Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais:

Can't get to run.

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# 1  1/4/2011 9:51 PM

Willw
New member
Registered: 1/4/2011
Posts: 4

Can't get to run.

1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais 4 cyl. throttle body. Car has 63,000 miles and is in spectacular condition. I can't get it to run though. It sat for a couple years and now it won't start unless you are pressing down on the gas pedal. As soon as you let off of the gas pedal the engine backfires and stalls.
Anybody know why ?

The key is also stuck in the on position and will not turn back. (there is no release lever)

Last edited by Willw (1/5/2011 12:16 PM)

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# 2  1/5/2011 2:02 PM

TechHelp2
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Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1299

Re: Can't get to run.

When a car sits for a few years the gas will turn into a varnish type of liquid, this does not burn well at all. Try changing the fuel filter and drain the fuel tank and fill with new fuel. Adding a little dry gas would also be a good idea.

The next thing to do is to see if you can get someone to put a scanner on the car. This will tell you if there are any trouble codes stored in the computer. Repair any trouble codes that may be found.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to just pull a few spark plugs, this is just to see if any plugs are fouled with any contamination. Only do this if the engine seems to still be miss firing.

When a car battery goes dead the memory for the idle air control motor (IAC) will be lost. This will have to be relearned when the car is running. If you can drive the car over 35 mph this will usually reset the IAC motor. Another way is to let the engine idle for about 20 minutes in drive with the emergency brake applied and the wheels chocked can also relearn the IAC motor. If you don't relearn the IAC the engine will stall and won't idle.

Try these suggestions first then get back to me with your results, we may have to dig deeper into this problem.


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# 3  1/7/2011 12:06 PM

Willw
New member
Registered: 1/4/2011
Posts: 4

Re: Can't get to run.

"Old gas" was the first thing I thought of as well. Gas mixed with ethanol draws moisture form the air too, putting water in it. I always drain the tank on my street rod when I put it away for the winter because of these issues.
I didn't know about the idle air control though. I really don't work much on stuff newer than the mid 70's.

Hopefully I'll have time to do that over the weekend.
I'll let you know what happens.
Thank you.

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# 4  3/12/2011 10:11 PM

Willw
New member
Registered: 1/4/2011
Posts: 4

Re: Can't get to run.

That's all it was. The weather finally gave me a break and I had some time to work on it. It was buried behind a huge snowbank from plowing the drive. Drained the gas and it fired right up. Runs great.
Put a new ignition switch in also. Cheap fix. big_smile
Thanks.

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