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Vehicle Will Not Start After Filling With Fuel

Crank No Start

We recently came across an interesting crank no start repair that seems to be more common than we thought. This crank no start situation can happen on any vehicle make or model.

The customer complaint is the vehicle will not start after filling with fuel. If the vehicle is cranked repeatedly it will finally start. After that it will run fine and start every time.

I drove with the customer down to the fuel station and had her fill up the vehicle. Sure enough it would not start. I tested for fuel pressure, spark and injector pulse. All were good. Vehicle acted like it was flooded.

Drove back to shop and started to test parts. We noticed on the scan tool that the purge valve which is part of the evaporation system was open. Generally at idle or vehicle in off position the valve should be closed.

Now lets take a minute to explain why this would cause a no start condition only when filling up and set no service engine light codes at all.

When the fuel level drops fuel vapor fills the fuel tank and vacuum lines. As the new fuel is added the vapors normally would be pushed out through the fuel fill tube and through the evap hoses. If the purge valve is closed they can not enter into the engine. If the purge valve is open they will fill up the engine/intake manifold with “free” fuel vapor and flood the engine out with too much fuel!

Thus causing a flooded out engine situation.

We tested the valve and confirmed it was stuck open. The purge valve is located under the hood. The vent valve is located at the rear of the vehicle usually next to the fuel tank.
Replaced purge valve and found no crank no start issue was gone on next fuel fill up.

I can imagine many repair shops having a lot of fun with this one! I can also imagine the poor customer paying a ton of money to find and repair this no start issue. Most shops would replace many parts and still not be able to correctly fix this one.

East Lansing Auto Repair

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