1993 Pontiac Grand Am Smells/Feels like it's running rich a

Tiny
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  • 1993 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 134,200 MILES
Additionally it doesn't start!

For the past week or so with the cold Chicago weather, my car has had some issues trying to start. It'd take more cranks than usual, but it'd eventually turn over and start running. From here, it always would idle roughly - to where I had to give it a bit of gas or else it would stall out on me.

At first, since the check oil light came on, I had the oil replaced and that seemed to help a little bit, but it didn't fix anything. I still have problems with it stalling/starting, and now it won't even start at all!

I can smell fuel/exhaust while idling at times, like at a stop light for instance, but that typically goes away with forward motion once I get going again. I know that fuel pumps for my car tend to be a bit weak, from what I've heard, and that it's a common problem for them to go bad. But I don't know the symptoms of such a thing and I can't afford to throw a lot of money into this car at the moment _just_ to get it diagnosed!

Anyways, I guess I'm just looking for a bit of an opinion on what problems could create this situation, any advice is greatly appreciated since I know that it's hard to diagnose cars without looking at them in person.

Thanks again,
Zack
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 5:41 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
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Do below to determine if its fuel or spark problem and then get back asap

Get a starting fluid or ether and spray into the carb or the throttle body on an EFI. Did it start and die? If not disconnect a sparkplug wire or 2 and ground it to the engine -have helper crank engine over-do you have a snapping blue spark? If so-you have a fuel related problem, check the fuel pressure to rule out the fuel filter/fuel pump/pressure regulator and listen to the injector/s are they pulsing or hook up a noid light. No snapping blue spark continue to troubleshoot the ignition system-power input to the coil/coil packs, distributor pick-up coil, ignition control module, cam and crank sensors- Note: If it doesn't apply disregard it
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 6:04 PM
Tiny
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Thanks - right now it's stuck in a parking lot at a school nearby, so I'm working out a way to get over there and try that out now.

My preemptive guess is that it's not an ignition issue as the starter and alternator have been replaced just last year - but who knows at this point!

Thanks again/in advance for your quick reply, I'll be sure to let you know and keep this thread updated with what happens.

Zack
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 7:07 PM
Tiny
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Just got back from looking at the car so here's an update:

Still doesn't start - we looked at a few different things, namely the ignition which turned out to be good - and we also replaced the battery with a new one. A) because we though it'd help and b) I needed a new one anyway, truth be told.

Pulled the wires for the spark plugs (two at a time) and they all spark, rather strongly I might add. So my friend and I have come to the conclusion it's gotta be fuel. Tomorrow we're going back with some starter fluid and a fuel filter so hopefully that'll be enough to fix things.

I really hope it's not the fuel pump :- (Which I don't think it is, since I can here it kick in when I turn the car to ON without immediately trying to start it.)

Cross your fingers!
Zack
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 10:34 PM
Tiny
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If you can hear the fuel pump coming on-check the fuel pressure and comeback with the readings
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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 AT 5:24 AM

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