Question about 1999 Oldsmobile Alero

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Car won't start for multiple tries.

My car will make noise like its going to start but sometimes it can take up to 20 tries to get it to actually turn over. lights and everything else comes on. i bought a new fuel filter and have to have that put in, if that doesnt fix it does anyone know what else it may be?

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Ignition coil(s), plug wires, spark plugs, fuel pump are likely candidates.

The engine is rarely starved for air enough to not start, so that's not as likely. Same goes for the fuel filter unless you've been dumping leaves and dirt in your tank.

Try spraying starter fluid liberally on the air filter and then trying to start. If it kicks over more than usual, then it's a fuel problem, not a spark problem. If not, suspect the coil, plugs, and wires.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009


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I took a 3 hour drive to see some friends and stay a couple nights. well we went to eat and when i got back to the car it didnt try and start or anything. It also has a problem with not wanting turn over.

If you can hear it trying to turn over but sounds weak, then a clicking noise and dimming of lights - your battery is low on power. Have someone jump it. you can run your car without a full battery, It will charge after you run it. if your battery is fully bad then you will just have to jump it to turn it on, after turning it off. You can also pour tap water into the cells of the batt as a last resort.

If you hear nothing at all when you try to turn it on it, could be your starter. make sure when you turn your key to "on" position you hear one click from your starter. If not its goin bad. if you can see your starter under the hood or under the car (looks like heavy electric motor), try hitting it with a hammer when you try and start it. sometimes that gets it going.

If you have more then one key, try using another key, sometimes the immobilizer in your car "forgets" a keys code.

If it is turning over but not running, it might be a weak fuel pump. Everytime you turn your key to the on position, your fuel pump primes the fuel lines. but if its weak it takes a while to fire up. try turning the key (engine off) from off to on (not start) in 3 sec intervals a few times. that will prime your car more before it starts.

Also some sensor are required to work to run the car. If they are messed up or dirty the car won't start. Mainly the Mass Air Flow sensor near the air filter box or crank senor on the block. If these sensors are whats wrong, you have to tow it or keep trying to turn it on later in the day. electronics sometimes work better or worse depending on the air temp and humidity.
If you have a check engine light on, get a obd2 code reader. it will tell you exactly whats wrong. You can barrow them at advanced auto parts stores sometimes. Or buy one for 20 bucks.

hopes this helps!

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