starting problems


Old 11-09-03, 09:39 PM
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starting problems

1986 Chevette

-went to start the other day; was not 'catching'- starter kept turning over but car was still not starting, eventually wore down the battery somewhat and had to pushstart the car.

took a couple pushstarts to finally get it going, large cloud of black smoke out the tail pipe upon starting.

i figure that i managed to wash out the cylinders at the same time, causing the smoke.

-later that day, starter turned over three or four times and then suddenly stopped. no noise from starter upon attempting ignition. not turning over at all.

i am thinking the starter, but could it possibly be the alternator? how can I tell? thanks in advance.
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Old 11-09-03, 10:33 PM
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Likely the starter, chevettes go through starters I hear (I am not a pro so...) Ya, the black cloud would be all the gas since you probably flooded the piss out of it (taking a line from Joe You can also get your battery checked to rule that out.
Old 11-09-03, 10:57 PM
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Boy I had a Chevete before this OLDs... That Isuzu motor was a mistake on CHEVY'S part. I had nothing but trouble!! It wouldnt pass Houston's tough emmision's test. Otherwise I would of kept it, and not retired it. Damn good on gas.
Old 11-09-03, 11:06 PM
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Isuzu engine in a chevette? Huh, no I am pretty sure it is all Chevy under the hood
Old 11-10-03, 05:51 AM
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If you had one of the rare Chevette diesels (not something to write home about), yes, that 1.8 liter was Isuzu designed . The balance and majority of these were 1.6 liter gas, and that's a GM design.

Chevette's weren't bad cars, they were just rough and crude. No worse than any other bottom barrel base entry car from anyone else at the time.

Original poster: You shouldn't have to crank the piss out of this shoe to get it started. If you do, there are carburetor or ignition problems. Yes, the black smoke was because you loaded it up as Kurt said. Or "loaded the piss out of it" as Kurt likes to say. LOL

Check your connections, charge your battery and see if that helps. If not, you may have stressed out the starter from cranking and cranking---again, indicative of another problem.

Let's see where this nets you. When is the last time this vehicle saw any service?
Old 11-10-03, 02:29 PM
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Me again...

Hi. Thank you all so much for responding. Much appreciated!

Just so you know (it's probably pretty obvious though lol), I don't really have a clue about cars. It is my son's car, and he is just about as clued out.

A friend of his (who also doesn't know much about cars) sort of checked it today and discovered that the headlights don't even come on now. He took out the battery and said to get it charged, and that if it holds a charge (which it should, because the battery is only a year and a half old), then the problem is most likely the alternator.

What do you guys think? Does it sound like the problem probably is the alternator?

Thanks again.

p.s. Joe - re servicing the vehicle......apparently it's been serviced very very little. The car was a freebie and could probably use a heck of a lot of work if my son decides it's worth keeping.
Old 11-10-03, 03:07 PM
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The alternator is not going to keep the car from starting. In any fashion. Charge the battery and see if it will turn over. If not then you have either toasted the starter or overheated the cables. Once you get it started, you can check the operation of the alternator.
Old 11-10-03, 03:10 PM
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STOP. Everyone step away from the vehicle.

Don't throw parts at the problem. Whoever says it's the alternator either has osmosis, can tell without testing or is without a clue. Sounds like the latter to me.

This is a $500 car on a good day and throwing parts at the problem or putting money into a vehicle in poor condition is literally throwing money out the window.

Charge the battery, make sure the connections are sound and use my "The Basics" to guide you in figuring out why it may not start. Once it cranks properly, you need to tell us if you lack spark, fuel or air (or any one of the three).

That's the key to why it doesn't start. Once it runs, make a determination if the vehicle is worth some maintenance. If not, pitch it for something better.
Old 11-12-03, 12:30 PM
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Hi. He charged up the battery, and it still wouldn't start. So someone helped him put in another alternator and voila - It started up. Thank goodness! Car problems suck.

Thanks again.

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