75 Chevy Caprice won't start

I put a new battery and the fuel tank is full but the car always has trouble starting.

the other day i sat trying to start it, pumping the gas for 10 minutes or so. Nothing.

I noticed some dripping under the car but it looked like coolant.

Could this be something bigger? I have a new battery in. Do I have to go and start it every week and let it run for a few minutes?

Anyone know of a portable car jump start? I live in a city so I dont own another car.


I want to get this car running in the most reliable shape possible. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to drive and not be able to go anywhere. Is the battery being drained some how? hElp!

Is the carburetor getting fuel? Is the accelerator pump working? Is the choke working? Is the ignition working and are the plugs clean? Do you have compression?

I have a $40 battery tender that will charge the battery enough in 20 minutes to crank and go. I usually use it for the boat but found it worked when a faulty brake light switch unnoticed, was killing the battery. With out knowledge of what has been done, we cannot advise what needs to be done. First stab at the cat a shot of starting fluid and tell us what happens.

Does it crank and not start or does it not crank (turn over)…???

lol wow dude. More info…its the pick up in the distributor

Not, dude…'cause when it starts it runs fine…We don’t even know if it cranks yet…

Two things come to mind immediately. First, does the choke work properly on your carburetor? A faulty choke is common on the Quadrajunk, er, I mean, Quadrajet carburetor on those cars. If you yourself are not mechanically inclined AND know carburetors, you need to find a mechanic with gray hair and plenty of experience working with carburetors to diagnose and solve this problem.

The second possibility is that the ignition module has gone bad, assuming this car has HEI (I think breaker points were gone in GM passenger cars by 1975. If not, it could be points or a ballast resistor that have gone bad). The ignition module is a fairly common failure on these cars, and cheap and easy to replace.

Either way, you probably need to get this car to a mechanic who is familiar with the old stuff to find out why you’re having trouble starting your car. To answer your last question about a portable jump starter, they do exist and can be bought at most any big box store (Walmart, Meijer, etc) for around $40. Some even have nice extras like a built-in air compressor or 120 volt outlets.

The nice thing about old cars like this is they are extremely simple. You need three things for an engine to start: Gas, a spark, and the right timing. If it runs right when it starts, you can rule the valve timing (and probably the ignition timing) out.

Some more info please:

Does the car crank when you turn the key, but not catch, or does it not crank?
If it cranks, do you smell gas after trying to start it for a while?
Has it been below freezing when it fails to start?
When it does start, does it run like crap until it warms up, or mostly OK?
What procedure do you follow when trying to start it?

Typically on a car like this for a cold start, you would: Pump the gas pedal one or more times depending on the outside temp. This will set the choke and spray extra fuel into the intake to help the cold start. Without touching the gas, crank the engine and see if it starts. If it doesn’t show signs of catching, give it some more shots of fuel by pumping the gas and try again, or pump the gas while trying to start it. Don’t slam the pedal to the floor when pumping the accelerator—about 1/2 to 3/4 is all you need.

My comment was directed towards the poster. DropCaprice75

I think Caddyman’s point was that you were not quite correct, regardless of whom you were addressing. Dude.

You say you are “pumping the gas for 10 minutes or so.” Is it possible that you are flooding the engine? Pop quiz: if that’s the case, what would you do? What WOULD you do?

This couldn’t be a bad time to check all your fluids, since you report dripping under the car. Eventually someone will ask you if you’ve done that.

Remove the air cleaner, look down in the carb and have someone step down on the gas to the floor ( or work the throttle linkage by hand if you are alone ). You should see a good spray of gas inside the carb from the accelerator pump. When you let up on the gas the choke should snap closed.

If you don’t see gas or if the choke isn’t closing, that is why your car is hard starting.

If you don’t see gas when you move the throttle, but eventually get the car started, shut it off and repeat the test. If no gas spraying, remove the gas line from the carb and have someone crank the engine while you hold a container under the fuel line. If you get gas, replace the accelerator pump and in-carb fuel filter. If you don’t get gas it is probably the fuel pump.

i dont think so

I once bought the same car of about the same year. It didnt run thats why it was so cheap. This was many years ago. If i remember right it was the pick up in the distributor. I replaced it and drove it away. Instead of criticizing i was trying to help the guy. Get it? Dude

We appreciate your input.
"I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing."
We need more info before jumping to your conclusion.