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Clueless female hates her car

Hi. I have 2000 GMC Jimmy. Not that it matters. I’m as of today selling it. It just came home from the shop for cooling system issues, which were resolved. We loaded up the family in it, drove to the nearest gas station and proceeded the fill the tank. Now it won’t start. Towed it home, a few mechanically inclined friends picked it over and deemed it to be a dead fuel pump. I posted it for sale. (I know the pump is an easy and inexpensive fix, I just want this car gone now.)

My question is almost here. A man came by to look at it and tried starting it with ether, which didn’t work. He then told me he’d pass. Does this mean it isn’t the fuel pump?

If it didn’t start with starting fluid, it’s an ignition problem.


I fail to see the connection. That guy probably wants to buy a car that starts.
Perhaps your mechanically inclined friend can help you fix it and then sell it.

I get that he wanted it to start. Was he hoping it was just a ignition problem and was disappointed? I just want to tell people the right issue it’s having when they buy it.

The new problem of not starting may be something very simple and inexpensive to repair. When I get disgusted with a piece of malfunctioning equipment, I push it out of my mind for a couple of days. When I go back to it, I have a clear mind and logically figure out the next course of action.
Don’t do something rash. See if you can get the truck running without great expense (and I think you can) and then decide what you want to do. You will come out ahead financially.

If he put enough ether (starting fluid) in the intake, it should have fired even if it wouldn’t run. It still could be a bad fuel pump, but there are lots of other possibles. You’ll need to get it running quickly, or pull the listing until you have it running properly. If you don’t want to spend more money on it, you’ll have to accept a very low price for it.

Find the problem, fix it and then list it for sale. I’d pull the posted listing for now, and relist it when it runs and you’ve cleaned it up and prepped it properly for sale.

I have it listed at $1,500 as is. Rash decision-making is an understatement. After spending the money I didn’t have to get it running again at last then having a new problem arise the next day… but thank you for the advice, perhaps I’ll pull the listing and let it sit in the driveway for another day or two. Ha.

@Nutterbutter have your mechanically inclined friend use a spark tester to make sure the coil is working. The 4.3 liter V6 would sometimes have a bad coil wire, which would arc to nearby brackets, causing a no start situation.

yes, that was done i believe.

@Nutterbutter so your friend said the coil was fine?

Did they connect a fuel pressure gauge to the rail?
Did they thoroughly test the fuel system?

There’s a big difference between THINKING the fuel pump is bad and KNOWING it’s bad.

Is the antitheft LED FLASHING when it won’t start?

Agree totally with Triedaq and UncleTurbo. Selling something with an unknown problem means you’ll have to sell for far less than the vehicle might be worth. In almost every case like this, the cost of repair will be less than the hit you’ll take simply because the problem is unknown to you. Your ‘as is’ ad screams out for a knowledgable mechanic to buy it…he’ll come by, recognize that it’s a simple fix (and not divulge his discovery), then offer you $500 less than your asking price because he’s “taking a chance”. Then he spends ten minutes and invests mere pocket change to solve the problem and makes a huge profit on this car you are so steamed at.

Did you check with the shop which did the cooling system repair? It’s possible they accidentally left something amiss which caused the no start issue, a wire harness plug pulled loose or some such. They might feel some obligation to at least have a look without charging you.

If you spent money you didn’t have to get it running, then you sure shouldn’t sell it for less than it’s worth when it could be (and probably is) a simple fix.

The man apparently wanted to verify the reason it wouldn’t start was a fuel problem. What he did I expect is spray some kind of fuel-like-substance (probably a commercial starter spray) directly into the engine air intake port. If the engine briefly starts then dies when doing this, it is diagnostic of a fuel problem. And that would be consistent w/a bad fuel pump. But it could be a dozen other things too. Since it failed to start after filling the tank, another possibility is thefuel tank evap system on the fritz. You could try starting the engine with the gas cap slightly ajar to break any vacuum. If it starts and run, you’d know the fuel pump is ok but the evap system has a failed component. BTW, doing this experiment may turn on the check engine light.

I’ll try with the gas cap. The check engine light likes to pop on and off anyway.
I literally have the ad listed as a mechanic special or parts rig. This car has not been running since I brought my newborn son home from the hospital a month ago. That is part of my rash decision to sell it; I’d like to have a car that can get us to doctor appointments. If I knew that replacing the pump would result in a running, reliable car, I would keep it.

@Nutterbutter so your friend said the coil was fine?

Did they connect a fuel pressure gauge to the rail?
Did they thoroughly test the fuel system?

There’s a big difference between THINKING the fuel pump is bad and KNOWING it’s bad.

Is the antitheft LED FLASHING when it won’t start?

…Yeah, I don’t know. I can check the antitheft light though.

"The check engine light likes to pop on and off anyway".

That light has been trying to inspire you to CHECK THE ENGINE. Get someone to scan the codes, that might identify your no start problem.

Lol. I understand why the check engine light feature was added to motor vehicles. It has been scanned, and apparently either it’s a mystery or I have sh*tty mechanics.

@Nutterbutter you may want to find ANOTHER mechanically inclined friend. That check engine light means there are fault codes. And that could be a big help to whoever’s diagnosing the car.

When Tester said in the first reply that it was an ignition problem, he said that because if it wouldn’t start with starting fluid sprayed into the air intake, it is not a fuel problem of any kind.

I think that whatever proves to be wrong with it, you should take 5 minutes, calm down, and don’t let your loathing for this vehicle that has let you down get the better of you. If the problem turns out to be something fixable for under $500, let’s say, and you can end up selling it for an extra $1,000 or more if you fix it, that’s money well spent, even if you just want to be rid of it.

If you have the money to burn to afford just getting rid of it, I understand… sometimes things just are not worth further aggravation. IMHO, this vehicle was… well, not GM’s best effort let’s say. It also will likely be a lot easier to sell a running vehicle, so maybe a little more aggravation getting one more repair done is worth the hassle of having an extra 10 people schedule coming over to your home to look at it, only to jerk you around and say “no.”

I agree with WesternRoadtripper. You really should figure out what’s wrong with the car and know how much it would cost to fix it. Otherwise you may lose a lot of money by selling it in a not-running condition when the fix is cheap.