Reader Question Hello Austin,
I have a 1996 Chevy Blazer with a 4.3 V6 engine. I have an intermittent starting problem. When I turn the key to the on position, and the dashboard shows a complete bulb check my car will start. When the bulb check does not work the car will not start. In both cases the starter turns with no problem.
From prior experience it has always been a computer problem. I changed the ECM but the problem still exists. The check engine light does not stay on so I doubt if there is a trouble code being stored. I also checked the fusible link going from the battery to the ECM and it is not open. Recently I have noticed that when I shut the key off the fuel pump is still running for a few seconds before turning off.
I do not have a service manual for this engine so I have no idea what other devices are in this circuit. If you can be of any help I would greatly appreciate it. I also thank you for your time and for this site being available to the public. Thank you, Mark
So let me make sure I understand the complaint.
Sometimes you turn the key to the on position and the dash light check does not happen…..you try to start the engine, and it turns over (starter is working, engine is trying to start) but engine won’t ignite and start.
So you have to wait? Until it WILL start? Does it do this when the engine is warm, after driving around awhile, or first thing in the morning, or at random intervals.
The very first thing that comes to my mind would be to look at the ignition switch, and or the ignition lock rod inside the steering column and ignition lock cylinder.
This model does/did have a problem with the fuel injectors (spider injector) plastic fuel links cracking and leaking down fuel. When this happens it takes a long time of cranking the engine to pump up the fuel pressure. Although it has no bearing on the dash light check not working.
Let me know.
Austin C. Davis
Austin, once the dash light check works, then the car will start. It does not matter if the engine is cold, completely warmed up or in between.
When the key is turned to the on position, the clock will light up and the gear position needle in the dash lights up it is just that the bulb check lights do not come on and the car will not start until they do. That is why I replaced the ECM but that did not fix this problem.
This model does/did have a problem with the fuel injectors (spider injector) plastic fuel links cracking and leaking down fuel. When this happens it takes a long time of cranking the engine to pump up the fuel pressure
I did a fuel pressure check and it averaged 55 psi. It is a little below average for this vehicle but I don’t know if it makes that much difference.
How would I go about checking the ignition switch? That is one thing I have not done, though I wondered about it. I do not know how to get into it to see if that is what is causing this.
Thank you again, Mark
Thanks for your reply Mark,
The ignition switch is located on the steering column, towards the bottom under the dash area. You probably have to drop the column down slightly to gain full access to the switch; they never make it easy to get to.
I would also make sure the ignition lock cylinder (where you put your key) turns smoothly. The lock cylinder moves a long rod inside the steering column (ignition rod) which then comes in contact with the ignition switch thus making the switch operate, if the key is not turning all the way to the start position, the ignition switch might not get the “start signal” .
Austin C. Davis