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97 Cavalier.need to press gas to start


pryornfld
02-15-2009, 03:10 PM
Hey All,

I have a 97 2.2L cavilar that recently started having starting issues. If the car has been sitting for a day or two I sometimes have to press the accelarator to the floor before it catches and starts.I've been finding that the weather has been cold and damp, so could be moitsure.

Any help would be great.Where do I start??

Thanks
Dion

manicmechanix
02-15-2009, 05:10 PM
I assume you have no engine codes, right? Is it cranking good and the battery's fully charged? Moisture might be getting into something electrical. Next, check for spark on a couple wires.

pryornfld
02-15-2009, 05:19 PM
You are correct.It's cranking good, and no codes. I do have a new set of plugs that I will put in, once the snow disappears.It only happened the last month and a half.The battery is less than a year old,so I would assume that to be good.I will check for sparkes to the wires and electrical.Is there anything else as a quick check that I can do as well?

Thanks for the info, hope to get this solved ASAP as I use the car for 2 hrs commute to work and I don't wanted to be on the side of the road this time of the year!!

manicmechanix
02-15-2009, 11:16 PM
OK. Check for spark. If spark is ok and you have a fuel pressure gauge, check fuel pressure. But if you don't have a gauge, listen for the fuel pump to run and use a small screw driver or similar to carefully push in the valve at the pressure test port on the injector rail and see that fuel comes out under pressure. This isn't a very accurate test, but it would at least tell you if your fuel pump runs and it builds some pressure. edit: I just remembered your engine has those side feed injectors and I don't remember if it has a test port. you might need a fuel pressure guage and an adapter.

Tinkles
02-17-2009, 05:41 PM
Hey All,

I have a 97 2.2L cavilar that recently started having starting issues. If the car has been sitting for a day or two I sometimes have to press the accelarator to the floor before it catches and starts.I've been finding that the weather has been cold and damp, so could be moitsure.

Any help would be great.Where do I start??

Thanks
Dion

When you hold the gas pedel to the floor the car enters "clear flood mode" a.k.a. it shuts off the injectors. Go to the junkyard and grab a set of injectors and swap them out. Im willing to bet that the injectors are leaking fuel into the cylinders.

manicmechanix
02-17-2009, 06:18 PM
When you hold the gas pedel to the floor the car enters "clear flood mode" a.k.a. it shuts off the injectors. Go to the junkyard and grab a set of injectors and swap them out. Im willing to bet that the injectors are leaking fuel into the cylinders.


That's true that flooring it puts it in the clear flood mode, but I doubt his engine is flooding. He said it was cold out and the injectors would have to leak a lot to flood it. Remember, when you are cranking and pushing the pedal top the floor you are also enriching the mixture before you get it to WOT. If he went out and before turning the key on, held it to the floor then cranked it, that'd be different. If you smell gas that would be one clue of flooding and if it blows out black smoke upon starting that would be another.

I think rather than getting different injectors and putting them in, it'd be easier, cheaper and faster to just put a fuel pressure gauge on and see if the injectors hold pressure. This would also let you check for fuel supply, the fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator.

But again, providing there's no codes set, the first step is to check for spark. Then fuel pressure. Then injector resistance and so on.

J-Ri
02-19-2009, 04:34 PM
Aside from that, NEVER install used injectors... you don't know what kind of crazy additives the previous owned used, how long they were under the hood of the car hooked only to the wire harness because somebody before you needed the fuel rail. Most technicians won't even use the injectors that come with a longblock when swaping engines. They could be off a 300k mile car and are packed full of varnish, maybe one is shorted and you just smoked a PCM. It's worth the money to buy new ones.

manicmechanix
02-19-2009, 06:09 PM
Aside from that, NEVER install used injectors... you don't know what kind of crazy additives the previous owned used, how long they were under the hood of the car hooked only to the wire harness because somebody before you needed the fuel rail. Most technicians won't even use the injectors that come with a longblock when swaping engines. They could be off a 300k mile car and are packed full of varnish, maybe one is shorted and you just smoked a PCM. It's worth the money to buy new ones.

