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99 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,
I live in Michigan and it's cold as hell. I parked my car in my garage
for about 4-5 days and decided to go out and start it to keep any
gremlins from taking root. It wouldn't start. Eventually, I realized
that I couldn't hear the fuel pump when I turned the key. After
about 10 attempts, it started and I let it sit and idle. Now, the
next day, it won't stay started. When it does start up (1 out of
10 times, it stalls out in seconds)...

However, there are some weird (to me) symptoms that I can't
figure out. Here are the facts -

- Battery is strong. No problems there.

- When I turn the key, I can't hear the fuel pump.

- When the the ignition actually engages, I can hear the fuel pump.

- WEIRD ONE - when I try to start the car, it just clicks like
the battery is dead. It doesn't even try to turn over. Except
every 1 out of 10 times or so. However, as I said, the battery
is strong. Ignition system is TIP-TOP. I take very good care
of the car.

- Now the fuel pump seems to be making a whining noise when
it actually engages.

-If the fuel pump is failing, would it just click like that when I
attempt to start it up? I would think it would try to turn over
but not receive fuel...correct me if I'm wrong, though.

- Is there something I don't know about? Help me out if you can.

- Obviously, this is due to the cold. I'm sure whatever it is would
have gone eventually, but the cold didn't help.

Thanks in advance.
 

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293 Posts
Don't forget you have relays that control your fuel pump. You need to buy a factory service manual, it has steps to check the fuel pump circuit etc. If it won't turn over, I'd go to Advance or Auto zone and have them test the alternator/battery, next time you get running.
 

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Apprentice Technician
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784 Posts
sounds like both Starter AND fuel pump issues. your starter is electrically driven, not fuel driven, so your starter should be going at it, trying to crank the engine, regardless of lack of fuel pressure.

unfortunately, the cold brings out all the minute problems with the car that you can't see or hear or diagnose until they get frost bitten.
 

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99 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well, I had to let her sit out of being busy. Had to switch my
insurance over to my other car.

I charged the battery and tried her out tonight.
Now I can, in fact, hear the fuel pump every time.
However, it's still doing the "clicking" on most start-ups.
The 3 times it did start up, it stayed running for about
10 seconds with me giving it gas before the RPMs just
dropped and it died.

Sucks. It's -6 out. Went to mess with a Relay and the casing
just snapped right off. This is the first real "break down" I've
had with her.
 

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You might have a bad ground. When I was in college my 55 Chevy would just quit out of nowhere and when it did it would only have enough power to do the dash lights etc, but not enough to crank the motor - ended up my negative battery cable was rotted in two.

I'd check and make sure it's grounded to the body real good, and if it is crawl under the car and use a screw driver (make sure it's not in gear) and jumper the soloinoid (sp) and see if it cranks that way. If you jumper the solenoid and it cranks then you'll know you've got an issue in your ignition.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I forgot about the old jump the solenoid trick! I haven't had
to do that since my old '82 Escort Wagon back in the day.
Thanks, man.

The ground seems okay. I'm going to give it another look and
then do some more trouble shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Fixed! How did I fix it? No idea! I messed with the relays,
got in the car and it started. Hah! Maybe a loose connection
or something I couldn't see. Back on the road. Feels good.
 
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