Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Only starts if I use starting fluid

asked by on

I replaced the starter but now the car will only start if i use starting fluid and i don't know the location of the fuel pump relay to check it.

My car has 184645 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. To start, lets locate your fuel pump relay. It will be in the main fuse box, in the engine compartment. It will be black box with a lid which houses most of the fuses. The inside of the lid will have a diagram that will show you which fuse and relay goes to which component. If the diagram is gone, you will want to look to your owner’s manual, or find a diagram online. What you’ve described about the starter fluid tells you that the fuel system isn’t working. With a starting issue like this, the fuel pump relay is a good place to start, and you can typically switch it out with another similarly rated relay to test it. If not the relay, you will want to listen very carefully for the fuel pump to prime. To test this, turn the key to the "On" position, and listen for a faint "whirling" of the pump priming. If you do not hear anything you will likely need to replace the fuel module.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Only starts if I use starting fluid

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My sunroof doesn't work at all and my ac is blowing hot air

The sunroof and the air conditioning system are two separate systems and are not connected to the same fuse. While a blown fuse for either system is possible, any number of faults can be causing each system to stop working....

Q: I want my car repaired but not sure what the problem of th e car is. lately when i start the car it just makes a grinding noise an

If you have confirmed that there is a loud grinding noise on starter activation, that means one thing and one thing only: the starter motor is failing, likely due to an internal fault such as a bad starter drive gear,...

Q: Heat

The most common reason for this after a repair is an air bubble in the system. Most of the time, if you completely warm the car, which means you have confirmed the thermostat is open by feeling the upper radiator...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.