my wife's 97 camaro(3800 V6) is having intermittent starting issues. i cannot as of yet isolate this problem--it happens cold or hot, rain or shine.
it always turns over and when it does start, shows zero signs of poor performance. it does have a post converter O2 sensor code that comes and goes, but i'm not sure if it's related.
the fuel pump is actuated during the no start situations. the fuel filter was changed less than a year ago, but i did buy a "cheapy" on line. i might start there since it's cheap(even a good filter), and easy to install.
Well, I always start with the basic 3. Fuel, air, spark.
Check for consistant spark. You may want to just replace the coils for peace of mind as I've seen those give problems many times. Check wires for resistance and see if they're within spec or again, just replace w/ higher performance parts. Clean and regap plugs.
Fuel. Harbor freight fuel gauge will do the trick to reassure you you're getting plenty.
Air... self explanitory. Check PCV, vacuum sources, air filter and MAF. Do the free mod while you're in the airbox... remove the excess plastic material from the lower air box assembly. Search "f-body free mod" if curious about that one.
I know on the 3.4L f-body's the big problem was the intake manifold gasket. Not sure if the 3.8L carried any plaguing issues there or not but some brake cleaner sprayed on the intake edges while the car is running will tell you if you've got a leak or not.
ok, i got my fuel pressure tester(the car is still having issues). here's what i have ascertained so far...
ignition on w/ motor off, PSI specs are fine.
motor running, specs are fine.
when off, the pressure starts to drop slowly.
so, this likely means the hard starting is a low/zero pressure start right?
neither the tester manual nor the haynes trouble shoot this issue!
my guess is a leaky injector or faulty pump allowing fuel to return to the tank, tho the pump does actuate and work fine when the car is driven. according to haynes, the fuel pressure regulator checks out ok btw.
I could be wrong, but that sounds pretty normal. If the pressure is there as soon as you turn on the key, you should be getting gas.
Maybe an intermittent electrical connection in the line to the distributor or coil pack?
In my experience, a clogged fuel filter will let the car idle or drive at low speeds OK, but bog down on the freeway or climbing steep hills. It would only stop the car if it is really clogged, e.g. gasoline attacking the stuff that the nice man coated the gas tank with to seal a pinhole leak (that happened to me a long time ago...).
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