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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2004 SES 24VDOHC. Its got 96K miles on it and its starting acting up again (at 40K I had to have the cluster, ignition and some other electrical parts replaced to fix an electrical bug that would keep the car from starting occasionally).

Its started up with the same problems around 90K, every now and then when i get in and turn on the ignition its like i have no battery connected. The other day it did it to me and i fiddled with the fuse panel in the engine compartment and then with the relay panel on the side of the battery and the car magically started. But then two days later, when my wife was driving it with the kids (ofcourse), it did it to her again, but then started up and when she got home it started doing something else...

now it will start and idle, but if you try and increase the throttle it dies. I played with the throttle manually in the engine compartment to listen and it sound like its coughing when you give it gas. The air cleaner is fine, not dirty at all, and i replaced the fuel filter (since it had never been done and thats a cheap fix if its the problem, but it wasn't gas flowed freely through it and was clean coming out), and then i replaced the Throttle Position Sensor (I tired to test it first but there was no way i could get a good connection with my multimeter, so i tried running the engine w/o the TPS connected and it did the same thing, so i figured it was worth a shot). But alas it is neither of those.

I'm tired of shooting in the dark. The check engine light was not on prior to me messing with stuff, it is now, and i suspect it is because i disconnected the TPS and IAC at various point trying to solve this riddle.

I also thought maybe air leak, but i sprayed WD40 around the intake manifold while idling and got no change in engine idle...

help? thanks you.
 

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have the codes pulled first of all. dont assume what they are. playing with the fuse box then getting it to start may be a sign of a bad connection or ground. i would start at looking at all the grounds and making sure they are clean and intact. same with the power wires. the positive battery connection to the fuse box. it should be clean and shiny if not clean it. also have the battery and alt tested under load at auto zone or someplace else. a weak battery or alt can cause some of the problems you have. also a bad fuel pump will play hell on you this time of year. do a fuel rail pressure check and see if the pressure is in normal range.
 

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have the codes pulled first of all. dont assume what they are. playing with the fuse box then getting it to start may be a sign of a bad connection or ground. i would start at looking at all the grounds and making sure they are clean and intact. same with the power wires. the positive battery connection to the fuse box. it should be clean and shiny if not clean it. also have the battery and alt tested under load at auto zone or someplace else. a weak battery or alt can cause some of the problems you have. also a bad fuel pump will play hell on you this time of year. do a fuel rail pressure check and see if the pressure is in normal range.
I think your on the right track with the grounding. There should be
a group of relays around the battery or such. They probably have a
ground for them on the fender well close by. look for ground lugs and
take them off and clean them up and reinstall.

I would also take the relays out one by one and check the contacts
for overheating or corroded sockets
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bob, Biggdog, thank you for the suggestions. I went out tonight and looked at the ground connections on the battery and the fender, both were clean as the day they came off the factory, absolutely no cleaning necessary. But i figured what the heck, i disconnected the neg battery cable, ate a bag of M&Ms, hooked it back up and whaddya know, the car runs fine now...

i'm happy its running right, but as far as i'm concerned the problem is not solved (and will probably stay unresolved until the next time something happens, when i'll first try disconnecting the battery). Any ideas why it does this? I mean the connection was fine before i took it off, seriously, not a speck of rust or dirt or anything... i did nothing but take it off, wait, put it back on...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
oh and i pulled the relays the other day when trying stuff, one by one, they were all fine too.
 

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have the battery load tested. it is possible that it has a dead cell or just plain weak. when you pulled the post, the power stopped being drained and the battery had more power when you hooked it back up. test the alt also. im 99% sure its one of these causing the problem.
 
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