Proper Starting Proceedure
courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man
I own a 1992 Olds 88 Royal, 3.8 litre, 3800 tuned port injection. It won't start cold. When cranking it makes all kids of awful backfire sounds. As soon as I quit cranking it gives a big backfire. Once started, it runs great and doesn't smoke. Will start right up when the engine is warm.
We looked in the book, replaced the plugs and the temperature sensor, but it's still doing the same thing. When we checked the plugs, they were dripping gas, but when we dried them out, it started. What do we try next? Or what can be the problem?
When you start the car, do you do anything other than turn the key? It sounds like you are flooding it. The proper way to start a fuel injected car is to turn the key, wait for the dash board to initialize (usually about 5 seconds) then turn the key to start. Do not do anything with your feet! Just let them sit there. No pumping, no pressing, no anything.
If you are pumping the throttle like you used to do with a carb engine, then you run the risk of exploding your intake. You see, with modern engines, is looks at the rapid movement of the throttle as an indication of acceleration. It then send tons and tons of extra fuel into the cylinders to compensate. The faster you pump, the more it thinks you want to accelerate. Eventually, you will have too much fuel to start.
Just turn the key on, wait for the fuel pump to prime up, then turn to start. If that does not work, then you need to look at a few things. First is the IAC (Idle air control valve) to make sure that it is working correctly. The next would be the TPS (throttle position sensor). It may not know that the car is at idle and is not actuating the IAC. The next would be the temperature sensor. It may think the car is actually warmer than it is and not enriching the fuel mixture enough to start when cold.
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
Have a car care question? Visit our automotive center and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.
Take the Next Step
- Reduce the cost of your gasoline with a 'gas card'. You can compare them here.
Also in Home
- DIY backyard waterfall
- Painting a basement floor
- Make your own laundry detergent
- Do-it-yourself home remodeling on the cheap
- Simple steps to lower your water and sewer bills
- Decorating with yard sale finds
- Managing your mortgage
- The cheapskate's guide to flooring
- 5 ways your house can make you go broke
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- Does staging really raise a home's price?
- 6 energy-saving projects for your home
- The right way and wrong way to pay down your mortgage
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- How much equity can you cash out of your home?
- 6 home projects that don't pay for themselves
- Should I refinance my home equity line?