98 Astro Van won't start sometimes

PLACE ANY ISSUES RELATED TO YOUR VAN NOT STARTING OR STARTING HARD IN HERE.
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Topic author
ChuckD
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:54 pm

98 Astro Van won't start sometimes

Post by ChuckD »

Here's what happens. Van usually starts and runs fine. As long as I drive it or it runs long enough to warm up every thing is OK. Occasionally if I just start it to move it a few feet and it doesn't warm up, it is very hard to start the next time. Normally starts up instantly. It's all stock 4.3 utility van. The fuel pump is easy to hear since there is no insulation and seems to be working ok. Took the battery out to charge it so no codes showing on AutoZone checker. AutoZone guy says that resets the computer and suggested doing it again if I get stranded.??? thanks
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WoodButcher
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Re: 98 Astro Van won't start sometimes

Post by WoodButcher »

Is it wet when this happens? How old is the distributor cap and rotor? When was the last tune up?
'93 Safari shorty, 350 swap
'05 Astro AWD, lifted, 6 liter, cammed, ported and programmed for fast.
'69 G10, straight 6, 3 onatree, jumped at me when I had a pocketful of cash looking for a spare astro. :)

Topic author
ChuckD
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:54 pm

Re: 98 Astro Van won't start sometimes

Post by ChuckD »

It doesn't seem to matter if it's damp or dry. I've had it about 4 years, put less than 4000 miles on it and don't know how old the cap etc. are. Runs and drives good. No smoke or unburned fuel smell. So it seems to burn clean. The check engine light was on when I bought it and stays on until I took the battery out to charge it. It's old and cheap ran good seemingly no problem. Should have had that checked. What's a good inexpensive engine checker to buy?
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WoodButcher
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Re: 98 Astro Van won't start sometimes

Post by WoodButcher »

I use an ultraguage for my speedo as I have larger tires and different gears in the rear from stock in my '97. This will read codes and clear them, plus read all the info your OBDII port has to offer.

http://ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/index.htm

I paid $60 or so and it has paid for itself just in clearing codes before inspections.

If your unsure of the last tune up I would expect that a good place to start, at least open the dog house and check the cap and rotor. Corrosion of the contacts in the cap and wear of the rotor are common in these vans. Check the plug wires are all tight and look at them and the coil at night. Have a spray bottle of water and lightly spray looking for arcing shorts.
'93 Safari shorty, 350 swap
'05 Astro AWD, lifted, 6 liter, cammed, ported and programmed for fast.
'69 G10, straight 6, 3 onatree, jumped at me when I had a pocketful of cash looking for a spare astro. :)
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