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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Can anyone help?

Our 9-3 2004 petrol 2.0T has recently had 2 episodes of not starting in the last 2 weeks after a blemish free (and fun!) first year under our ownership. First time, the engine cranked but no fuel at fuel rail, was recovered to garage but started fine once there so was nothing to fix - suspicion was that having the car bump along to the garage corrected a bad connection somewhere? Subsequently started/ran fine for another few hundred miles/perhaps 30 journeys and it happened again - this time, at first the engine caught but only for a second or two, when I tried a little later last night with the breakdown guy it wouldn't catch at all, so clearly only residual fuel in system coming through, nothing being pumped. Before I had the breakdown guy out the second time I did try charging the battery as I read somewhere that the fuel pump can be one of the first parts to suffer if the battery is on the way out? Anyway, gave it a quick boost and tried to start it twice - no joy.

Breakdown guy turned up this morning to transport to garage and it started! It had rained a fair amount overnight - maybe improved conductivity of an earth/cable somewhere? Had the charging actually helped, but I hadn't tried starting it enough times to restore fuel all the way to the engine- , if there is hardly any fuel in the pipes how long would you need to turn the engine before fuel finds its way there?

Has anybody had simlar issues, if so what was the cure? Anybody with a view as to the most likely culprit? Intermittent nature suggests its not the fuel pump itself or a fuse I guess, but what is most likely? Battery? Bad earth etc? fuel pump relay? Any ideas gratefully received on what it might be or the best way to diagnose, even if I only end up relaying any info to my garage!! Thanks very much!!
 

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I would search the forums for "Crank Position Sensor" or CPS. It sounds like you're having similar symptoms to the people that have fault CPS's.

Hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Wynnston, had considered this but thought unlikely as the second time the car wouldn't run (when it had only been stood for an hour or so), it did catch and run for a second or two each time I started it before it died, then after leaving it a few hours and trying again it just turned - this suggested to me it was more likely a fuel supply problem, I wouldn't expect it to catch at all if it was a CPS issue? Regards, Martin
 

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Thanks Wynnston, had considered this but thought unlikely as the second time the car wouldn't run (when it had only been stood for an hour or so), it did catch and run for a second or two each time I started it before it died, then after leaving it a few hours and trying again it just turned - this suggested to me it was more likely a fuel supply problem, I wouldn't expect it to catch at all if it was a CPS issue? Regards, Martin
True.

Have you tried having the car scanned for fault codes? The car can be on the "ON" position, it doesn't have to be started. It might come up with a fuel pressure code which could help. Another thing to double check is the plumbing around your EVAP purge valve, I know these are only triggered when you fill up but it might be dodgy causing the fuel supply to intermittently cut off.

Do you get a fuel smell at all?

In the end, you're probably right and you might have a bad fuel pump. Usually these go completely, but sometimes (like mine) they will play up intermittently before they go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, it's back from the local garage sgain (been recovered there twice now), still no fault codes showing apparently and it always behaves impeccably there. Thankfully they are great guys so no charge so far and have quoted me £350 to supply and fit new pump which i think is very fair. they favour the fuel pump being the cause but they agree it's worth trying to get the car to them in a non-starting condition so they can properly diagnose ie check for power at the fuel pump, the £350 would be a bit of a gamble otherwise. For info, the first time it wouldnt start for the recovery guys but started immediately at the garage when recovered there after a few days on my drive, the second time it happened itwouldn't start at lunch, or in the evening, but did start for the recovery guy in the morning without being touched. Weird. But Now i know it's intermittent I will look out for any patterns to help diagnose. Will post up the final outcome...
 
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