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91 Cutlass Ciera not starting - no fuel getting thru injectors?

07-20-2008, 12:17 AM
1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, 3.3 v6, 243K. The car acted like it starved for fuel, would not accelerate but did idle. After shutting off, would not start. Started to work on it 36 hours later, it started, made 2 laps in circle drive, opened hood & revved engine - ran approx 5 minutes fine. Shut off, restarted immediately with success, revved some more, all seemed good. Shut off, went in house 30 minutes, came back to start it & cranks good but won't hit a lick. Has not started now in a week on it's own.I say on it's own because it will start & run for few seconds if I put gassy rag in air filter chamber. No fuse problems at fusebox, 42 - 44 psi fuel press. at schrader valve, great spark.

07-20-2008, 12:40 AM
I disconnected battery to allow computer reset. No luck. Installed new computer ( yes put my mem-cal in new computer also) no luck. Went back with old computer then. Today put new CPS (crank position sensor) on - did no good. Also put new timing chain + sprockets on while had harmonic balancer off. Chain not broken but 243k I thought it was good idea to change out those works. Did the gassy rag in the air filter chamber again with same res ult as previously posted, starts + runs few seconds, then starves for fuel. Any ideas ? I would appreciate your replies- thanks.

07-20-2008, 05:22 PM
When it stalls you have 42 psi? , if so try disconnecting the maf and see what happens.

07-21-2008, 01:45 AM
The car is broke down at my in-laws home 10 miles away. Will try disconnecting MAF next chance I get over there. I had that apart today and cleaned it gently (didn't look bad but read that it can cause some problems so I tried cleaning it) which did not help. That is the sensor near the air filter housing? Looks like 2 small filaments when removed from it's housing? Hope thats right. Have only checked fuel pressure with key on, car not running. Thanks for the reply, will try disconnecting that & see what happens.

07-21-2008, 06:10 AM
Check the FP during the crank no start issue.

07-21-2008, 11:51 PM
Checked fuel pressure again tonight. 40 - 42 psi during cranking. Good volume also. Unhooked MAF sensor and cranked engine, still no start. Also want to say I have checked several times to see if any SES codes and always just get the 12 code as book says I should.

07-22-2008, 02:49 PM
If it will not start with starting fluid, you do not have sufficient spark. Or the engine has internal problems such as the T'chain.

07-24-2008, 11:51 PM
I have started engine with a gasoline soaked rag in the air filter chamber and changed out the timing chain & sprockets, as posted previously in this thread. Also started on gasoline soaked rag after changing out timing chain, just can't get fuel through injectors. I used a noid light tonight and it did not light up at all while cranking. First time ever used one, does this mean no power at all to injectors? I thought I would get a steady "light up" or if functioning properly an intermittent light, but got nothing at all. Any ideas?

08-06-2008, 02:36 AM
The car is fixed. Since my last post on 7-24 I had taken Ignition Control Module off & had it tested. Tested good. This past Sunday I was checking voltage on each injector during crank/no start , removing 1 injector "plug in" at a time and testing. When I pulled off #4 injector plug and told my wife to crank it the car started. Put plug in back on & it immediately killed engine. Would not start again with plug on - took it off again and started. Bad injector. I am not very knowledgable on auto mechanics & did not realize 1 bad injector could kill the other 5 also. Changed injector tonight and the car is fixed. Thanks for the replies maxwedge.

08-21-2008, 08:04 PM
Very good.
So the bad injector was shorting the injector drive circuit?:confused:

08-23-2008, 02:59 AM
Very good.
So the bad injector was shorting the injector drive circuit?:confused: It now makes sense to me that the noid light test showed nothing. After putting in new injector I did the noid light test again (just to satisfy my curiosity about what the noid light should do) and it did the flashing light as I believe it should. So, yes , I believe that injector was shorted out and it caused all injectors to have a dead circuit and therefore no pulse. Honestly, I really don't quite understand that . I don't have very good grasp on auto electronic systems. I felt very fortunate to have blundered on to what was causing the problem and am thankful I was able to fix it. Hope these posts may help someone else if they ever have a similar problem.

08-23-2008, 08:50 AM
The bad injector pulled the current from the others by having to little resistance.

