Car won't start

I have a 1997 Pontiac sunfire the other week I was driving and it stopped on me the engine would crank but quickly turn off but everything inside the car would still be on k was told I needed a new cat and got that and a new muffler put on. This morning I went to leave for work and the same thing happened again! I was told it could be the fuel pump or fuel filter but it doesn’t act weird while driving it. What could this be?

This could be a case of shotgun maintenance. Yes…it is. Find a good independent mechanic and get the real problem found before your bank account dwindles away. The person you are using as a mechanic is no mechanic in my book.

The cat was a money guess. Boat payment must have been due. Fuel pump, a pressure gauge can confirm this. A bad crank or maf can cause no spark. When it does not start, squirt a little starter fluid in the throttle body. If it starts, then it the fuel pump.

I found out after buying it that someone went through and desired it could be a short? I also heard it could posssibly be a fuse.

A bad CAT wouldn’t cause the kind of trouble you describe. Something within the ignition or fuel system certainly could. I like @knfenimore suggestions to help pin down the trouble area. I tend to think the trouble is somewhere within the fuel system going from the description of the trouble you gave. A bad fuel pump relay perhaps or pressure regulator. It could be a faulty crank sensor also. Hopefully the error codes were checked for any clues to the problem.

The trouble isn’t due to a short but there could be a faulty electrical connection somewhere in the ignition or fuel system causing the trouble. What you describe though makes me think more toward something breaking down in the fuel system rather than an electrical connection issue, unless it is the fuel pump relay contacts or the pump itself.

Thank you! I had someone come look at it and they said they can hear the fuel pump working so they offered to replace the fuel filter, hopefully this will work!

Fuel filter could be the problem, if it was that badly clogged.
Just because you hear the fuel pump does not mean that it is delivering the fuel needed to start and keep running.
You need to find someone to test the fuel pressure and delivery output with the proper gauges…not their ear.


From what you stated about the problem it seems to me that the fuel filter isn’t going to fix this issue, but we can hope. I suggest you get the codes read to see if something like the crank sensor is causing the issue.