1984 Oldsmobile Firenza will not run

  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 120,000 MILES
I have a 1984 olds firenza with a 1.8 liter engine. I use this aas a back up car and it doesn't get driven very often. I have had it since 1986 and have had very few problems with it. Recently when I have started it up to let it run for awhile it has acted like it is not getting gas and takes about 10 seconds worth of cranking before it starts. The last time I started it, it would barely run and was acting aweful. I thought maybe it just needed driven a little bit. I pulled out and it took off and was running good then. About a mile down the road I crossed some railroad tracks and it lost power and then stalled out. It has not started since. It has 3/4 tank of fuel. I replaced the fuel filter. I live beside a busy road and cant' hear if the fuel pump is running. The fuel pump fuse is good, but Im not getting any fuel from the injector. I took the injector off and gentley blew air through it with an air compressor and the air passed freely. The injector has 7 volts of power going to it. A friend of mine told me that he thought that was right but I dont know. I have taken the fuel line off and when I turn the ignition on fuel comes out but I dont know if it is enough or at the right pressure. I really like this car and would like to get it running again, but with its age don't want to sink alot of money in it so Im trying to fix it myself. I dont know if it has or where the fuel pump relay is to check it. Please provde any help you can so I can get it back on the road. Thanks.
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have the same problem?
Thursday, February 12th, 2009 AT 11:46 PM

1 Reply

Hello -

Well it not being driven very often can cause you some problems - the gas can get stail, moisture in the tank - plug wires and hoses start to deteriorate - mechanical items that need oil start to get dry. So please keep that in mind. My father-in-law is a farmer and the I think the biggest problem we have with all of the equipment like trucks etc that is not driven that much is they almost rot. Tires dry rot too etc. Wild huh.

Okay sorry - back to you your problem. First - sounds like a good car and I would hang on to it as long as possible. You haven't put too much into it so the way I look at things is until my maintenance cost out weighs a car payment - I am in the good. Sure you might sink 800 dollars into it. But then if it is good for 2 years then that is only about $67 a month. To me that is worth keeping.

Do you know how to check the codes on your car? Do you have a 12 or 5 pin data link connector?

Let's also make sure you are getting spark. Pull a plug wire off of the spark plug and insert something into the end of it and have someone try to start the car and have the metal object really close to a piece of metal on the engine and see if you are getting a good strong popping blue spark. Don't have your hands on any part of the metal! If there is no spark, then it is electrical.

If you are getting good spark then spray some starting fluid in the throttle body and try to start it and see if it tries to start then.

It may be your fuel pump but let's check the other items too since it has been sitting. Your fuel pressure should be with the key on and the pump on for a few seconds a steady 34-40 psi.

Here is the info on the relay

An electric fuel pump (located inside fuel tank as an integral part of fuel gauge sending unit) supplies fuel under pressure to throttle body. A fuel pump relay located on the left or right side of the engine compartment controls fuel pump operation. When the ignition switch is turned on, the fuel pump relay activates the fuel pump for 1 1/2-2 seconds to prime the injector. If the ECM does not receive reference pulses from the distributor after this period, the ECM deactivates the fuel pump circuit. The fuel pump relay will be activated again when the ECM receives distributor reference pulses.

Also please check fuses 1, 15 and 16 with an ohm meter.
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Friday, February 13th, 2009 AT 11:09 AM

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