1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Fuel problem or ignition switch?

  • 1 POST
  • 3.1L
  • 6 CYL
  • 129,000 MILES

I hope you can help us, as we just bought this car and we spent every dime we had on it, so taking it to a mechanic is out of the question. It's a 1995 Chevy Monte Carlo with a 3.1 and approx. 129,000 miles, however that's questionable because the odometer isn't working properly either. But the big problem we have right now is this. For the last week and a half or so, (we bought the car January 28th) when you turn the key sometimes it would sputter a bit before turning completely over. Then after you get out on the road it jerks and chokes like it wants to die. Sometimes it will, but not always. When it does die it starts back up, but it won't take long for it to start cutting out again. We live in a rural area but close to town, so we haven't been traveling far since we got the car, (mainly because we had to replace the turn signal switch the day after we bought it along with 4 tires), so we were hoping that a clogged fuel filter or maybe dirty injectors would be the problem and we replaced the filter and dumped in some sea-foam with our fingers crossed. This morning we started the car up and once again it hesitated on starting, and we wasn't maybe 4 miles from home when it started cutting out and dying. We stopped at a gas station to turn around and go back when it died for good and now it will not turn over at all. It is acting like it's not getting fuel, maybe a fuel pump or bad injectors, but from what I have read it could also be the ignition switch. My question is this. How can my husband test to see which one it is, or if it's either one of these problems at all, with out taking it to a garage, because as I started off with, we're broke. Thank you in advance.

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have the same problem?
Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 4:47 PM

1 Reply

  • 29,772 POSTS

You're thinking is getting derailed. "Turning over" means the starter is cranking the engine, regardless of whether it starts or runs. If it is turning over, the ignition switch is working.

Next, you will not solve anything by adding "mechanic-in-a-can" chemicals. Those don't magically fix mechanical problems. The fuel filter does get plugged on GM cars, but then the engine wouldn't run fine for a few miles. What CAN cause that is a collapsing pickup screen in the fuel tank. They will stretch out again after sitting for a few minutes, but then they'll collapse again after two to 15 miles and cause fuel starvation and stalling. You can identify this by connecting a fuel pressure gauge and clipping it under the wiper arm so you can watch the pressure while you're driving.

GM has trouble with injectors on high-mileage engines but that won't cause the symptoms you described. In fact, you often won't even notice a running problem, but it will be detected by the Engine Computers on '96 and newer cars.

The place to start is by reading and recording any diagnostic fault codes. Go to this page:


Only Chrysler makes reading codes yourself easier. On Fords it's much harder. If you find any fault codes, list them here in your next reply.

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Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 5:21 PM

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