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car wont start!!!



89 vette..

whenever it rains i have to cover the back of the car so no water gets into my tank. my drain always clogs!!! when this happens its is very hard to start. well a few weeks back it snowed here and i forgot to cover it and when the huge amount of snow melted of course it went into my tank.! the car now wont start. its sounds like it wants to and on the first trun of the key a white smoke comes out. its smells of moisture. but then its just wont turn over. its not the battery or teh alternator or anything else. my questions is , how do i get the water out of the lines. we siphoned out all the bad gas in the tank and put new gas in but i think the lines that are up in the engine are full of the bad gas because it sounds like it wants to start still but wont. we unscrewed the fuel line and at the same time turned the key to get the fuel pump going to get any bad gas out of the lines and then connected it back. it still wont start due to the fact there still may be bad gas in the injectors or etc. i want to know what i can do . i know on cars with carbs you would use a starting fluid. but where this is fuel injected what would i use. or unless anyone has any better or easier ideas first before we start getting into removing the injectors or etc. any advice will help. if i keep trying to start the car will the bad fuel eventually burn away???????? 89 vette
Sorry I can't help you with your problem, but I wanted to welcome you to the forum Leanne. :) There are alot of very knowledgeable members here, and someone will be able to answer your question. Hope you enjoy your stay. :)

thanks patti for the nice welcome. , leanne
Welcome Leanne!

I have no clue about injectors, mine is carburated.
I'd like to suggest that when you do get this problem figured out that maybe you could enlarge the drain hole so the water will drain better and not clog? Does yours have a rubber 'neck' around the fill spout with a hole? Or a hole with a hose to lead the water out? I know it's maddening when you forget to prepare for the weather!
Anyhow, I hope someone chimes in soon with a solution for you. Good luck.
Silver aka:Heidi
If water is your problem put some gas line antifreeze in the tank if you can get it started,then put in a tank of super unleaded that has 10% methanol,the alchol will disapate water and wont allow it to freeze.I hope it is that simple,and this is cheap and won't hurt anything
thanks heidi, yes as of the other day i had my fiance make that hole bigger!!! after this has happened like 20 times we finally enlarged the hole. this time though i think too much water got in there and now it wont start. i hope someone on this board can tell me what i can possible do to clean it out. thanks , leanne
Oh also never use starting fluid with gasoline it can cause all sorts of serious problems,i.e. blow up some high dollar parts.Hope that all works
thanks "HOTRODD" we added the water remover the last few times that this happened and it helped. the car started after about 5 turns of the ignition. we did the same this time as well and i think with the snow storm a bit more water got in than the past few times so its being more stubborn!!! we did siphon all the gas out and add new and also out of teh lines as well but i think there is still some watery gas haning out somewhere in the area of the injectors maybe???? i dont want to have to pull it all apart so i hope someone can give me some other ideas before i have to pull it apart.
Another way

There is a schrader valve at the fuel rail for the injectors under the hood.

Buy either

1) A fuel pressure gauge with a bleed valve.

2) A standard r-12 ac hose

Use this to tap into the fuel rail


Make the first bleed into a tall carafe ( clear glass) so you can see if there is water in the fuel... the water will sit at the bottom

Now get a small fuel can to bleed the old gas out of the lines .

If you turn the key to ON the pump should run for 3 seconds, repeat as needed.


You can remove the two pin connector on the top of the oil pressure sender and the pump will run till you take the jumper off. ( careful it will make a spark)

In the future

When the car won't be running for a bit, take a baggie and cover the gas cap
( rubber band the base) and this should help the water in the tank syndrome.

Don't know if this was mentioned, but you shud replace the gas cap for a better seal.
Before you go any farther you need to do a few checks, first pull the oil dip stick and see if the oil level is high, if it is pull a plug and see if it's gas wet. If it is then you will need to drain the oil before you try to start it or you could have an explosion! My first thought is you have a problem with the ECM and here is why I think so, white smoke while trying to start could be raw gas, yes water vapor will give you white smoke but uasualy after it is running a minute or so not while you are trying to start in most cases. Second if you have the original ECM a #1227165 one of the many things that happen when they go bad is turning the injectors on all the time while trying to start, you can find out if this is the case by hooking a noid(highimpeadebce light) in one of the injector connectors and turn the key on if the light lights up drop the ECM and if it's a 1227165 replace it that's the problem. Now you could have another problem but if I am correct and you think it's something else and keep trying to start the car if by some chance it would start you could blow the oil pan right off the engine with all that gas in the oil that has washed past the rings, so please check it out and if you find it's the ECM and you have a 1227165 the GM replacement for it is 16198259. Please keep us posted.

David Fulcher
It's a Florida thang

Hey we get this a lot down here after a heavy rain. Rx per my Vette tech is to simply drain the tank, get a rather small hand down into the tank and wipe the bladder dry. He swears it works everytime! Pretty cheap try - to boot. :beer jj
My idea would be to customize the fuel door area.

I would if I had this problem that extremly would be to make a larger drain, perhaps with a air release.

Also mabe work a gasket of some kind so when you flip the gas lid down it seals and won't let water in.

Just an Idea.
thanks everyone!

hello, everyone!!! i want to thank you all for yopur help! i used all of the ideas!!! with all of them combined we were able to get the car started. it took about 13 straight hours out in the dark even but all the ideas combined i think helped. the car is running now but sluggish. (probably still a little water in there) but its at least going. tomorrow we are going to fill the tank 100% with some good octane gas and see what happens. i want to thank everyone for their help!

Whooo-Hooooo! Alright! Yippeee!
I'll bet you guys cheered when she fired up! 13 hours! :eek

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