could have gone bad as well. Checking that they both are getting power and outputting a signal should tell the tail which one isn't working. Did you check fuse #8 (C3I) yet?

ICM & Crank Position Sensor Troubleshooting - Reatta Owners Journal

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I pulled the ICM and coil and had them tested at the store (which they failed) - installed new ones and now I am back up and running, and seems to be smoother running than before. That was a good feeling to hear it start up.

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I pulled the ICM and coil and had them tested at the store (which they failed) - installed new ones and now I am back up and running, and seems to be smoother running than before. That was a good feeling to hear it start up.
I'm happy to hear your problem was solved. Thanks for letting us know.
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2 weeks ago a buddy asked me to jump start his wife's car off of my Reatta. I regretfully refused, due to catastrophic events that can take place during this process. He was genuinely mad at me. We got a jump box and started it. 3 days ago he jumped the same vehicle, again, with his 2008 Ford van. Now he has a fried computer in the van. Coincidence?

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2 weeks ago a buddy asked me to jump start his wife's car off of my Reatta. I regretfully refused, due to catastrophic events that can take place during this process. He was genuinely mad at me. We got a jump box and started it. 3 days ago he jumped the same vehicle, again, with his 2008 Ford van. Now he has a fried computer in the van. Coincidence?

I know things like this happen all the time, but usally it is from not following the correct steps.

always start withthe car that is running

neg on first positive on second

then due the same on the dead car

People will argue with this piece; always hook directly to the battery, period. Reasoning; the battery is the source, you will get more current and lees likely to have an arc event damage anything else further in the system.

Now for the people that will say the battery could explode hooking directly to it. Yes that is a possibility, but usually happens when you are not paying attention and hook things up backwards. Even then it is not instant and give many warnings prior to happening unless you are jumping a car with a full battery.

Over all keep your head on your shoulder and do it right and you will not fry anything.

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Keep in mind that an alternator, particularly one that is "surprised" by disconnecting a major load, is capable of spiking over 200 volts. The bigger the alternator (amps). The stronger the spike. Back in the day of 37 and 55 amp alternators, frying things was rare. Today with 120-140 amp alternators, not so.

Today I prefer to use a jump box but if connection is needed then connect battery to battery. First, I make sure all battery/alternator connections are good (often a bad connection is why it was not taking a charge). Connect cables with everything off. Start jumper & let run for a minute or two to put a surface charge on the jumpee. Start jumpee, let run until idle drops under 1000 rpm. Shut both off. Remove ground connection then remove positive cable. Move jumper out of way. Don't try to rush things.

Above all, do not remove cables with either car above 1,000 rpm. That will spike. (Why the SCCA requires a double pole kill switch).This is what I do, do not try in living room. YMMV. Notary Sojack, Abandon All Hope, and other weasle words.

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  • 5 months later...
By the way, if you want to attempt spraying starter fluid, spray it into the air filter box with the filter removed. Just spray it up the air duct tubing. Be careful.The best way to test for fuel delivery is to use a fuel pressure gauge at the appropriate test port on the fuel rail.

Uh I know someone who did this with another Buick 3.8 engine and the starter fluid made the MAF explode, ya know the MAF is suppose to have a heated grill inside it. Unless the MAF's are slightly different design from the 84/85 Turbo Rivieras. Should it be sprayed after the MAF?

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Guest crazytrain2

I had the exact same experience of blowing up the ECM and with that the digital dashboard while trying to give a guy a jump from my Chrysler New Yorker. Nevah Agin!

Ronnie I think you're dead wrong about the demise of your web site and that the cause of it being "a sign of the changing times". Quite frankly I feel just the opposite about it. First, the resources you bring to the party are HUGE. Second, the FLAPS on line software is nearing the time that 91's - 88's will no longer be listed.

With a good business plan, some marketing strategy and a sales pitch you could be way ahead of the curve !!!Personally I could see Buick supporting you for Electras, LeSabres etc. given the right plan. jmo

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