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Q: turns over, wont start

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Bought van a few months ago and had been running fine..One day when accelerating on highway is started sputtering, backfired, acted like it wanted to die. Then it straighted out and seemed ok. Couple days later on the way home from work it did the same thing. Next morning wouldnt start. Got home from work and it did. Over the weekend wouldnt start again. Turns over good just wont fire. Come back couple hours later it fires up...Same pattern since. Guy at work said check fuel pump. I can hear it hum. Put gauge on at the fuel rail and read about 40 when cranking. When it would start it bounced between 35-45. Replaced pump yesterday. new pump kicks on fine, but still no start, just turns over. Took one of the plugs out and grounded against block. Had spark, yellow not blue. Replaced plug came back in couple hours and it started! This AM cranks, no start. I had bought new plugs and wire for a tune up when I bought it so I guess I'll go intstall em. No gas smell, smoke etc

My car has 136000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are a couple of possibilities that could be causing your issue. The fuel filter can often times get clogged up and this can prevent fuel from reaching the engine. The fuel filter is commonly replaced at the same time as the fuel pump. I would recommend replacing this part as well. It would not hurt to have the ignition system checked as well. When a vehicle cranks but will not start it is missing one of three things fuel, compression, or ignition. Compression is the least likely cause. The issue you are having is most likely being caused by the fuel or ignition system. I would replace the fuel filter prior to replacing the spark plugs since this is a combo service with the fuel pump. Even if the fuel filter does not resolve the issue, it will prolong the life of the new fuel pump. If you would like, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to replace your fuel filter, and or pump.

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