HELP!!! my car won't start! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-31-2004, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default HELP!!! my car won't start!

hey, i've got an 88 bonneville LE (yeah, i made my name before i was told the correct year...oops) anyways, i just replaced the starter. and my car doesn't start, when we sprayed some starter fluid into the air intake it started up the first couple times, but after that we replace the spark plugs (bosch platinum 2) and put more transmission fluid in it (the car had been sitting for 10 months or more and was severely low), hoping that would fix the starting issue, but it hasn't. i checked the fuel valvle on the rail and it'* flowing to the rail, but i think a few injectors are plugged or something. i also filled the tank w/ some new fuel (along w/ the half tank of 10 mo. old fuel) and put some fuel injector cleaner in it, and ran it for 20+ miles before bringing it back, and then not being able to start at all. i called my mechanic friend and he said that the coil pack might be bad, and not having a strong spark, so we checked it w/ a multimeter and it has power...idk how much power it'* supposed to have but it'* got some juice there. and we're all confused as to what else it could be, it tries to start when the starting fluid is shot in there, but then immediately stops, the same if we take the plug off the injectors and hook 'em up to the battery so that they inject some fuel in there, and then try to start it. it'* just really messed up. i need this car by thursday so please anyone that has any ideas at all. thank you.
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Old 10-31-2004, 06:56 AM   #2
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You will need to test the fuel pressure. I believe it should be around 40-45 PSI at the rail. The ignition doesn't sound like the culprit here, however don't rule it out. Have you tried the light bulb trick? Where you hook up a bulb to the fuel injector wire, so when the ECU tells x injector to flow, the bulb will light up? That way you can test each injector'* wiring, and proper ECU operation. My first suggestion is to test the fuel pressure, that sounds like a fuel delivery problem.

Also.. this may not be a bad idea. I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS! I just came up with it on the spot, so if someone disagrees please say something. You said you have half a tank of 10 month old gas, and the rest is new fuel. What if you take the green wire just sitting by the battery, give it 12 volts [positive], and let the fuel pump run. Now, all that will happen is the fuel pump will run, giving fuel throughout the system, but if the car isn't running, it will just flow back to the tank via the return line. This will then circulate the gas, allowing the old and new fuel to combine, hopfully creating a medicre fuel. This will also be a good time to test the fuel pressure, make sure that the car has 40-45 PSI at the rail. This will also allow testing of the fuel pump. It may have failed, thus causing the no start situation. Once again, I have never tried this, so maybe you should wait until a techie approves this.


-justin
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Old 10-31-2004, 08:35 AM   #3
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how do we test the fuel pressure? it looks like we can just use a tire gauge or something...we tested the fuel pump by holding down the valve with a screwdriver and turning the ignition to "on" and gas shot up like a geyser, (then we shut it off immediately of course...) so the fuel pump is working, but i will check the pressure to see if it'* enough. so you don't think it could be the coil pack? we know it'* definately not the crank sensor (that was the other thought) b/c there'* spark when we pull a plug and ground it. it'* not what i would call a "real strong" spark, but it'* there...well thanks for the help.
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Old 10-31-2004, 08:37 AM   #4
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AutoZone carries an Actron Fuel Pressure Guage, very nice product.
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:22 PM   #5
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In general, 10 month old gas will be OK, usually takes longer to go to gum & varnish.

That said, if it tries to start when fluid is sprayed and you have pressure on the fuel rail, then the ECM may not be rattling the injectors (could be ESC, wiring, or ECM). Did you crank for long enough for the oil pressure to come up ? Can put a test light on one and see if it flashes.

There is a six page troubleshooting section in the factory service manual for "cranks but does not run". Is there space on the forum server to post (think it is about a MB as a PDF).

BTW, just having pressure in the rail does not mean it is gas, might be water.
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:26 PM   #6
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it is gas in the fuel rail, we had it shooting out like a geyser, and it'* definately gasoline. we checked the ECM and it had a little charge, idk if it'* enough or not...we used a multimeter. how hard would they be to replace if it is the ECM?
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Old 10-31-2004, 06:28 PM   #7
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Well, if you want to throw parts at it, go ahead and replace the ECM.

First though I'd check for 12v on the fuel pump line for 2 seconds when the key is first turned on and use a test light to see if a signal is going to the fuel injectors. Could be faulty wiring or a bad Electronic Spack Control module.

Point I was trying to make is that there is a proper procedure to follow for "cranks but does not run"

Turned out the .pdf was 243KB so have posted it *temporarily* at http://6007.us/cbdnr.pdf (do not have a high quota). This is how to proceed to troubleshioot aproperly
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:29 PM   #8
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i've got 36-40 psi at the rails...i talked to my mechanic friend and he said that the pump is probably bad, and that 5 lbs could make all the difference. i was just wondering if someone could confirm that for me. thanx
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:58 PM   #9
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Should start or at least splutter on anything over 25 psi. If in doubt turn key on, wait 2 sec. Turn competely off and rep and repeat 3 or 4 times. This should give several priming shots though the injectors. If nothing happens then first I'd be looking for an injector signal with a tester.

If no injector signal, I'd probably swap in one of the Magnavox ignition sets left over after Delco replacement and see what happens.
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Old 11-04-2004, 06:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: HELP!!! my car won't start!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 89bonnie_LE
but after that we replace the spark plugs (bosch platinum 2)
[off-topic]Those generally disagree pretty badly with 3800'*, though I'm sure it'* not the cause of your problem... just a head'* up [/off-topic]
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