car will start but wont stay running, why


Asked by Oct 13, 2014 at 11:15 PM about the 1991 Pontiac Sunbird 2 Dr LE Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I've replaced the fuel pump (twice)7 fuel filters, 2 strainers, idle air controller, maf sensor, spark plugs and wires, throttle position sensor, fuel pressure relay, fuel pressure regulator, some vacuum lines. Car ran then loss power, limped to the side of the road and died, hasn't ran for more than 10 seconds at a time since.

15 Answers


Was the fuel filter plugged up each time you changed them? If so you have a bunch of crap in the fuel tank.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

fuel tank was dropped,drained,cleaned before the installation of the second fuel pump and 7 fuel filter. Car drove fine about 20 miles then loss of power and after shuting off would stay running any longer

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

wouldn't stay running any longer. Car will run while spraying starter fuid into throttle body.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If you have to spray strting fluid to make it run that shows that you have 2 of the key parts of the engine working. Compression and Spark. Now you need fuel. Your not getting gas. Some how. Some way. Your not getting any fuel to the engine.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

it starts on its own, just doesnt stay running.

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

do you know what this is? connects to the fuel line and the fuel rail

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

what are the wire colors on the fuel pump connector, I know gray is the initial power source to give the fuel pump the 1stblast of fuel


I have seen a bad oil sending unit cause shut off of fuel. This type of shut down can be due to low oil pressure. So the oil pump could be bad and not getting enough oil to the sensor.Change the oil sending unit or, If you can place an in line fuel pump outside the tank and wire it with a hot wire and switch, you may answer whether or not this is at issue. So if the pump is good you either have a fuel line blockage or a wiring or safety shut out issue. I hope this helps you out.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks Astre, I was leaning towards the wiring. Didn't even cross my mind about the oil, have to check into that 1. was going to hot wire fuel pump into the tail lights, I'm thinking the main electical isn't kicking on after car starts.


Test the injectors

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Egr valve stuck open possibly. Will it start and run with foot on gas pedal?

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

You are welcome, and best of luck.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

My car will not stay started

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Can someone help me

My first thought is a defective fuel rollover switch. Many are located in the trunk and are designed to kill the engine, (i.e. cut off fuel) in case vehicle becomes inverted. (rollover crash) Most that I have seen, consist of a reset button. located in the top of the switch. That button sometimes gets stuck with trash, etc. Sometimes it needs replacement. (Salvage yard) This plastic part, normally inside the trunk by the gas tank, can drive you mad, thinking the worst. One push of the button, and you're driving again. REPLACE it as soon as you are able.

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