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Immediately After Replacing My Fuel Injectors, Problems Starting Car. Ideas?

Hi all,

*I am not an auto expert so apologies for lack of knowledge or terms

1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

My fuel injectors were leaking and I wound up replacing all 4 of them at a mechanic. The only symptom I had of this was smelling gasoline when my AC or Heater was turned on.

The very night when my car went home, I developed a sudden brand new random problem.

Previous to the fuel injector change - when I try to turn my car on - I just turn the key and the engine cranks for a second or two then “turns” on. Now, when I try to turn the car on, the engine just cranks like 4 or 5 seconds and then barely…barely comes on. Like, the engine doesn’t sound like it turns on, but when I stop cranking for the 4 or 5 seconds - somehow the car awkwardly / weakly comes on. If I only crank the engine for like 2 seconds, it will not turn on at all. It needs like 5 seconds to barely turn on.

However, if I try to crank the engine for 2 seconds and it doesn’t turn on, then immediately when I try to turn the engine on again, it goes on like normal. ADDITIONALLY, if I just stopped the car like 10 or 15 minutes ago and I try to turn the engine on again, it goes on like normal as well.

If I try to crank the engine for like a split second and then try to turn on the second time though, it will not work. It needs like a second or two for the first crank.

ADDITIONALLY (more additionallies), my car when I try to accelerate now sounds like its struggling to accelerate.

ADDITIONALLY, if I try to crank the car and I just tap the gas pedal, the car starts extremely extremely quickly.

This all started the night I got all 4 of my fuel injectors changed. The mechanic doesn’t seem to know why this is happening. He gave me a new fuel filter and it did not do anything to fix the situation.

Any ideas what can be happening?

Sounds like fuel pump went South on you. Check fuel pressure. Spec is 41-47 PSI key on, engine off.

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Hi Pete,

Thanks for your response! When you say “spec is 41-47 PSI key on, engine off”, does that mean that I should test fuel pressure and it should be between 41-47 psi with the key in the ignition and engine off?

Again I appreciate your response. I am pretty car illiterate unfortunately :stuck_out_tongue:

yes, that is exactly what Pete means.

If it sounds weak when starting, I would also recommend making sure the battery cables are clean and tight.

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Try turning your key to ‘on’, not start, for 5 seconds, then turn off, then turn to start. Let us know how that does.

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Hi OldcarsRbest,

Thanks for the response! Questions - turning the key to “on” would just be basically turning the “power” of the car on but not the engine (ie : no cranking), right?


“key on” = ignition in the on position, number 2 position, engine not running