Question about 1991 Chevrolet Corsica

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I have a 91 Corsica, 2.2 auto and I believe I am having a fuel related issue. The car will start and I can drive it but as soon as I press the accelerator after slowing down or stopping up/downhill, the engine stops running. At this point I have to restart it and rev it for a couple minutes then go but it doesn't always work on the first try. I am thinking fuel pump or even the injectors but not very sure. When I bought the car, it was sitting for 4 months with a half tank of gas so I know that cant be good for the fuel line, and it started acting up before I could get injector cleaner through it. Hopefully, this is enough info to get a general idea of the issue as I am looking to fix it very soon and it would be superb to know what is wrong with it before I purchase the necessary part(s)

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If your fuel filter is clogged, it will not be giving the right amount of juice to the engine, which could be causing your problem. This is the cheapest fix and requires the least work. If replacing that does not resolve the issue, then it might be clogged or broken injectors, but if the car starts and runs, this is likely not the problem. It could also be the fuel pump, but once again, if the car starts and runs this is likely not the problem.
The odd part about this is that you mention it only happens when you press the accelerator when on a hill. This leads me to believe that there might be rust in your gas tank, which only moves to block the fuel line when your car is at an angle. To check for this, when you change the fuel filter, have your car at an angle that you know would cause the issue, and allow some extra fuel to drain off while you have the fuel line open (no filter on it). If you notice that there is a lot of muck leaving the tank, then you just need to clear that out, and your car will be fine. Once you have cleared the muck, you can filter the gas you drained out and put it back into the tank (gas is expensive these days). If you drain the tank for a bit, and there is no foreign material in the fuel (and the fuel runs through the line without interruption) then the problem is occurring on the other side of the fuel filter.
If the issue is between the filter and the engine, there might be a problem with the fuel line, or the injectors. It could also be an issue with the spark plugs -- if the car is at an angle, the oil could be leaking from the head into the cylinders, coating the spark plugs and keeping them from firing properly. The easy way to check for this is to take out one of the plugs. If it is clean and in good shape, then this is likely not your problem ... otherwise try changing the plugs (and make sure you set the gaps properly when replacing them). If changing the plugs out makes the car work like a dream for a couple of days and the problem comes back, then you likely have a problem in your oil system, or in your engine's head somewhere -- this would require a bunch of work and a professional mechanic.
Just from the description provided, it sounds like you have a dirty fuel filter, and possibly a dirty gas tank, clogging the filter more as time goes on. As you start and drive the car, the dirt from the filter gets pushed around, and creates a path for the gas to get to the engine. When you stop on a hill, it changes the gas flow, and allows the path to close, choking your engine. Also, as you are stopped on a hill, the dirt and rust and other contaminants in the gas tank move around and make their way into the line, causing the issue to worsen with time. Hopefully changing the filter will be enough to resolve the issue for you -- and it is a pretty cheap part, so it is a good place to start.

Posted on May 23, 2011

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