Q: Car sputters and will not start, 1987 Pontiac Fiero

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My car sputtering and now won't start. To explain: I recently installed a new starter and the car was able to run again. However, in just a few minutes it started sputtering. When I am at a red light or a stop sign, my car stalls. When I accelerate, the car does not move forward. I can sometimes slowly accelerate. Today my car is trying to start, but it just can not. But it is good to hear it trying to start. I have been to the auto shop multiple times and can not afford to have to continue taking it in. What will solve my car’s problems?

An engine that cranks but doesn’t start is lacking one or more of the following: compression, fuel, or spark. Each of these will need to check systematically to narrow down the cause. Fuel pressure can be checked at the rail using a fuel pressure gauge and injector command can be tested using a noid light inserted into the harness side of the injector connector. Spark can be tested using an inline spark tester and compression can be checked using a compressor gauge and or leak down tester. It sounds like you’ve already spent a lot of time and money trying to fix this vehicle. I would recommend having a professional diagnose the starting issue and pinpoint the problem before you throw any more parts on.

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