Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Postby shanshark10 [OP] » August 9th 2017, 10:53pm

Hi all,

So I have been dealing with a hell of an issue, and here's the best way I can sum it up. Hopefully I can get some much needed advice from you all.

I use my van for weekend camping, so I only drive it every once in awhile. When I do, it typically fires up strong and runs great initially, but after a little bit of driving around town, the engine will not want to turn over when attempting to start the van again. It'll turn when I shift the key, but when I pull the key back, the engine will die with it. What I have found out in order to get the van to start when this happens is to LIGHTLY give the van gas from the throttle. I'll hold my foot on the throttle for maybe 1-2 minutes very lightly, and the engine will begin to rev and catch. The van will typically be ok for a weekend of travels after this happens once, but this happens almost every time I drive my van out and i need to figure the reason why this is happening!

I have already exchanged the distributor thinking that was the culprit, but no dice. I currently have a service engine light on that is signaling an evap line leak I believe, and have been diligently told that this cannot be the reason for my engine problems; although this should be fixed as I do smell fumes when filling up and driving occasionally but the mechanic cannot find where the leak is happening. My mpg has suffered as well I believe because of this (not sure though).

If anyone has insight to the engine starting problem, I will be forever grateful! I don't want to jeopardize my engine with something like this. The van is a 2003 Chevy Astro with roughly 169K miles on it.

Thanks
Original Poster [OP]
shanshark10
Fueling (Empty tank)
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Van Model Year: 2003
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

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Re: Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Postby TurnNburn » August 9th 2017, 11:23pm

So do you believe its an evap leak code or do you KNOW its an evap leak code? have you checked recently?

If you can smell raw fuel then I would be pretty worried about that. Best case scenario its just fumes, which is your gas evaporating off into the atmosphere(probably why your getting poor mpgs), but worse case scenario is your leaking raw fuel in liquid form which... well.... can end disastrously, especially on these hot days.

Have you checked your fuel pressure?
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Re: Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Postby shanshark10 [OP] » August 10th 2017, 2:20am

It is an evap leak code. I know my gas line isn't leaking any liquid gasoline, but probably screwing up my mpg. I haven't checked the check engine light lately but know this is the code it will spit out. I live in Oklahoma and they don't have any emissions tests they require cars to go through otherwise my van would likely not be able to get on the road for this issue...

I took my van into a mechanic months ago when this engine problem was happening but they couldn't get the van to not start in order to trouble shoot the problem. They checked the fuel pressure and everything looked fine there. The problem I face is when the van doesn't want to start, I'm not at the mechanic. The time I took it in was immediately after I forced it to start back up but unfortunately they couldn't get it to not start like I mentioned. **** situation to be in...
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Postby LexTempus » August 10th 2017, 3:48am

While it's likely I don't know that answer, I am curious. What exactly do you mean by " it doesn't want to to turn over"? During this "1 - 2 minutes" is the engine running or are you still trying the start it?
Everything breaks.
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Re: Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Postby shanshark10 [OP] » August 11th 2017, 3:10pm

Apologies on my language. The engine revs when I turn the key in the ignition, but as soon as I pull the key back the engine will die. In taht 1-2 minute period, the engine is in fact running, but similarly to just trying to start it normally, it will die when I let up on the throttle at all.

Thanks
Original Poster [OP]
shanshark10
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Re: Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Postby wyomad » September 11th 2017, 5:35am

I'm having this exact same issue with my 05 AWD. Every now and then she'll start up and run fine but most times I have to do the same thing with the gas pedal. Another way to do it is basically just start driving, and at the first couple of stops use your left foot on the brake (takes getting used to) and keep your right foot slightly on the gas. I find that just a couple times doing that and it'll get rid of the low idle/shuddering. ANYWAY.... its a very frustrating issue and I have the evap code as well (0455). I am about to get into the system and start messing around so if I find anything out I will definitely chime in.
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Re: Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Postby wyomad » September 15th 2017, 12:46pm

So the other day I was reading about the possible causes of this dilemma and started looking around under the van. I started messing with the evap purge valve/ solenoid. All of my symptoms seemed to line up with this part although some people who have issues with it also have a hard time filling their tank, which I did not. All I did was remove it (along the driver's side rail underneath), blew in the electrical connector, gave it a shake to make sure I can hear it rattling, and made sure the hose connection was unobstructed. Reinstalled it.... no more problem. I assume its probably sticking so I will replace it but I think the part is something like 26 dollars. Maybe give that a shot? When the van is initially started it tests that valve and if its stuck either open or closed, the van will throw the 0455.
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Re: Difficulty Starting '03 Chevy Astro. Need Help

Postby bambox » September 15th 2017, 6:25pm

Yup, I know this issue. My friend had the same problem, although he sold the car and got another one. Never really figured out why it was happening.
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