Help! my 98 camaro will not run!

Purchased August 4th, 2010 - started and ran perfectly for 300 miles. As it was driving along it died. Happen to die outside of a repair shop. Tried to have it towed and they dropped it off the tow truck and damaged the bumper and air dam. Replaced it and while they fixed those parts - they said they felt it was the fuel pump. Wanted too much money to repair brought to my own mechanic. They have replaced the fuel pump, on board computer module, ignition module, checked all other modules and fuses, replace spark plugs, approximately 2000.00 so far and the car is still not working properly. Currently it will turn over, but it will not run. If they start it and push on gas pedal alot they can get it to run very roughly with black smoke coming out of it and then it just dies. HELP!! (The car does have a burglar alarm system that has not been working right - goes off when you unlock the car.)

You could have one of many problems so have your mechanic start checking the obvious. I would start with the catalytic converter. Sounds like it may be plugged. Go from there. Have the timing chain checked as well.

Disconnect the security (theft) system and try to restart.

They checked the catalytic converter, at one point kept burning out ignition control modules, said they checked the timing chain too.

I think (?) there is a fuel pump test connector on the underhood firewall, passenger side.
Try running a jumper wire from the positive side of the battery to this tiny test connector. This will power up the pump and bypass everything else on the car that controls the pump.

If the car runs fine after doing this then diagnostics will be needed to figure out why the pump controls are not working. This is generally not that hard to do.

At this point it sounds to me like a lot of mechanical guesswork has been going on rather than a deliberate think-through of the problem.
The rough running/black smoke COULD point to a faulty fuel pressure regulator. This is also easy to check and repair if necessary.

Has anyone checked the MAF sensor on this Camaro?
Also, is it the V-6 or a V-8?


V6 - thanks

The factory alarm system will illuminate the SECURITY lamp if something is wrong while you’re trying to start it. It disables the fuel pump, fuel injection and ignition if it thinks the car is being stolen. The fact the engine will start and blow black smoke means it’s probably not the alarm system.

Severe flooding from a bad pressure regulator is a definite possibility.

I fail to see how any professional shop can charge nearly $2k and not have resolved the problem. Shotgunning parts at owner expense is ridiculous. Some of the preliminary tests to rule these parts out are not that difficult. While your chosen “mechanic” may be cheaper, they may not be a bargain after all…

Well the dealer/shop that dropped my car off the tow truck wanted me to pay 1,500 for just a new fuel pump only (obviously trying to make up for their fiasco) so that was why I took it to my usual mechanic. I’m up to 2K because I had some other things replaced that I know wouldn’t be the problem like all new brakes/rotors/pulley mechanism (it was loose when we purchased it) etc. Didn’t have a problem with the car running previous to the initial incident.

Thank you appreciate your help - shop admits to feeling at a loss and doesn’t know what it could be. I’m just trying to get some additional ideas that they may not have thought of.

I agree with TwinTurbo. None of this should have happened. They’re “throwing parts at the car” hoping something will fix it rather than doing diagnosis.

The black smoke suggests a very rich mix or very poor ignition. The fuel pressure regulator can be tested, as can the ignition system. Fuel pressure should have been tested and the regulator checked prior to changing parts.

You need a new shop. One that diagnoses first and THEN changes parts.

The good news is that this problem is correctable by a good diagnostician.