I have a 88 camaro 350 carbed. It will turn over and sound as if it wants to start but dies afterwards and won't idle. I just replaced the fuel pump. Any ideas on what it could be??


Asked by Nov 30, 2014 at 09:37 PM about the 1988 Chevrolet Camaro IROC Z

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

14 Answers


If it runs at medium to high idle, but nothing else, try checking vacuum lines

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It wont idle at all. I get a good crank and it dies as I try to prime it.

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Sounds like a carburetor problem. Check that the choke is fully open when the car is warmed up. It should also open up about a quarter of an inch when cold and running. Those electric choke coils were troublesome. I'd say check that first. HTH. -Jim


With the engine off hold the choke plate open and have a helper press the gas pedal to the floor. Looking into the carburetor you should see 2 streams of gas shoot down the carburetor. If not, the accelerator pump, inside the carburetor is not working. HTH. -Jim


Ill check the carb but I think the carbs workin pretty well because thats how I got it to crank the first time spraying starting fluid in the intake. Car sat for 3 months also.


Have you checked the spark at the plugs? Ignition wire and even the coil can degrade just sitting there for a few months, especially in an '88 if they were original parts.


I havent checked the plugs yet but I plan on it. Im thinking its maybe either my spark or air in my fuel line. But im no mechanic. But checkingy spark is definitely next on my list.

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If squirting starter fluid will get the car to fire, you have spark at the plugs. The carb may be bad. Check to see if the float bowl has gas in it. This will mean you have to take the top plate of the carburetor off to see. If the float is fuel of liquid and sitting on the bottom, you will not have gas in the carb to pump fuel into the intake manifold. If looking down into the carb after removing the breather and the carb is pumped and you see fuel squirt, the float and bowl may be fine. It could be timing. Did you replace the fuel filter? There is a directional arrow that should be pointing the direction the fuel is to flow, which is towards the engine. Make sure that is correct, and if you didn't, it may need to be changed. Is the hose lines to the new fuel pump correct? Do you have a return line? Is the return line and the line from the fuel tank correctly hooked up? Is there a bent metal pipe coming from the pump to the carb, or a rubber hose bent or pinched preventing fuel flow?


So could it have anything to do with seeing air bubbles in my fuel line?? I will check the carb. And someone told me to try putting fuel in the carb intake to try and get it to run whats your opinion on that??


Are you sure it's air bubbles and not water droplets? Cars that sit are sometimes prone to getting water condensation in the gas tank. If this is the case, fill up the tank with premium and add a bottle of Dry gas. That'll solve the water issues, if there is any. Air bubbles are caused by a fuel line leaking on the suction side of the fuel pump. Between the gas tank and the fuel pump. So check them as well. Yes, air bubbles will cause problems because you're not getting the proper fuel volume to the carburetor. HTH. -Jim

Also double Co that new fuel pump it could be a bad new pump


Is you fuel pump mechanical or electrical? Make sure the electrical lines are hooked up and you have power there (fuse blown?) if it is electrical. It sounds to me it may be in need of a carb overhaul. Why was the fuel pump replaced in the first place? A lot of people ask questions here and state they replaced a lot of items, and most are not even related to the issue they are seeking answers for. They respond that a friend suggested they replace ------ to fix it and it did not do it. They end up spending more money that way instead of going to a good honest garage to get it looked at and fixed correctly. If you squirt starter fluid and the engine fires off, it is not the ignition, and spark is getting to the plugs. Your issue is lack of fuel getting into the intake manifold. Since the fuel pump was replaced, I'd make sure the pump is working, then look at the carburetor. You may have jets plugged, float is bad, or the accelerator pump isn't working. Have the timing checked also. Pouring gas down the carb is not good as the fuel is not atomized to properly mix with air to fire in the cylinders. A back fire will send a puff of flame out the carb, and if you are pouring gas in, you will be in a world of hurt. Not smart to do that, and not safe at all. Starter fluid used too much will dry out the cylinder walls and cause the rings to either seize or freeze or wear out to the point they will not seal. Then you will have oil seeping into the top of the pistons and a major overhaul in next. Be careful, and if you are not that all mechanical inclined, go to a garage for advice and check up.

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I had it looked at. Its a wiring problem.

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Thanks for letting us know. Glad you found the problem. -Jim

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