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My 2008 Torrent won't start


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Two weeks ago, my car froze due to several days of below zero temperatures.  I have a 2008 Torrent GXP with a V6.  We replaced the battery and the starter, put in new plugs.  It's in bad need of an oil change, which we will get, but can't get the plug out to drain it so we will need to take it in (need air tools)  While replacing the starter, the exhaust had to be lowered and when putting it back in place, I was told we needed new bolts and a new exhaust manifold gasket to be replaced.  The gasket and bolts have not yet been replaced, but should they be a reason the car won't start?  It turns over and fires, but won't stay running.  (I think that's the right way to say it).  I've only owned this vehicle for a year, it's got just over 170K miles on it.  Before it froze, I had no issues with this car.  I just dont know if what I'm dealing with is a simple fix that we haven't tried yet, or if it's time to find another vehicle.  Any insight or suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

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Hi JIll, welcome to FP.

Does your car spend a most of the time outside in the cold Minnesota air?

You are correct that the starter and exhaust manifold should not prevent the engine from running, especially if it is trying to start. It sounds like it's not getting gas.

My first suspicion is you have fuel line freeze up since you are in very cold Minnesota right now. You should try putting a bottle of dry gas (like HEET ISO Gas Dryer or STP Water Remover) in your tank and move the car into a warm(er) heated garage over night. A friend of mine had that happen to their 2015 Ford Flex last week her e in MIchigan.

The second problem could be a clogged fuel filter. With that much high mileage, the filter may have gotten clogged and chose this moment to inconvenience you. The fuel filter is under the car, typically on the driver's side of the car. It is a small cannister that sells for around $10-15 at most parts stores. It takes a special tool to disconnect/reconnect it. Again, you can get it at the auto parts store. Be care disconnecting it, gas is under pressure, so you may spill some gas on the floor unless you relieve the pressure first.

Finally, check your fuses with your owner's manual and fuse cover. Make sure the fuse for your fuel pump is not blown. If the electric pump in the fuel tank isn't sending fuel to the engine, it won't run.

 

I hope this helps. Please let us know how it goes.

Edited by Frosty
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Thank you so much for your input.  The car was in a garage until I bought it in November of 2019.  Two weeks ago was the first "deep freeze" and when the problems started.  I should note that after we got the new starter installed, the car started and ran....poorly, but we assumed that was the exhaust issue that needs to be fixed.  It only ran for 2 days and both days were during our cold freeze, 3rd day, it wouldn't start.  I did put heet in the gas tank after it wouldn't start again.  My friend, who can usually fix anything, will try all the things above that you suggested and I will definitely  let you know the outcome....again, thank you for helping.  

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Always happy to help. 

 

If the gas tank was low on gas when this all started, the probability of gas line freeze goes up. In extreme cold weather like we've had here in the northern midwest, it's best to keep half a tank of gas or better, whenever possible, when you leave a car or truck outside overnight. 

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I haven't had a chance to get anyone to look at the car again, but, I keep searching on line for the location of the fuel filter, because someone suggested that its in the tank....my car is a 2008 Torrent GXP 3.6L   where can I find a diagram or info on the fuel filter??  Sorry, I just know so very little about this stuff.

 

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Okay - you are correct, I did some checking as well, the fuel filter on the Equinox/torrent/Vue platform is in the fuel tank. While it is not inconceivable that the filter is clogged, I find it unlikely. Clearly this will be an expensive endeavor to replace it if it is clogged.

In the engine compartment, along the fuel rail is a Schrader valve (similar to a bicycle or car tire valve). You or a mechanic should be able to check fuel flow by removing the cover to the Schrader valve and see if any fuel is flowing to the fuel rail when you try to start the car. That will validate that fuel is getting to the engine.

If fuel is getting to the engine, then we would have to diagnose the problem at the engine itself.

Have you tried to start the car with the weather getting warmer?

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Yes and its starts and then dies right away.  This is so frustrating as this car had no issues before the deep freeze.  I know this is a long shot, but the oil was very overdue for a change, and is still waiting to be done....is it possible that this could be the cause?  

 

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I highly doubt that an overdue oil change could prevent a motor from running. A lack of oil would seize a motor up but doesn’t sound like the problem you’ve described.

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Jill - Last Indian is correct. If the spark plugs themselves are not gapped correctly, the engine won't fire. The gap should be around .040. You can get a spark plug gap check/set tool at your local auto parts store for cheap. His point about the coil packs is also correct. 

Your car needs fuel, air, and spark to fire up. So let's take a "one thing at time" approach. Let's validate fuel first, them move to spark, we assume there is plenty of air at the moment.

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  • 1 year later...

I realize this is a old post but my girlfriend has one of these "TORRMENTS" and I noticed you changed battery, as I did & it set off about 22 codes on OBDII reader!!  I had all codes removed and so far so good !!  I think you have a computer problem or even a possible oil pressure sensor that's telling engine to "SHUT DOWN" ???

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