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88 nova takes two or three tries to start engine

88 nova. the engine runs perfect at all speeds and idles pretty good too. the problem is it always takes two or three tries to start the engine. new plugs did not fix this problem. its a 5 speed with carburetor. its my first manual car. any tips on how to start it correctly on the first try. or any repairs needed? thanks

Don’t overlook the possibility of bad plug wires. When were they last replaced? Carburetors can certainly be the cause of starting problems. How about fuel filter? I would even check the air filter.

Is the choke working properly? It may be sticking and not closing properly.

Could be there is no fuel in the bowl. Try hitting it with starter fluid and see if it starts right away. Carb probably needs rebuilt.

To start a carbureted engine:

-Depress the gas pedal most of the way to the floor. (pump it one time)
-Turn the key.

On some carbureted cars it takes a few pumps before you turn the key–when you pump it the first time, this sets the choke and shoots some gas into the carburetor throat. Additional pumps shoot a little more gas. On some cars with carb trouble, it helps to pump the gas a little while starting, but if you overdo it, you can flood the engine and then it will be even harder to start.

But better yet, if you have an owners manual for the car, read that—it will tell you the best way to start the car when it’s cold.

Just one of the things I don’t miss about carburetors.

i put a new fuel filter on it a few weeks ago. its been 37,000 miles since the last documented tune up. (126,000 miles total) i put a new air filter on the same day and an oil change and plugs. im saving $$ for wires. i suppose if the wires dont help ill get the carburetor looked at.

how do i check the choke? i just bought the car and this may be all in my mind but when i compressed the gas pedal i used to hear movement in the engine. but now i dont. maybe thats the choke sticking? since i cant hear that subtle movement. also the engine idles very high at start up until i tap the gas. then it idles down. is that the choke working? it will not idle down until i tap the gas

thanks for the info. how do i check the fuel in the bowl? glad to learn anything i can since my last ride was an 07 truck i didnt need to do much with it :confused:

i have a feeling the choke may be off. am i suppose to hear some light subtle noise when i pump the gas? maybe its all in my head but when i got the car i could hear the choke when i pressed the gas. now i dont. thanks for the help