: It's 30 degrees, icy, and my '90 carburated won't start.



My_favorite_Brougham
01-15-07, 09:15 AM
Well I parked my car (outside unfortunately), yesterday around 3pm. Then I was going to take it out again to go to the store, but it wouldn't start. So I tried putting ether to the air intake, and even put another gallon of gas in even though I had a quarter tank. But the car just turns over and over, never starting. It tried a few times, but never really made it. Everything was fine until the temperatures fell to 30 and below with sleet and freezing rain (here in Texas).

What do I do to get her running? Is there a major mechanical problem? Because I find it hard to believe that two other nearby people had the exact same problem at the same time I did. I can't help but think it might be the weather.

90Brougham350
01-15-07, 10:28 AM
A few pumps, a properly working choke, and a good EFE system should help the car start and run whether the temp is -30 or 130. Did it begin to start at all with the ether?

badpenny
01-15-07, 10:31 AM
Did the car turn over? If not, or if the engine is reluctant to turn, it may just be an electrical issue. Check your grounds and make sure your dizzy cap is dry.

My_favorite_Brougham
01-15-07, 12:08 PM
The engine turns over fine - my battery has been able to turn the block time after time. And the ether helped some. Sometimes, it will go 'ker-thlunk' a few times and act like it's going to start but won't. But most of the time it acts like it's out of gas.

I don't think it's electrical because everything on the car works as it should, the engine just doesn't keep itself going. This has happened a few times before, where I had enough gas to get where I was going, but then the car won't start when I fire her up again. So I would normally put a gallon in and it would still be stubborn. Methinks the gas isn't getting to the block. Do I need more gasoline?

Adam
01-15-07, 12:52 PM
go buy this stuff called "Heet" poor it in your gas tank. awesome stuff. my car did it once (my old nissan) and there was frozen water in the gas tank. poored that stuff in and waited for a few minutes and it cranked right up. also prevents future problems like that. good luck.

90Brougham350
01-15-07, 01:48 PM
I've heard good things about Heet as well. Try and keep at least a half-tank in cold weather, it'll help as well.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-15-07, 05:36 PM
Boy, it's just one thing after another with your Brougham! Good luck, I heard Heet works well too!

Cadillac_Fan
01-15-07, 08:26 PM
My $.02 - when it's bone cold, I often pump the gas pedal for about 1 to 2 minutes before I can get my '88 Brougham going. (I also use an STP fuel additivel, but will try HEET.)

turbocaddy
01-15-07, 09:05 PM
ether would of started if it was a gas issue, check for spark now...

My_favorite_Brougham
01-16-07, 12:20 AM
Well I put in a bottle of "Heet" with a few more gallons of gas. Then tried again. Still no go. It kinda started to act like it were trying to keep going but died as soon as I let go of the starter. So what type of problem suddenly shows up in freezing weather with no prior symptoms? I doubt all eight of my spark plugs went out at once. Perhaps the ignition modual? Does cold affect that? The only other thing I can think of is that my carb just died. I'm told it's in need of a rebuild. In any case do you think warmer weather will revive this car, or should I get out my checkbook?

jayoldschool
01-16-07, 10:09 AM
You need to take off a wire, and ensure you have spark first. If no, then you know where to start. If yes, I would take off the dist cap, and spray inside the cap and the mechanism with WD 40. Remember, WD 40 is NOT a lubricant - the WD stands for Water Displacement, and it works like a charm:thumbsup:

Gwokable
01-17-07, 04:30 AM
There's a few tricks you need to know about starting a cabuerated car in the winter.

1: Pump thrice before cranking the engine. This gets fuel into it when it's cold. When it's warmer out vapor readily gets into the engine compartment.

2: If 1 doesn't work after doing it 3 times then pump thrice, hold the petal 1/4th of the way down, crank and left off the petal after 1/2 second and gently pump it 1/8th of the way down as the car begins to come to life if necissary.

3: If 2 doesn't work after several tried, then hold the petal to the floor and crank, when the engine begins to come to life, feather it then hold the petal 1/8th of the way down for about a minute to force high idle.

Just be careful, 2 and 3 can blow your starter and crack the engine if you aren't careful.

Otherwise, don't let the tank drop below 1/4th to 1/2 empty and if it's going to be a damn cold week, add gas-line antifreeze to it.

My_favorite_Brougham
01-17-07, 10:51 AM
Well I have tried it all, every combination imaginable of pumping, holding, and starting. I've tried so much that I've jumped the car twice after dead batteries. But the temperature has not gone above 30 degrees since Friday evening. I'm going to go ahead and have it towed to the shop to be looked at. But with my luck she'll fire right up when temperatures return to the 70s - after I will have paid out. Should I wait until this winter storm passes before I do anything?


**Also, on a slightly less related note: The driver side of the Cadillac faced the oncoming storm while the passenger side stayed dry. Now after the half inch of ice has melted, my key wont fit into the driver door lock. It worked after everything melted, then froze up again that evening when everything froze again. Is there water in my lock that's freezing thus preventing me from unlocking it?

Cadillac Giovanni
01-18-07, 01:33 AM
it doesn't sound like this is your problem, but It helped me once...

When you start the car and fail, the air intake on the carburetor may close, thinking the car has started after the initial crank, and making it so that the fuel mixture is very rich so that the car warms up. Without letting air in, the engine will never ignite. Take off the filter housing cover, and have someone hold open the flap on the top of the carb while your starting the car, or jam something in it to hold it open

My_favorite_Brougham
01-20-07, 01:30 AM
it doesn't sound like this is your problem, but It helped me once...

When you start the car and fail, the air intake on the carburetor may close, thinking the car has started after the initial crank, and making it so that the fuel mixture is very rich so that the car warms up. Without letting air in, the engine will never ignite. Take off the filter housing cover, and have someone hold open the flap on the top of the carb while your starting the car, or jam something in it to hold it open

Hurray! Hurray! My Brougham fired right up! I just had someone hold the those intake flaps on the carb open, and she craked right up! Thank you Cadillac Giovanni. Without that, I would have had it towed and spent plenty. Thanks for the very helpful tip!

Now to prevent it from happening again.

Cadillac Giovanni
01-21-07, 08:44 PM
Glad to be of service. From now on just make sure you pump the pedal enough before starting it, and if it does fire up, don't let it stall out or the same thing will happen. Also, if the air intake is not operating properly no matter what, it may be due to the choke thermostat, which only costs about 17 bucks.