Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Engine won't fire after ignition

Recently my '92 Cevy Lumina (115,600 miles) has taken to not “firing” after I turn it on. It has a brand-new battery and altenator so there’s plenty of current. I usually try to get it running 3 or 4 times and if it won’t go, I leave it so as to not wear down the battery. It’s as if it’s not getting any fuel and yes, I do have gas in the tank. I’ve had the pressure in the fuel pump checked and it was within normal range although on the low end. I can wait 30 seconds or 6 hours and eventually it will “fire” and run. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is causing this? Thank you!

Yes it needs a fuel pump. As you the pump psi is within normal range although on the low side. What I think is happening is its to low at times to open the injectors. Replace the pump and any and all gas filters.

Dear oldbodyman,
Thanks for your advice and recommendation.

I would not go straight to a fuel pump assumption. If the pressure was checked with an actual gauge and found within the correct range - even if on the low end, this should not keep the car from starting. But please do specify exactly how the fuel pressure was checked.

Has anyone checked for spark? You can use a spark tester or a spare spark plug.

There are also other fuel supply issues that don’t imply a pump problem. During these no starts, if you turn the key to run and pause before cranking can you hear the fuel pump hum?

You can also make sure the fuel injectors are getting power with a “noid” light or an electrical multimeter.

Dear cigroller,
The fuel pump was checked at a garage with a fuel pump pressure meter and checked at a couple different times. Sorry I don’t recall the exact reading but I thought they said 4.1. I could call and find out. I haven’t checked for spark and I think I may just be able to do that, but checking the fuel injectors may be beyond my scope. During the no starts, I haven’t paused before cranking so I don’t know if anything is humming. I did just go out to “test” it and I can hear humming before cranking but it started. It hums a little after shutting it off too. I appreciate your input.

If my memory serves me right, the wiring harness for the crank sensor goes from the front part of the subframe to the engine fairly close to oil filter. What I’ve seen through the years is the wiring breaks from the engine constantly moving. One of the things you can try is to shake that harness a bit while someone cranks it over. Of course you could simply look at and find bare/broken wires.

I’ll include your advice when I have this car checked out. Thanks very much.

To put this discussion to an end, the car was towed to a garage as it eventually didn’t start at all and it was the crank sensor and wiring. Thanks all for your advice.

Em…thanks for the feedback. This should help others who may have a similar problem.