Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The car won't start without starter fluid, V2500 Suburban Chevrolet

asked by on

I have a 1989 chevy suburban with a tbi 350. Truck will not start unles i spray starter fluid. After it starts it runs great. Replaced distributer cap, ignition control modual, new plugs and wires, new engine colant temp sensor, new fuel filter new fuel pressure regulator i rebuilt the tbi. When running. The injectors spray in a steady fan. Checked for codes and got a code for a bad knock sensor wich i will be replacing on friday. I had my wife try to start the truck while i watched the injectors. They both pulse. I can hear the pump turn on with key in accessory position. I replaced the fuel pump relay just to be safe. I checked timing with the advance wire unplugged. Timing is at 0. Im getting tired of throwing parts at this truck.what am i missing?

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello and thank you for your question. Perf...

Hello and thank you for your question.
Perform a fuel pressure test. Even though the fuel is pulsing out of the injectors with the engine cranking the fuel pressure could be too low. The system must have a minimum of 12 pounds of fuel pressure to start and run. If there is proper fuel pressure and you have spark to the spark plugs, then check to see if there is any vacuum leaks. If there is 15 hg or more with the engine running, then that is okay, but 19 hg to 21 hg is preferred. When checking vacuum with cranking the engine, hold open the throttle plate with a large screwdriver and check for vacuum. If the vacuum is less than 2 hg, then there is a problem with the vacuum system. If the vacuum is normal and all the readings are checking out to be good, then when you can get the engine running, put an engine cleaner or sea foam into the vacuum system and run the engine at 3,000 rpm. Slowly allow the cleaner to drip into the vacuum system. This will clean out the cylinders and valve train that will cause carbon build up. Carbon build up will prevent the cylinder from getting to the proper temperature by sticking the valve open or keeping the rings from sealing properly. Either or starting fluid will ignite at a higher flash rate than gasoline. If you need assistance in diagnosing your no start situation, then seek out a professional, preferably a professional from Your Mechanic to help you with your starter issue.

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

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 car has had to have the exhaust manifold replaced four times in 17 years due to cracks in the manifold itself.

Unfortunately, cracks on the passenger side OEM exhaust manifold is a common problem with heavy duty use of this engine: work trucks, motor homes, school buses, where the engine is run at high loads for extended periods. They tend to...

Q: Vehicle hard to start

There can be quite a few reasons why you are experiencing a hard start condition in your Honda Civic. This can range from a weak fuel pump, dirty idle air control valve, a failing fuel pressure regulator or perhaps it...

Q: Car starts fine, runs briefly, sputters and shuts off - 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood

Hi! Yes, I have a couple thoughts for you to hopefully get your Cadillac back to being a reliable driver. From what you've said so far, I agree that the distributor and the fuel pump are high probability suspects. Now...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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.