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Thread: Engine turns over and backfires, but won't start

  1. #1
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    Engine turns over and backfires, but won't start

    I have a question about the engine in my car. It was working perfectly while i was sitting in my driveway, then i turned it off, went inside for a bit, and came back out to go to walmart. It wouldn't start and it kept turning over and then finally started for a bit, but was really rough whenever i pressed on the gas, then when i let off it died. i think i heard a big bang and a bit of smoke came from under the hood. now it just turns over and every once and a while the exhaust will backfire and sounds like a paintball gun. I dont know what could be causing the problems. A timing chain? Fuel Filter? I know it's not the air filter but I can't think of anything that could happen all of a sudden like that. Any help you guys have would be awesome.

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    wwawd shavedaccord's Avatar
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    a big bang + smoke from under the hood = never good..there are a ton of things that could of happened and something like this isn't easy to diagnois without physicaly lookiing at the engine and checking over stuff..if you know someone by you or got a friend who is a mechanic i'd have them look at it..so just take it easy and don't try starting it anymore till then otherwise you run the risk of causing more damage

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    Black N Gold 91SCAccord's Avatar
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    well for starters you can check the easy stuff.. plugs, distributor, plug wires, and ignition rotor.. from there i would go to the fuel system.. you could have gotten some bad gas or someone could have put something in your gas tank.. just my 2 cents

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    Well I went and tried starting it again (before someone left a message saying not to haha) and it started. It ran a bit rough, and I didn't take it out on the street just in case it quit. Looking under the hood nothing seems wrong, but I havn't poked around much. Any ideas as to what it could be if it spontaniously "fixes" its self? I'm always leery about problems that go away magically because I'm sure it'll happen again someday.

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    NO REP FOR YOU!!!!! Jeff.Chicago's Avatar
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    My guess is bad gas.

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    Street Fighter II' Turbo A<<ordDriven's Avatar
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    ^ Possible. Maybe the gas filter need to change? Maybe he/she had no gas.

  7. #7
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    i would check for any loose connections and check your timing .that hapen to my 3rd generation accord twice first time was a bad ground but it didnt backfire second time my timing belt skipped.

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    I had the car out last night and it started up fine, and ran fine for a little while, then started loosing power when I stepped on it hard, then by the end it would idle properly, but it wanted to stall when I was giving it a bit of gas. I'm going to try to replace the fuel filter today and see if it's as simple as that. I'm hoping that the filter is clogging it enough that it won't properly atomize the gas and some is leaking into the exhaust which would cause the backfiring right? Let me know if I'm wrong, but the filter could use replacing anyway.

    And yes, there was plenty of gas in the tank, and I don't think it was bad because I've used half a tank already with no problems... but you never know I guess

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    you check the timing?

    but yeah this is a really complex problem that would require a troubleshooter to actually look at the car.

    sorry man
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    Well the fuel filter is changed after a huge hassle, and at first I thought that had solved my problem. I went for a quick drive and it's not quite fixed. The problem seems to occur after the car has been warmed up a bit and I'm shifting into second. It bubbles a bit and wants to stall, if I put the clutch in, rev it up a bit, then go then it seems to be fine. It was only doing it in second gear this afternoon but I wouldn't be surprised if that was just happenstance. I'm thinking the injectors might be dirty now. Perhaps I should just take it to a shop, but I prefer trying to figgure it out on my own. Any comments guys?

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    <<< Holds the Universe Specter's Avatar
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    well from what you are saying, it could still be something in the fuel system...

    but have you checked the ignition?

    but sure, clean the injectors
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    just a thought my boys ride had a problem and his had the same symptoms you got and i checked it out it was a bad cat converter we changed it and it ran like a champ and my car was doing that and it was still a stock one from tha factory on my 4th gen i got a high flow one and it runs like never before

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    Here's the newest update: a friend and I worked on it and I thought we had it! It was simple enough, we were going for some injector cleaner and the guy at the shop recommended this stuff called Sea-Foam instead. As per his directions we put 1/3 in the gas tank, 1/3 in the crank case, and 1/3 in the vaccum system (via the line coming out of the master brake. that was a strange one to me, but we did it anyway). It then smoked out the exhaust for a while like he said it would, so we took it out for a little rip to try to clear the system. And here's the thing, it worked! At least for a few days... I had my oil changed, as recommended, and it continued to work fine. Then it sat for a few days. I went to go take a little highway trip yesterday and it started doing the same thing again, I almost didnt make it home.

    So it seems like it only happens when the car is warm, and in every gear. It's like it wants to stall - or it's flooding - at low rpms. If i bump up the rpms then it seems to go ok.

    I thought maybe it could have been the cat converter too. I heard that a bad one would produce a rotten egg smell which I get from time to time, but not a lot. But would a bad cat start and stop working off and on like that? I guess it couldn't hurt to try. I'm going to do plugs, wires, cap&rotor etc. but i dont think any of those things would only happen at low rpms would they. Keep in mind that it idles perfectly fine....

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    cheer up emo kid. ACC0RD22's Avatar
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    kinda sounds right to me. does the cat only smell like that when the car is warm? Im fearful to tell you to replace it, because thats kinda expensive, and I would feel horrible if that didnt fix the problem.
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    Is there any good way I can tell if it's the cat before I go ahead and replacement? A friend told me if you hit it with a hammer you'll feel some loose stuff or hear something. There's a bit of a shroud over mine, so it was tough to tell for sure, but it seemed to be good. Do you think hitting it a few times got it to work for a little while and now it's acting up again? That sounds kinda dumb, but i'm just trying to figgure it out. So what i'm wondering is:

    if the cat is bad will it only be bad at low rpms but not while idling? (or is it possible as it starts going bad)

    if the cat is bad will it be fine when it's cold and start acting up when warm?

    will a high flow cat make a difference if i'm going to change it anyway?

    how bad does it smell when it's going bad - i smelled the tips and it didnt really smell that much, but occasionally i can smell it while i'm in the car with the windows down...............

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