08-01-2010, 07:09 PM
awesome. I love a happpy ending. I'm going to go pull some plugs now too.

btw, my 91 Cutlass with the 3.1 cranks to 46psi and then holds 43 psi but drops to 36 while running.
Is this normal? Does it have a vauum fuel pressure regulator? I understand that a drop would be normal then.

08-01-2010, 09:11 PM
awesome. I love a happpy ending. I'm going to go pull some plugs now too.

btw, my 91 Cutlass with the 3.1 cranks to 46psi and then holds 43 psi but drops to 36 while running.
Is this normal? Does it have a vauum fuel pressure regulator? I understand that a drop would be normal then.

Do you realize this is a 2 year old thread? :runaround:

04-20-2011, 01:02 PM
Glad this thread is still open even if it is a couple of years old. I just experienced the same malfunction, so I will check out the solution as described here. BTW, I have 428,316 miles on my 91 Olds Cutlass Cierra, and until this problem, I have not had a single major malfunction. It has been running as well as a new car, and I hope to keep it that way. Thanks for all the help this forum offers. :smile: Opaobie (http://www.opaobie.com/promisekept.php)

04-23-2011, 11:15 PM
BTW, I have 428,316 miles on my 91 Olds Cutlass Cierra, and until this problem, I have not had a single major malfunction. It has been running as well as a new car, and I hope to keep it that way. Thanks for all the help this forum offers. :smile: Opaobie (http://www.opaobie.com/promisekept.php)

Wow, that is amazing 428K miles! Any secrets ?

I have enjoyed reading this old thread because I would have never known a no start could have been a bad fuel injector.

D Ryan
05-30-2011, 10:35 AM
This is a good thred! Would make a great sticky!

07-24-2011, 09:05 PM
LOL i just went through the same exact thing with an 89 ciera.I had 2 bad injectors. Every one with a no start cutlass problem check for spark and fuel pressure and if you have those go to fuel injectors. One bad one will shut down your computer.I would do that before going after the crank shaft sensor which is a b#@!ch to get out.

08-16-2011, 09:21 PM
WOW! just joined here tonight and was was gonna post same exact question right down to the it will run with a gas soaked rag at air intake. did fuel pressure test at shrader valve, changed fuel filter,checked injector fuse.I will now try what i have read here thank you all!

08-17-2011, 08:19 AM
See if yo have injector pulse first.

08-18-2011, 01:04 AM
checked injector resistance w/multimeter 2 had lower than spec resistance unplugged 1 and the car started right up plugged back in no start unplugged other car fired right up! this thread saved me big money! car is fixed for less than what a shop would have charged to diagnose the problem!ordered 2 injectors from rockauto.com

Tech II
08-24-2011, 03:45 PM
Cars that are MULTIPORT injection(these won't have a cam sensor), fire three injectors at the same time from one driver....if one injector is bad, it could short out the circuit....the driver see too much current and shuts down all three injectors....

10-07-2011, 10:32 PM
I was losing hope... :runaround: I had the same exact problem as sherman42, my car would die when it was warmed up on a hot day or going up a hill and would not restart. Would also not restart after a hot sit while going into a store, gas station, etc. It would take up to 3 hrs before it would cool down enough to restart. I was testing a lot of things: fuel pump, relay, ignition module, etc. But car had plenty of spark and the fuel pump was turning on fine when trying to start car. Finally I pulled power to each injector one by one. When the bad injector was pulled, the car started right up and died when reconnected. Replaced injector for $60 and so far so good. Will post if any problems arise still with this issue. Thank you to sherman42 for your post!

07-27-2015, 03:40 PM
Anybody still around in this thread?

07-27-2015, 06:34 PM
Post your issues.

