TEST 2: Using Starting Fluid To Diagnose A No-Start Condition
A very quick way to find out if the engine is not starting because it's not getting fuel is to do a starting fluid test.
In a nutshell, this test involves spraying starting fluid into the engine's throttle body and then cranking the engine to see if it starts.
If after spraying the starting fluid the engine starts (and if it starts it will only run for a few seconds) then you can conclude that the no start problem is due to a lack of fuel to the engine.
Now this test is not as accurate as using a fuel pressure tester to test a fuel pump but it will get your no start diagnosis up and running.
IMPORTANT: For this test work it is important that you make sure that all 4 cylinders are getting spark. You can easily accomplish this by testing each ignition coil for spark with a spark tester.
These are the test steps:
Remove the intake air duct from the throttle body. You don't have to completely remove it, since you'll have to reconnect it in step 2.
Spray starting fluid down the bore of the throttle body.
After spraying a good squirt of starting fluid, quickly reconnect the air duct to the throttle body (you don't have to tighten the hose clamp).
Have your helper crank the engine once the intake air duct is back on the throttle body.
You'll get one of two results with this test:
1.) The engine will start momentarily and after a few seconds will die.
2.) The engine will only crank but not start at all.
OK, let's find out what your results mean:
CASE 1: The engine did not start, not even momentarily. This test result confirms that your 2.2L Chevy Malibu's no-start condition is due to a lack of fuel from the fuel pump. Now, it's important to note that this conclusion is true only if all 4 cylinders are getting spark.
CASE 2: The engine started but died after a few seconds. This test result tells you that your 2.2L Chevy Malibu's no-start condition is being caused by a lack of fuel.
More GM 2.2L Test Tutorials
If this tutorial was helpful, be sure and take a look at all test tutorials found in this index: GM 2.2L Index Of Articles.
Here's a sample of the tutorials you'll find there:
- How To Test The MAP Sensor (2004-2006 2.2L Chevrolet Malibu And 2002-2005 Pontiac Grand Am).
- TAC System Wiring Diagram (2007 2.2L Chevrolet Malibu).
- Fuel Pump Wiring Diagram (2004-2006 2.2L Chevrolet Malibu).
If this info really saved the day, buy me a beer!