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Cranks but won't start 94 chevy

My 94 Chevy cavalier just recently moved with me from north Carolina to west Virginia. A couple weeks after I got here I started having trouble with it starting, a couple weeks after that my serpentine belt broke, got that fixed immediately. Its been a couple months since then. I have been able to start the car the whole time but it was very hard, putting the gas all the way to the floor and all that. The car hasn’t started in two weeks, I took it to the mechanic. He said the oil had gas and anti freeze in it and the spark plugs were dirty. He checked the compression and it was fine, so I’m stumped. The car had a hard idle when it did start but drove like a dream, there might have been a slight change in gas mileage but not crazy, never over heated til the serpentine belt broke but I shut it off before it got to hot. I do have a brand new head gasket, radiator, and new battery, before all this happened. Somebody help!

I’m no expert, but doesn’t that indicate a bad head gasket? Perhaps your “new head gasket” is defective or installed incorrectly?

It’s sort of unusual to need to replace a head gasket except for a reason, like it overheated at some point in the past. If that was your motivation to replace it, along w/the radiator, I expect the past overheating event is what is now causing your problem. Compression could be fine but maybe there’s a little coolant now entering the cylinders and putting the fire out. If so, you’ll have to fix that problem, which probably means another head gasket job. A head gasket job isn’t just replacing the head gasket btw, usually involves machine shop work on the head too. And checking the flatness of the block mating surface.

If you think all that is not the problem why it is hard to start and idles poorly, then you’d be looking for problems with the fuel or ignition system. A spark test and a fuel pressure test, along with reading the diagnostic codes from the computer memory. If I had this problem first thing I’d do is bring all the routine engine maintenance up to date first, spark plugs, wires, dist cap, ign rotor, engine air filter, oil and filter, etc.

On some engines, the head gasket needs to be replaced, because it’s leaking engine oil externally, but there is no breach, and no overheating

In many of these cases, retorquing the head bolts doesn’t satisfactorily resolve the problem, and the long term fix is to just bite the bullet and replace the head gasket

IMO certain engines are more susceptible to this scenario

And these scenarios I’m thinking of . . . the head and/or block are NOT warped

It happens

It never overheated… the oil has gas and antifreeze in it…it has a new head gasket…??? This information is contradictory.

I had it looked at again. I flooded the engine from having to gas it to start it. Got all that taken care of the other day but its still having problems starting if I don’t run it at leas once every like 12 hours. I’m thinking an oxygen sensor, ECU, fuel injectors or maybe I need a cold crank battery. The check engine light comes on sometimes but never stays on long enough for me to get it plugged up.

The next time you get the engine to start, let it idle for a minute and then shut the engine off.

Open the hood, and on the fuel rail look for the fuel pressure regulator.

Remove the vacuum hose from the fuel pressure regulator, and if gas leaks out of this connection, have the fuel pressure regulator replaced.


Didn’t think of that. I’ll check it out tomorrow and let u know

I checked all that, no gas anywhere. I think all the gas was in the oil and spark plugs because I flooded the oil engine. Now the only problems are hard to start if I wait to long, idles hard, and will stall only right after trying to turn it on if I don’t give it gas immediately, but it only does that if I wait more then like 10 hours to let it run. It runs great when I’m on the accelerator but as soon as I slow down or am idling its a little rough.
If I have to give it gas to not stall at the begging though the car sounds like a homemade motor cycle til the engine evens out. It also sounds worse in reverse and shifts hard probably half the time. It is manual 2.2

If gas and coolant are still getting into the oil after the head gasket was replaced then you have a pretty major engine problem. Enough of a problem that the cost of fixing it isn’t worth doing due to value of the car itself.

The trouble you are having with the starting could be due to fuel leaking back into the tank due to a leaky flow check valve in the fuel pump. If you have a cold start valve that may be causing the issue.

Whatever is causing the issue it is going to cost you more in repair costs to fix. I think you would be wise to consider getting another vehicle and get what you can for this car. Preferably a later model Toyota.

Does anyone read all the posts or just the last one of which I’m replying to someone else. What u said makes no sense, cus I’m not having that problem at all. There is nothing wrong with an old Chevy. The engine in it is one of the best ever made. Good bye

When a fuel injected engine won’t start right up after sitting unused for 12 hours, but starts fine as long as you don’t wait too long to start it up again, my first suspect is the injector’s fuel rail is depressurizing for some reason. It’s supposed to stay pressurized when you turn the engine off and stay that way for days. That’s so it is easy to start up the next time. If it doesn’t, this symptom results. The two common causes are a leaking fuel injector or a leaking fuel pump check valve. A fuel-rail pressure holding test will tell you if that is the actual problem or not.