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Mike S.
Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 7499
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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if an engine is vapor locked how do i fix it

Resolved Question:

if an engine is vapor locked how do i fix it
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 years ago.

Fuel vapor lock is really a thing of the past when mechanical fuel pumps on the engine use to use vacuum to draw fuel from the tank. It was caused by extreme heat on the fuel lines either by fuel lines running too close to exhaust manifolds or any other cause for the line to get too hot.

The chance of vapor lock was most likely all but eliminated when the fuel pumps were installed inside the tanks, because the fuel is pushed out instead of being sucked out, therefore eliminating the chance of vapor lock. That is not to say it cannot happen.

Usually, you would put a partially frozen wet towel on the fuel line and mechanical fuel pump.

Have you tried to start the vehicle with starting fluid? Perhaps the fuel pump is just not coming on, can you hear it run when you first turn the key to run for the first few seconds? If not check the fuel pump fuse first.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes i have tried to start it and the fuel pump comes on and there is fuel in the fuel rail but the engine trys to turn over but wont and cant figure out why
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 years ago.
Do you have spark?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

i just tried to start it agian and all it does is make a clicking sound down by the starter the starter is new how do you check to see if there is spark



Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 years ago.

Well, first of all the starter is going to have to crank the engine before you can test for spark. Is the battery going dead? If so charge it then get back to me when it cranks. To test for spark when it cranks make a tester with a spark plug.

You can make a test plug with a new spark plug and some wire, a mini hose clamp and an alligator clip. First open the spark plug gap to around 0.075” and strip both ends of a 16 gauge wire about 4 foot in length. Attach the mini hose clamp around the threads of the spark plug cause that is a ground and secure it with the mini hose clamp with the bare wire end in between to make a good connection. Next, take the other end of wire and secure to an alligator clip.
Now, you have a test plug. Remove any spark plug boot you want and insert your test plug onto the spark plug wire end you just pulled off and ground the alligator clip. Lay the spark plug in some shade somewhere under that hood and then crank the engine and look for spark. It should crackle with sound and should be blue but red is ok, orange is a little weak. If it can jump that 0.075” gap you should have no problem igniting an engine.
You can also use that to check coils on some vehicles.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
the battery is fully charged ive hooked the charger up to it and turned it to boost and it still makes a clicking sound at the starter
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 years ago.
Check the connections at the starter, if they are tight then the starter may be bad. take it off and take it into an auto-parts store, they will usually bench test them for free.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

ok if its good what else could it be


Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 years ago.
Well, if the battery is charged like you say and the starter is obviously getting voltage to the solenoid because it is clicking, the only thing it could be is the connections are loose on the starter or the starter bolts are loose cause that is how it is grounded. If everything checks out then the starter is most likely bad. The brushes wear out or the bushings, or an open in the wiring.
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