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Old 12-31-2012, 06:47 AM   #1
Cablesgirl
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Default Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

2010 Chevy Malibu (86,000 miles)

I filled my tank about halfway a few days ago and when I went to start it, it would not start. I had to pump the gas a couple of times. My husband drove it the next morning and the check engine light came on. He took it to get the code and it is throwing a gas cap code. Replaced it and hoped the light would go off. This morning, I filled it half way with gas again, and same thing...car wouldnt start and i had to pump the gas pedal to get it to start. Both times the start was really rough. The light is still on. Any ideas as to what this could be?

I appreciate the help.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

To start with, "pumping the gas" doesn't work on EFI vehicles like ours. In the days of carburetors the physical action would actually squirt fuel into the intake and make a richer AFR (air-fuel ratio), enabling a cold engine to start more easily, but only if it wasn't flooded with too much fuel.

On EFI the fuel is controlled by the computer and reacts to the "gas" pedal, which now simply moves the throttle plate to allow more air to enter the intake. The computer meters the air flow (MAF - mass air flow - on ours) and calculates the correct injector timing pulse or looks up a value in a table.

Being difficult to start can be several different things.

1. Is the battery fully charged and capable of starting your car in cold weather? On a 2010 the battery may still be covered either fully or at a pro-rated amount. Have it tested and make a decision on whether to replace it.

2. Is the alternator charging the battery fully? Have it tested and possibly replaced under warranty if defective.

3. Are the battery cables clean where they connect to the battery? Are they clean where they connect at the other ends? A poor or dirty ground connection can do what you describe.

4. When driving the car did it seem like it was running poorly, especially at highway speeds? You may have gotten junk or water in the fuel. Water is heavier than gas and sinks to the bottom of the tank, which is what you'll suck up first. If it's just a small amount it could make starting difficult but still allow just enough fuel to sputter. Then, once running, the increased flow would be enough to keep it running, even if poorly. When was the last time you changed the fuel filter? Might be a good time to service it.

5. Did you fill up at the same station and/or same pump? You might have junk or water from the first time, and if the same pump, more of the same. See #4 above.

6. The gas cap code won't prevent it from starting. It simply lets you know you didn't get the tank sealed properly, either from leaving it off, not closing it fully, or from a failed gasket.

7. If the injectors are leaking fuel after shutting off it could be flooding the engine with fuel vapors and stepping on the throttle allows more air to mix and eventually start. Do you use "Top Tier" fuels or "Mom N Pop" gas? Top Tier fuels actually help keep things clean, including your injectors. If you use Mom N Pop fuels then you might want to consider Chevron Techroline additive. It might be good to double-dose it a time or two. If dirty injectors and/or valves is the cause this product can definitely help!

8. Is the starter weak? Or drawing too much amperage? Having it checked can possibly lead to a solution.
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Last edited by DrivenDaily; 12-31-2012 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:41 AM   #3
Cablesgirl
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

There are no problems with starting other than these two instances. The car runs fine once it is started. I did get fuel both times from the same place. I will check everything else and fuel up somewhere else to see if that alleviates the problem. Thanks for the tips
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

Maybe its a Fuel Pressure Problem. Has it been checked? I had one in a previous car that, When I shut the engine off, Lost all pressure. The heat from the engine was causing "Vaporlock". Would not start unless I cycled the key a couple of times. The Escape(Traded for Malibu) does not use a Return Line to the tank. The Pressure Regulator (Built into the pump) was stuck open. I wonder if its the same problem here??
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

Thats an interesting possibility...once I find out the solution, I will post it on here in case anybody else needs to know
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cablesgirl View Post
2010 Chevy Malibu (86,000 miles)

I filled my tank about halfway a few days ago and when I went to start it, it would not start. I had to pump the gas a couple of times. My husband drove it the next morning and the check engine light came on. He took it to get the code and it is throwing a gas cap code. Replaced it and hoped the light would go off. This morning, I filled it half way with gas again, and same thing...car wouldnt start and i had to pump the gas pedal to get it to start. Both times the start was really rough. The light is still on. Any ideas as to what this could be?
That is most often caused by a stuck-open evap purge valve. What exact code did it throw?

Pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor & holding it there will activate fuel injection 'clear flood mode' & make it easier to start if I'm right about the purge valve.

Good news is that its a very simple to replace part.

Last edited by greenman; 01-01-2013 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

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Originally Posted by DrivenDaily View Post
To start with, "pumping the gas" doesn't work on EFI vehicles like ours. In the days of carburetors the physical action would actually squirt fuel into the intake and make a richer AFR (air-fuel ratio), enabling a cold engine to start more easily, but only if it wasn't flooded with too much fuel.
Absolutely right. The only input from the accelerator pedal the fuel injection computer will respond to while in start mode is if you press the pedal to the floor & hold it there. That engages 'clear flood mode' which cuts off most of the liquid fuel being injected into the cylinders until the engine starts.

Last edited by greenman; 01-01-2013 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cablesgirl View Post
2010 Chevy Malibu (86,000 miles)

I filled my tank about halfway a few days ago and when I went to start it, it would not start. I had to pump the gas a couple of times. My husband drove it the next morning and the check engine light came on. He took it to get the code and it is throwing a gas cap code. Replaced it and hoped the light would go off. This morning, I filled it half way with gas again, and same thing...car wouldnt start and i had to pump the gas pedal to get it to start. Both times the start was really rough. The light is still on. Any ideas as to what this could be?

I appreciate the help.
We certainly apologize for any inconveniences you are experiencing with this. If you would like, I can check your VIN to see if anything is applicable on your vehicle. Also please send me the mileage along with the VIN. Have you been to the dealership yet for this concern?

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:20 AM   #9
Cablesgirl
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

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Originally Posted by Chevrolet Customer Svc View Post
We certainly apologize for any inconveniences you are experiencing with this. If you would like, I can check your VIN to see if anything is applicable on your vehicle. Also please send me the mileage along with the VIN. Have you been to the dealership yet for this concern?

Brandon (assisting Michelle)
Chevrolet Customer Service
Hi Brandon,

I have not been to the dealer yet because I am recovering from Christmas and dread the cost of diagnostics (if there is or will be a cost). I am going to give them a call when they open this morning. Also, just to let you know, I filled completely up this morning and the car started really rough, but it started the first time. I do not have this problem any other time, only after fueling.

My VIN is 1G1ZC5E05AF167837
Mileage is 86182
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car does not want to start after adding gas to the gas tank

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Originally Posted by Cablesgirl View Post
Mileage is 86182
Won't be covered under expired B2B or emissions warranty. I'm guessing the dealer charge will be in the $200-300 range out-the-door.

Last edited by greenman; 01-04-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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