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Q: No fire when starting my car

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My car start it tries to but seems like it's not getting any fire, I've tried using starter guild and spraying in the intake and the gas in a spray bottle trick but it still won't work. Spark plugs are sparking, my thought was it could be fuel rail because I don't hear fuel pump turning on either but even if that isn't on spraying starter fluid should work just for a sec shouldn't it

My car has 13000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hey There: Sorry to hear about the problem...

Hey There:

Sorry to hear about the problem you’re experiencing with your 97’ Pontiac Firebird. What you’re describing actually happened to an acquaintance of mine last year. He tried every trick in the book, including the "gas in the spray bottle trick". When he tried it, it cost him both eye-brows, caused second degree burns and nearly blinded him when the engine backfired, so please; don’t try that "trick" again. Not only does that not work, but if the engine does light, it could cause the timing chain to break, valve-train hardware to break or even burn a piston.

If you’re getting spark to the end of the plug, the problem 90% of the time is going to be fuel related. When I am trying to diagnose a fuel related problem, whether it’s a carburetor or fuel injector, I start with the fuel pump (especially if it’s inside a gas tank), run the line under the car, to the fuel filter, the injector and each jet or injector nozzle. Most of the time however, the problem is vacuum or air related or something so simple that I need to be reminded to slow down and look at the big picture. What you’re looking at here is probably an issue with the ECU with the air/fuel mixture.

Bad sensors can cause this, but I’ve also seen fried ECU boards cause the same headache. The best advice I can give is to take your time and try to look at each component that causes and engine to fire – fuel – air – spark. Make sure timing is correct and that the timing chain hasn’t shifted or any internal components haven’t moved. If you don’t have the resources to do this, contact a certified mechanic to take a look for you. A mobile mechanic from YourMechanic can come to you to provide this inspection. Stay safe, and I hope things work out for your Firebird.

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