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Locutus

My car won't start

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So, this started about 2 weeks ago. I went to pick up my wife from work, parked the car (to wait for her to get out) and turned it off. When I went to start it again it cranked over fine, started, sputtered and died. After that I couldn't even get it to start.

 

I've tried replacing fuses (got brand new fuses for the fuel pump) because about a month ago it burnt out the fuel pump fuse twice.

 

I have it in my driveway now (finally got it towed yesterday) and I just tried to start it to see if I could move it. It started up, but within a second it died again, and went back to what it was doing before. I think the reason it did this is because the way it is parked right now, it's on a bit of an incline so that the engine is downhill from the fuel tank.

 

My car is a Chevrolet Malibu (2000) and it has like 250k miles or something on it. The lady who owned it before us said she replaced the fuel pump about 5 years ago.

 

Any help/suggestions will be appreciated.

Edited by Locutus

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The very very very first thing to do when your car doesnt start is take the battery to a car shop and have them load test it and then charge it.

 

if the fuel pump fuses are blowing out more than once you might have a worse problem.

normally you should not have to replace the fuel pump more than once, if ever. It would be best to pay the dealer 70$ to look at it. You should also check around on the chevy forums, it could be a particular problem with your model.

 

EDIT:

ok, it seems to be a common issue.

Something else to consider, you might want to sell your car and buy another used car. find out how much your car is worth, it may not be a good idea to invest 800$ in repairs to such an old car.I know my 99 toyota is only worth 2000$ I listed it up for sale recently. Some little girl ran into the fender and I pocketed the insurance money and just banged it out with a hammer since the car repairs costed more than the actual car value. But in your case, the car is not driveable so it does need to be fixed. It might be easy for you to do yourself, I know my mazda just a drop in replacement. Make sure you get a gasket seal as well.

 

oh i forgot to mention, have someone turn the key to ACC position, make sure you are at the rear of the car, did you hear the fuel pump pressurize?

like the other guy said, make sure there is gas. fuel pump floats go bad very very often and give false readings.

Edited by potatochobit

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The very very very first thing to do when your car doesnt start is take the battery to a car shop and have them load test it and then charge it.

 

if the fuel pump fuses are blowing out more than once you might have a worse problem.

normally you should not have to replace the fuel pump more than once, if ever. It would be best to pay the dealer 70$ to look at it. You should also check around on the chevy forums, it could be a particular problem with your model.

of fuel filter and make sure you are geting a spark

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Does the car have a distributor or coil packs for ignition? At 250k, it could be the coil packs/ignition control module in a distributor going bad, spark plugs may need to be changed, it could be a bad fuel filter choking the fuel line, the starter/starter fuse could be bad, etc. The basic things a motor needs to start are motion (starter), spark (battery, distributor or coil packs, spark plugs), fuel (gas in tank, working fuel pump and fuses, clean fuel filter). If you have these things it should at least run even if it runs like crap.

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The battery is new, I just bought it back in October.

 

I'm pretty sure it has gas in it. :dunno:

 

I changed the fuel filter myself a couple of months ago. Changed the air filter around the same time...

 

Just got the oil changed maybe a month ago...

 

I'd think that if it were the spark plug it wouldn't even turn over? :dunno:

 

I'm thinking about selling it on craigslist as-is. I had to do this on my truck when the brakes went bad. The only thing is that I KNOW for a FACT that the engine and transmission are in great condition, and that this minor problem is the only problem the car has. I'm thinking if I can get like 400-600 out of it I'd probably just sell it and buy another car. XD

 

OH Another thing I was thinking, is even if the pump isn't working wouldn't the engine still pull fuel on it's own, even if it would run crappy? I know that my grandpas old diesel (VW Rabbit) just had a regular old line running to a gas can in the back seat. XD

Edited by Locutus

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Check the battery anyway.

 

How's the alternator? Is it original/replacement? If replacement, how old is it?

 

Might be the pump as mentioned. Turn the key forward without cranking the engine, you should hear the pump prime the engine. Should be a soft whine reminiscent of hydraulics, followed by a click.

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does it need it's battery charged/jumped to run??

 

It's probably either ignition or dead fuel pump (if the answer above is no, otherwise it may also be the alternator)

 

Maybe check the to make sure your plug wires aren't bad (maybe one wire/plug is bad which explains the car almost running but not running well if at all.)

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