Yep and it makes even less sense to go through the trouble putting in used injectors without even testing and verifying that the originals are even bad in the first place. I agree, unless you really, really know the condition of the used injectors (not likely you do) or test their resistance and have the ability to test their pressure drop, it's usually not worth the gamble installing used injectors. At least get rebuilt ones. If you look around you can usually find them for less than 40 a piece.

pryornfld
02-20-2009, 06:51 PM
The car seems to be working fine the last couple of days.If the injectors were flooding, I would think it would happen even in milder weather, but doesn't seem to be the case.I checked the engine in the dark to see if any spark might be leaving the wires, and nothing to be seen.If the weather permits, tomorrow I will check the plugs and see if they look fouled.Unfortunately I don't have a pressure gague, so I can check the pressure.Also, no black or blue smoke coming from the tailpipe, so right now there is no visual .

Thanks for all of the responses...will keep you all posted with more info once I get more.Have a great weekend!!!

J-Ri
02-22-2009, 09:26 PM
The car seems to be working fine the last couple of days.If the injectors were flooding, I would think it would happen even in milder weather, but doesn't seem to be the case.I checked the engine in the dark to see if any spark might be leaving the wires, and nothing to be seen.If the weather permits, tomorrow I will check the plugs and see if they look fouled.Unfortunately I don't have a pressure gague, so I can check the pressure.Also, no black or blue smoke coming from the tailpipe, so right now there is no visual .

Thanks for all of the responses...will keep you all posted with more info once I get more.Have a great weekend!!!

If it were the injectors leaking, it would most likely do it in all weather and would flood it within minutes of being shut off.

You really should rent a fuel pressure guage (usually available for free from most auto parts stores). Another possibility if you crant ked for a second or two and then got impatient and pressed the gas is that the fuel pump is bad and leaking down very slowly. Normally, even if the pressure drops to 0 immediately after shuting the engine off, there is still fuel in the lines. As soon as the pump runs, it pressurizes the system immediately because liquids dont compress. After sitting for longer, the fuel will drain out of the line and be replaced with air or fuel vapors, which compress and require the pump to run significantly longer before fuel is delivered to the injectors.

pryornfld
03-03-2009, 12:03 PM
Today I went to start the car, and I got the smell of gas, almost like it was flooding, but that was after I had to apply the gas to get it started. It only happens when the car has been sitting for awhile. If the car was started before, it will start again shortly after with no problem. Also failed to mention that I have a problem with the gas tank sending unit from time to time. Could this be the issue?

Thanks
Dion

J-Ri
03-03-2009, 05:22 PM
Today I went to start the car, and I got the smell of gas, almost like it was flooding, but that was after I had to apply the gas to get it started. It only happens when the car has been sitting for awhile. If the car was started before, it will start again shortly after with no problem. Also failed to mention that I have a problem with the gas tank sending unit from time to time. Could this be the issue?

Thanks
Dion


Check the fuel pressure regulator, if the diaphragm leaks they can let gas evaporate into the vacuum system which goes inside the car to the HVAC controls which is just about the only way you'd smell it inside the car.

Do you have to press the gas to get it to start, or will it start if you crank it without pressing the pedal for 10 seconds?

pryornfld
03-17-2009, 01:44 PM
When it is hard starting, its like it wants to catch but doesn't.Usually about this time I press the gas, and then it will start.Wonder if the plugs might be fouled as well??

pryornfld
03-24-2009, 01:04 PM
Hey,

I finally got around to replacing the spark plugs and so far no hard starting. Wait ans see what happens once the mild and rainy spring season comes.

Tiskie
05-29-2009, 12:09 PM
Hi I had the exact same problem (same year car), had to floor it to start it, and after a while you start to smell gas. At the time I was able to solve the problem using HEET, since it only acted up in colder moist weather. Not too long after that I found a gas leak though, it was caused by a cracked plastic fitting by the passenger side rear wheel connecting to the fuel filter.... Now, a few months later, the engine light is on, reporting low fuel pressure....

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