07-27-2015, 06:56 PM
This thread has been great to read, I have a 91 olds Cutlass Ceira. It has a new fuel pump and all that goes with replacing it. (filter, screen ect) It was driven by my mother since new. I just inherited it. It only had 140k miles on it. She drove it to church, the store and that's it for about the last 10 years. She was having the stalling issue and they replaced the fuel pump through a good mechanic. It continued to do it. Only when it was warmed up would it stall and start right back up. When I got it, I put some sea foam in it after it stalled the first time. After taking it out on the highway, it would not start an hour later. I let it cool down with the hood up for about an hour and I was able to drive it back home. It did it again after I got home so I waited until the next day to start it again. It started and I drove it to town. It died in a parking lot and have not been able to start it again. It started when I sprayed some started fluid directly in it but did not keep running. I hear the fuel pump working good. I am wanting to check the injectors but cannot find instructions online to do it. I know where the Crankshaft position sensor is but would like to test the injectors first. Is there somewhere I can watch a video on how to do this or do you have any other suggestions?

Tech II
07-28-2015, 10:16 AM
If it starts by spraying carb cleaner into the intake, and dies when you stop spraying, that means your crank sensor is ok, since you have spark.....

If fuel pressure is ok, then it looks like an injector problem.....other possibilities are a bad ICM(not sending a reference signal to the ECM), bad ECM, or bad wiring between the two....

As previously stated, a bad injector in a multiport system will take out 3 injectors....what happens is, 1-3-5 are all in parallel, and driven by one quad driver in the ECM(computer).......2-4-6 are driven by another quad driver....let's say one injector or circuit shorts out....the quad driver notices too much current and shuts down all 3 injectors......

What you can do, is check the resistance of each of the parallel circuits, without having to take off the upper plenum, by disconnecting the injector harness at the alternator.......if you were to check each injector, they would ohm out at 12 ohms(cold)....but you can't do that in a multiport system, since 3 injectors are in parallel....when you measure the resistance of 3 injectors in parallel, they will ohm out at 4 ohms(12 divided by 3)......if you get 4 ohms, the R of the circuit is ok....let's say one resistor circuit is open, so now you have only 2 injectors in parallel, and you will read 12 ohms divided by 2, or 6 ohms......if two are open, then 12 divided by 1, or 12 ohms.....if just one injector or circuit is "shorted", then your reading will be "zero".....if the main harness has an open, your meter will read "OL" or infinity.....so by reading the resistance of a parallel circuit, it will tell you the condition of the "circuit".....

You will need a schematic to test the wires in your harness to the injectors(disconnected)......

I have seen bad injectors, and I have seen mice build a nest under the upper plenum, and eat the insulation on the harness, shorting them out......

02-06-2016, 04:12 PM
the car starts chugging at 5mph and tries to die. it also slams and jerks when trying to speed up and then dies.

update- checked the fuel pressure, it was sitting around 25psi, so it is probably the fuel pump that needs replaced.

Tech II
02-06-2016, 08:08 PM
Should start your own thread......does the car start and idle ok? Warm/cold?

Is it only when put into gear, that it has problems?

02-08-2016, 02:18 PM
it starts fine and idles well but tends to chug when i rev it higher. it only sees real issues when you start driving and when you get to 10-15mph it will start getting stuck around 1500rpm and wont shift and then starts to die. pretty sure its the fuel pump as the fuel psi was sitting around 28.

02-08-2016, 05:30 PM
Won't run at 28 maybe change inline filter first.

Tech II
02-09-2016, 08:08 AM
If the fuel filter has not been replaced in a while, that would be the first thing I would do.....last COMPLETE tuneup?

Have you scanned for codes?

02-14-2016, 06:23 PM
already replaced the fuel filter a few weeks back and the car ended up getting worse anyway. purchased a new fuel pump recently and will install one of these weekends. i dont know anything about scanning for codes, can you please tell me a little more about that?

Tech II
02-15-2016, 12:14 PM
here ya go:


02-15-2016, 12:26 PM
thank you! :D my friends coming over next saturday and we will get the fuel pump installed and check codes. thanks again for the video link.

07-16-2017, 12:13 PM
No matter how old these posts can get, they are still very helpful. I have been working on my 91 Olds Cutlass Cruiser S wagon all morning trying to figure out why it wont start. I sprayed starter fluid into air cleaner and it ran. So I knew I had spark. I checked fuel pressure and that was ok. I checked all fuses and relays. I was about out of options until I read this post. The first injector I unplugged was the bad one and the car ran. The others were ok. Thank you for this post as it has saved me a lot of grief and money.

07-16-2017, 03:25 PM

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