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Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
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1990 Buick: Le..the car, the enginve idled extremely rough, I..stalled

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I have a 1990 Buick Le Sabre, until yesterday I have never had a problem with this car. Yesterday, I stopped to pick up my kids, started the car, the enginve idled extremely rough, I tapped the gas to attempt to smoot it out, it then stalled. After that the car would not start. The plugs are getting fire, full tank of gas. What could it be?
 It's a very good possibility of it being a bad fuel pump. You need to check the fuel pressure at the fitting on the fuel rail. It depends which engine you have but I think around 35lbs should be the right pressure.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: Well when the issue first started I could smell fuel, so I wonder if that is truly it. The fuel pump on that car, is it located in the gas tank? I am sure that there is something else that it could be other than the fuel pump.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.

 If you don't think we know what we're talking about, why are you asking us questions. I'm fully aware of where the fuel pump is and your next step is to check the fuel pressure. I'm not saying that's your problem for sure but you need to check the pressure.,
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: hey hey hey, I was asking if the fuel pump was in the gas tank, go back and read it again. I was simply telling you that I smelled fuel smart guy, I never said that you were wrong. I assumed that since I smelled fuel then the pump was sending fuel to the motor. Let me rephrase the question since you seem to be a bit sensitive to a response. What else could it be assuming I find the fuel pump is fine?

 I am sure that there is something else that it could be other than the fuel pump.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


What did I read wrong here?


Yes the pump is in the tank but there is a fitting on the fuel rail at the engine that makes it very easy to hook up a fuel pressure gauge. You could have someone remove the gas cap and listen inside while you turn the key on and see if they hear the pump run. It only runs for 3-5 seconds when the key is turned on.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Ok I give up, you are a car God and I am noone to you. Excuse me for being pretty sure that the fuel pump is working, we did the listening technique and heard it run. Again, I am pretty sure that it is something else. Simply put, yet again, assuming we find the fuel pump is fine, WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE?
 Well, since you already stated you have spark so your crank sensor is sending a reference signal which means you probably have injecter pulse which is what we would have checked next once we knew the fuel pressure was correct but if you insist on knowing these things through ESP or something, let someone else help you. We diagnose through a testing process. If your smart enough to skip steps, you won't need me.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Look man, I know it sucks when someone second guesses you, and I am not saying that you are wrong. I just have a feeling the pump is fine. I am going to test it with the pressure guage (the pressure should be between 37-43PSI by the way). And if the pressure is where it is supposed to be and is working, then I have both fuel and spark, so then I am lost and have no idea what it would be. That is what I am asking you. What could it be IF the fuel pump is doing its job? If I didnt need your assistance, you think that I would have paid to get a question asked? So, final time, and if the question gets answered then we both go on our merry way and you never have to deal with me again since you dont like the fact that I have asked for something else just incase you were wrong. When I test the pressure, and it is fine, meaning the fuel pumps WORKS, then WHAT ELSE could it be?

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX

Why is it this is so difficult? Are you having a bad day or something? Really, I didnt have the intention of pissing you off, but I guess that I did. My apologies, but, you surely understand that one would want to start with the easiest first, that is the best way to do it. Is it not? Just think if I started with the fuel pump, did all the work that it takes, and it does nothing, and it was something much more easy and cheap. Would it not have made sense to start with cheaper and easier means first before diving into the hardest part first?

 Look, I'll give you one more try. When we have a no start condition we have a systematic way to narrow down the problem. Your engine needs 4 things to run and you have to check every one before we have a picture of what's happening there.


1) Spark at the plug (already done)


2) Correct fuel pressure and quality of fuel (water contamination)


3) Injecter pulse tested with a noid light


4) compression


You only have to go to #4 if the first 3 all check out good. You can't skip or assume anything. Once we know what you are missing, we can give you a good idea why but the road doesn't start at the finish line. You have to know about each of these things positively before concluding anything. Even if you know the pump is working, other things could be wrong with the fuel pressure that we need to know about.

Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 747
Experience: 38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
Tech501 and 2 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
KISS   Keep it simple stupid... not you, just a philosophy for working on anything. If you smelled fuel you have fuel. Is the fuel clean? Had you just put gas in the car? You can test it directly from the tank or a better option is to disconnect the fuel line, pour some into a clear glass jar and see what is looks like. Also if you can wait till Saturday call the Car Guys on NPR and ask them, if nothing else they'll throw some humor into your otherwise bleak day walking.
Just a few thoughts... Good luck! dw!

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