I had a mechanic do a diagnostic on the battery, alternator, etc. on Monday and he couldn’t find a thing wrong. I drove it home without a worry. Last nite, it wouldn’t start. It reminded me of what used to be called (or still is called?) “flooded.” My '95 Saturn SL2 cranked but never kicked in and/or turned over to start. This morning, however, it turned over right away, albeit very sluggishly. What’s wrong? Bad gasoline?
Battery/alternator/starter probably have nothing to do with it if the car will crank over but fails to start.
Bad gas gets brought up a lot but I would bet that it is seldom the problem.
So clarify a little, did the car crank normally but fail to start or did it crank over slowly? By sluggishly do you mean the engine cranked fine but was reticent to actually start up?
Do you have a check engine light on in your car?
It cranked normally. Re this morning’s sluggish start, it maybe cranked for a half-second before turning over.
The Check Engine light did come on last nite, but not this morning.
A little more clarity needed. Is the cranking speed normal or slow? “it maybe cranked for a half-second before turning over” mean that it cranked normally for about a half second, then the engine started? after it started, did it run normally?
Have you ever noticed that it is a little sluggish on full throttle applications? Right now I am leaning toward a clogged fuel filter or weak fuel pump or bad fuel pressure regulator.
It would help if you get the code read. You should be able to get it read free at an AutoZone or other parts store. The code will only last for three drive cycles after the light goes out so you need to get it read soon.
“Bad gas gets brought up a lot but I would bet that it is seldom the problem.”
I have had it twice. Once two days before my wedding and once a Yellowstone park (this one was bad diesel)
It does happen.
Keith writes: >>>“A little more clarity needed. Is the cranking speed normal or slow? “it maybe cranked for a half-second before turning over” mean that it cranked normally for about a half second, then the engine started? after it started, did it run normally?”<<<
Cranking speed is normal. After it started, it ran normally. But yes, it did run a little sluggish “on full throttle application.” I bought the 89-grade gas this morning thinking it might help vs. what the 87-grade that I usually buy.
I haven’t a clue what you mean by code read.
Thanks a bunch.
Do I need to write up a GLOSSARY PAGE?
Cranking and turning over and starting… OH MY
The last 95 Saturn SL2 I had in front of me had corroded coil terminals in the plug going to the coil…it was running on 3 cylinders…maybe 2 cyl… But that was obvious to me, and shouldnt be the issue…but it could be that when it doesnt run well for the OP…that he has a MISS in the engine? If so…I would go right to that coil plug.
Short story, I think your fuel pump is going bad.
Long story. Anytime your check engine light comes on, it means that the computer has detected a fault twice in the last three drive cycles. When ever it detects a fault, it stores it as a code. You can get the stored code read for free at many autoparts stores like AutoZone. The code will be in the format of a letter followed by four numbers. Since this is an engine problem, the letter will be a P (for powertrain), then a 0 (generic code readers can only read the 0 codes) and three more numbers. I.e. P0507.
They will usually give you a cash register receipt with the code at the top followed by a description of the fault and suggested remedies. We only need the code itself not the description or remedies. Some of the descriptions can fit several codes, so give us the code only.
The code will seldom give the exact part that needs to be changed, but it gets the mechanic, or any of us giving advice, into the ballpark. It usually takes a little more troubleshooting, but the codes greatly increase the speed and accuracy of the diagnosis.
Now, having said all that, do not go out and order a new fuel pump based on what I suggested above, that’s just a gut feeling I have based on your description. It is not an accurate diagnosis. Get the code read and post it here and I or someone else will be able to help you pinpoint the problem, we hope.