I am posting here on behalf of my girlfriend who owns a 2002 Chev Impala. Despite being an older model it only has about 45,000km on it and has regular oil changes. After the car has been running for a while, if we shut it off it usually has problems starting up again. We'd like to resolve this problem because we are worried that we could cause more damage to whatever the problem is, or get stuck some place bad.
To further describe the starting problem: If we are taking the car out after it has been sitting for several hours it will start no problem. If we go into a store or something, when we come back out and try to start it, it will not go. The panel lights all come on, but the engine does not make any attempt to start. Usually after fiddling with the gearshift and retrying to start it a bunch of times it will go, but it is scary every time.
What we have done so far: Recently we took the car into an independent auto mechanic who spent a day looking at it and could not figure out what the problem was (he was unable to reproduce it), so he recommended that we take it to the Chev dealership. The Chev dealership had our car for a week and did not keep us in the loop with what they were doing, only to tell us to bring it in when the problem was occuring. Since the problem doesn't seem to happen after the car has been sitting for a few hours, I don't think doing what they ask will help at all - only cost us more. So now I am turning to you, while wishing I had in the first place
On a slightly different note, after we got the car back, our command start no longer works. I'm also looking for suggestions on how to make sure it is connected or whatever if I can even do that without a shop. Not sure if it was a mechanic error or just bad luck, but either way we'd like to get it going again because it is freezing out!
As a former computer tech, I know how intermittent problems can be hard to troubleshoot, but usually have a process or some kind of idea as to what the problem is in advance. I'm hoping some of you car gurus will be able to offer some ideas and advice as to what is causing this starting issue. If any further information would be helpful, please let me know. I can also take pictures of any components in question if needed.
Thanks much in advance and Happy Holidays,
Brent and Becky