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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

I have a 2012 3.8 Auto. I bought the car in October of 2011 and have had approximately 5 different instances when I push the start button and the car tries to start but it takes about 10 second of the car just trying to turn over but the engine won't start. Each time, it either started eventually when I hold the button down, or I've released the button and it's started right up on the second try.

Also, maybe I'm imagining things but I think my car takes a good second longer to start than other gen coupes. Anybody have this same issue? Anybody have any ideas what this might be (e.g. bad spark plugs)? The car only has 15K miles on it, so this is a bit of a concern.

Also, I got a custom tune from SFR and he said I was getting some mild detonation at the very top end of the power band so he couldn't advance the timing there (Was still able to get up to 274 WHP with basic bolt-ons). He thought it could be bad gas or bad spark plugs but he didn't seem too concerned. I'm wondering if these two issues may be related. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 

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This happens to me whenever I am near empty in fuel and it never happens when tank is more then 1/4 of the way full. Not sure why but at least I know when it happens


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I drive a V6
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happens to mine once in a while too, used to happen more often when I parked on an incline.
 

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Take 'em Fei!
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A little more info so I may be able to help better:

1) What octane do you run?
2) What type of driving style? Any tracking?
3) What was the fuel level at the time of the hard starts?
4) Do you notice any whir or whine that matches the RPMs of the engine coming from behind you when driving?
5) Does the car bog or seem to lack power when you get on it randomly, or after these hard starts?
6) When hard starting, does the starter stay at a constant volume and pace when attempting to turn the engine over or does it seem to start strong and then bog down until it catches or you turn it off and back on and it starts the second time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1). I run 91, although sometimes I go to crappy stations, which is what Jay thought created the mild detonation when I got tuned.

2) I dont track but I drive very aggressively in San Francisco which equals a lot of city driving.

3)not totally sure about the fuel level for each time, but the last time it happened I was 1/8 tank

4). I do notice a whir or whine, but I'm not sure if its coming from behind me. I will make sure to check this tomorrow when going to work. Also its an auto so whir from the tranny is to be expected so I have heard.

5) I don't think so. Car seems to pull pretty well as long as its warm and I'm handling the auto correctly. Havent noticed any issues with each of the 5 bad starts but its only happened 5 Tims in 2 years: confused:

6) The starter maintains a constant rate and has always worked, either by holding the button until starts even if it took 15 seconds, or by releasing the button and pressing it immediately again.
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Based on what you are saying, the mileage of the car, and the conditions, it is either bad gas as Jay said or your fuel pump. Specifically, the O-ring that maintains fuel back pressure through the fuel rail may be defective/damaged and allowing fuel to flow back into the tank. While it doesn't hurt anything really, it can cause hard starts like that and then it starts and runs normal. If anything, it may be a bit harder on the battery and starter, but not too bad given how often it seems to happen. I wouldn't think it is the plugs as you would also see sporadic to constant performance issues (hence question 5). Additionally, the Gen Coupe has been known to have sporadic fuel pump issues (I am about to replace mine for the second time).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jay you tuned me, and did a fantastic job (7 pulls folks). I'm the silver "12 auto in the NCAL event you just did in Fremont. What do you think the problem could have been? Do you still think it was bad gas given the additional info I posted above? The detonation was noticeable at the top of the power band. Thanks and good job to back the timing down there (the guy is legit). I still had solid gains and the car is a beast now. Thanks again Jay and would appreciate your thoughts on what would be my best next steps.

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Did you PM him this thread link or something? Just mentioning his name isn't going to alert him this thread is here...
 

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Same problem with my car. Only happens when it is below 35 degrees outside and I am low on fuel. When I say low, I mean that the gas light is on when It fires up.
 

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Same problem with my car. Only happens when it is below 35 degrees outside and I am low on fuel. When I say low, I mean that the gas light is on when It fires up.
That's actually pretty normal from what all I have read through the years on the forum.

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Happens to me when around 1/8 or less and parked on a slight incline over 6 hours or so (driveway). I've always put 91 in. I think I posted a video somewhere but after reading the same thing in the same situations I haven't done anything about it
 

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Good to hear is normal. I was considering taking my car to the dealership.


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I would still recommend taking it by the dealership to let them do a fuel line pressure test. Takes about 30 minutes to do, so with turn in and out time 1 hour tops and should be free of charge under warranty. That way you don't run the risk of missing a fuel pump issue that could later fry out of nowhere and leave you stranded as the fuel pump is a known hit or miss issue with this car for people on the forum.
 

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never use only drop once!
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yup. my old office parking lot had a slight upgrade. Anytime I was below 1/8th tank it would take forever for the car to start. Car has a weak fuel pump...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks guys and WildBill specifically. I'm due for an oil change and will have the dealer check the fuel pump and plugs (just in case).
 

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zach
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for me it was my brake sensor it started going out, so it didnt reconize when i was pushing the brake, so i had mine replaced for around 100 buck works like a charm now.
 

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^ I believe there's a recall for that now. I've had this issue also when I'm low on gas and parked on an incline, what I usually do is just prime the fuel pump, so push the button without pushing in the clutch, let it sit for a bit and then push the clutch and start er up
 

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for me it was my brake sensor it started going out, so it didnt reconize when i was pushing the brake, so i had mine replaced for around 100 buck works like a charm now.
^ I believe there's a recall for that now. I've had this issue also when I'm low on gas and parked on an incline, what I usually do is just prime the fuel pump, so push the button without pushing in the clutch, let it sit for a bit and then push the clutch and start er up
No recall but there is a TSB and they will fix it under warranty. That being said, the part is cheap (i.e. under $25) and install is silly simple and takes 5 minutes to do.
 

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I will also add that letting the car get below 1/4, especially 1/8, of a tank where the gas light comes on is really hard on the fuel pump and will lead to premature failure. I try not to let mine dip below 1/4 if I can help it and I have, as I said, had to replace mine twice.
 
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