1988 Dodge Omni can't get started

  • 1988 DODGE OMNI
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 143,000 MILES
I am about to donate my 20-year-old Dodge and I was hoping to just drive it arouind the block a couple of times before sending it off.

I did not attempt to start the car for more than a year because I needed to repair a battery cable and never got to it, so there was no battery for about a year. I did not intend to let it go that long.

When finally getting it back together recently, I was surprised that it initially started up very quickly. I got out of the car to inspect the engine compartment after it started. It ran pretty good for perhaps two minutes but then the engine started to shake quite badly and it died.

I have not been able to get it started again. Come to think of it, when I used the car more regularly it had similar symptoms, but I could easily get it restarted again then.

Could just be my imagination, but the engine seems to turn hard for a turn or two when cold especially, but then the starter motor seems to begin sounding much more subtle or faint if that is any kind of explanation. I still hear it, but like it is not turning anything. Even so, I felt like it might have come close to starting a time or two.

From what I can see and smell I do seem to be getting gas flow through the fuel injector, but I am not sure.

Based on the symptoms, is there a short list of things I might be able to look for on my own? It does not seem worth it to have it towed and repair. Thank you in advance for any responses.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, May 29th, 2009 AT 7:33 PM

1 Reply

You know you can turn the key on 3 times quickly and count the flashes of the check engine lamp, that can point to any problem. But I think the timing belt jumped because of the way you say it sounds. I would check those 1 and 2 because you smell gas and its been sitting. I owned two omnis and repaired hundreds. Good luck, I wish you were donating it to me, all my life I wanted an injected Omni.
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Monday, September 7th, 2009 AT 12:25 AM

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