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Q: Ignition switch starting in section step. All accessories come on dash but the check engine light is not coming on.

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Ignition switch starting in second cycle and check engine not coming on dash

Hi, thanks for writing in. I am not completely sure how to interpret your question, so I will touch base on a few things hoping it will help you out. If I interpret correctly, your car takes two key cycles, (attempt to crank once then twice) before it will start. What I don’t know is if the motor cranks the first try or not. This is a key detail that dictates my answer. If it cranks but won’t start the first time, this is most likely a fuel supply issue. If it only cranks the second time, this is an electrical issue I would need to do direct testing to make sense of.

If you turn the key on, the check engine light along with all the dash warning indicators should turn on. This is what is known as a bulb test. This lets us know if any bulbs are burnt out on the dash. If the light is not on after startup, I am not surprised if the motor eventually runs and runs fine. The check engine lights primary responsibility is for emissions problems. If all the other lights light up but the check engine light, you have a problem with the PCM (powertrain control module).

Contrary to popular belief, PCM’s don’t fail very often. Before I condemn a PCM I do every test I can come up with to confirm its failure. This can be extensive, and I would expect it to be so with your CTS. If this is the case, I would expect your car will not start at all.

I recommend the following inspection to help you out: Car is hard to start inspection

Good luck!

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