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QUESTION: I have a 1992 Cadillac Seville, MY car will start briefly in the AM and cut out after a second or two. When I try to restart it starts for moment and then it sounds like it it's dying. It seems as if is not getting enough gas and it chokes out and runs rough. If I pump gas it gets a boost and then dies out. Any ideas on what may be causing this problem?

ANSWER: Hello,

Please realize that I am not at the vehicle to perform a comprehensive diagnoses, however your description leads me to obvious potential answers that will prevent you from changing out perfectly good parts on a guess.

Here is where you need to start:
Change the fuel filter under the vehicle coming from the tank and see if that dramatically improves the performance of the engine.
When you do this however, keep the fuel tank no more than a quarter filled.
In the event there is not a drastic improvement, you are going to need to drop the fuel tank. Because of it's age, I would recommend dumping every thing in the tank because the fuel or tank is contaminated. Radiator shops used to steam clean fuel tanks, but I am not sure if they do anymore. Call around and see if you can get the tank boiled out.

If not, try to slosh it around upside down in an effort to get everything out.
Because of it's age and the work you have gone to, I would highly recommend installing a new fuel pump and sock. The sock s a very fine screen that attaches to the fuel pump that catches dirt and debris. Reinstall fuel tank. Put 5 gallons of gas in it and use a 1/4 bottle of heat. Drive a few miles and fill the tank up and install the remaining 3/4 bottle f heat. That will dissipate any water that may have been in the tanks and the lines.
Keep in mind if the fuel tank was filled with sediment, you may end up putting yet another fuel filter in.
After all of this I would recommend a can of fuel injector cleaner to be installed in the tank.
Hopefully no dirt got as far as the throttle body, and most times the sock and the fuel filter prevent this and give you the condition you now have.
Try the filter first and if that does the trick, put the can of fuel injector cleaner in the tank.
Good luck and let me know how my diagnoses worked from Dallas Texas.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I just tried to start car and it would not start. Is there a test for  fuel pumps to see if it is the problem and if so how much should they cost?


The very common issue indicating a bad fuel pump is that the engine will crank and won't fire immediately.
The fuel pump pressure can be checked by any auto service facility which should be about 60 PSI give or take. However as discussed before, the filter if restricted will effect the fuel pressure.
From your description originally, it sounds like some sort of contamination in the fuel system.
Again, very common because the fuel we get today is garbage coupled with a gas station having dirt and water in their tanks that they sell for a ridiculous price.
If you have not changed the fuel filter for years, it is now time!

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Rob Painter


Alarm system questions cannot be answered on this forum. These systems are not what I can answer. Without being physically at the vehicle and not knowing what kind of electrical service has been done on the vehicle, there is no possible way to give an accurate answer over the internet. My expertise is in Ignition/key based anti-theft systems. These issues include GM VATS (resistor chip in key blade) PASSLOCK (MRD)-ignition lock rotation based, no special ignition key and the PKIII Transponder (computer chip in key) systems. These systems are not alarm based and are integral with the starting of the engine. This is why I cannot diagnose alarm problems without physically looking at the vehicle: Alarm systems are a completely different annimal than ignition key/lock based anti-theft system. Many alarm questions come from vehicles 10 years old, and since older, many hands that had been involved over the years.I am an expert in all GM factory (ignition/key based)systems. Alarm system questions pose to many situations beyond my knowledge as to what has been done to the vehicle over the years. Some guy may have actually wired the stereo into the alarm system. Who knows? Over my past 30 years in vehicle wiring repair, I have seen unbelievable wiring disaters done by guys that consider themselves "mechanics." I have seen stereos and alarms intalled using surgical tape. I have seen modules burn up, un-fused circuits, wiring jambed between the doors and even lamp cord used for a starter kill. To answer alarm questions over the internet without examining the vehicle is like asking; What does it take to remove a dent?


Education/Credentials-ASE certified. 11 years with a GM dealer and 17 years with a repair facility dealing with only the repair of theft recovered vehicles.

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