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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK- The problem is at this point is the car turns over but does not start....

The car is a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu (I know this is a impala forum but since the Impalas and the Malibu's are so close, I thought Ii give this a try.) with a 3.1L

This car does not belong to me. It is for a lady @ a woman's shelter that I volunteered to try and fix.

The car has not been maintained the greatest. The odometer reads 122,XXX miles. First, I was told that the car was running rough and having difficulty maintaining idle. When I arrived, i saw that the original spark plug wires were still being used because they were numbered. I replaced all wires and plugs but was not getting any new results. I began to move on to fuel. I started using starting fluid on the system and got the car to start but as soon as I stopped with the fluid, it died again. I am thinking either fuel pump or fuel filter. I can hear the humm from the fuel pump when the key was turned to the "ON" position.
So I figured clogged fuel filter. I replaced the fuel filter and found some very dirty gas coming out of it. It almost looked black. I blew through the filter and found alot of resistance compared to the new filter I was putting on. When the old filter was still on, and the steel output line was disconnected, i had the lady turn the key to the "ON" position and saw the gas coming out which makes me think the pump is still good. After replacing the fuel filter, we tried starting the car again. Still the car refuses to start. It continued to just turn over. I again used the starting fluid and that got the car started and running but after I stopped, the car died again. I tried cleaning the PCV valve and got that rattling again. I switched the fuel pump relay with the AC Compressor relay. still same result. Tried disconnecting the battery for 5 minutes to clean any codes, that didn't work. Looked for a possible Fuel shut-off switch that might've been tripped only to find out the Chevy Malibu's do not have one. Checked all fuses, everything looked good. (Both driver and passenger side fuse boxes and under the hood near the brake reservoir). I also checked the fuel pressure regulator vacuum hose coming out of the top for any signs of gasoline. It was dry.
I am almost out of ideas. Technically, this car should be running now. What am i missing? I also checked all sensors to make sure that they were connected. So, to wrap up, i replaced all spark plugs and wires. replaced fuel filter and the fuel pump does seem to be working.
I am wondering if a clogged fuel filter could damage the fuel pump somehow and make it weak? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I also have not checked any codes because I do not have a computer to check them and i do not know which terminals to jump at the diagnostic port to read codes at the dash. Any ideas?

Luca$
 

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8th Gen Antagonist
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I had the same problem recently, in the 7th gen section the thread was labeled "bad FPR?" it turned out that it was indeed a bad fuel pressure regulator. It was preventing any fuel pressure from building, so the car wouldn't start.
 

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8th Gen Antagonist
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I think you can use a vacuum pump to test the diaphragm in it, but I didn't have one so I'm not 100% sure on that. I was completely out of other options as to what it could be though. Price the part, if it's cheap enough it's worth just trying it.
 

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Not full proof but a simple test on the FPR is to pull the vacuum line and see if it is full of fuel or if there is any fuel in it, if so then the diaphragm ruptured for sure.

Also you really need to get a fuel pressure reading on this car. With the dirty gas you may have a weak pump. A week pump can move fuel at a good rate with the line open, but still not build up enough pressure to let the engine run correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I pulled the vacuum line off but did not see any fuel in the line. Excellent advice on the testing the fuel lines to see what kind of pressure I have. any idea what psi i should have on the lines?
 

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I think it needs at least 41psi, may need more in the 50s to run right. Hopefully Kingnutin will have that information for you.
 

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8th Gen Antagonist
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I think they are supposed to run about 45, but it should still start and run at 40.
 
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