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Car intermittently won't start

1996 Buick Le Sabre. About 1 time in 10, the car will not start. The starter is fine; seems to get no gas. Took it to garage for diagnosis. They could find NO problem: but replaced plugs and wires anyhow. $500 later, car still refuses to start – just about 1 time in 10. It seems to have a bigger problem if the car was parked going UPHILL. This is not always the case. Is it likely to be the fuel pump? Is there no way to check this without simply replacing the fuel pump? Any ideas?

If the fuel pump is suspect, a mechanic could check the fuel pressure pretty easily.

Was 96 Buick still using the Vehicle Anti Tamper System ( VATS), I think that is what the acromyn means, the system with the chip in the key used to validate the car and owner before starting? If your key has a chip in it, you could ahve an ignition switch issue or the key itself. Do you have a spare key? Can you drive on it for a couple days to see if it follows the key?

Anyway, the VATS system kills the fuel pump so the car should not start. It will still turn over but not start. Sounds similart o what you are describing.

Thanks to both of you. I’ll try a new key tomorrow. Also the mechanic said that since the problem is so intermittent, the diagnostics would not show it.

They. . Charged you $500 to replace the spark plugs?