The Car Won’t Start Unless I Give it Gas: Diagnose the Issue!

Nothing can be more annoying than a car not starting at the beginning of a day! However, if it does start on pumping the gas pedal, you may get a sigh of relief. But this doesn’t mean an end to the problem.

Indeed, it points toward the stemmed trouble in your car, which demands quick action. Therefore, without seeking external assistance, let’s help you find the root cause of the issue stating- “car won’t start unless I give it gas”.

Let’s Diagnose: Why Car Won’t Start Unless I Give It Gas?

Unlike other hard starting problems related to car battery, this trouble indicates that either the mixture of air and fuel is not igniting or the engine is receiving an insufficient amount of air and fuel for combustion. And, because several car components may lead to this problem, let’s diagnose each of them.

1. Check Air Filter

Check air filter to find out the reason
Check air filter to find out the reason

To let sufficient amount of air enter the cylinders, it’s always advised to examine the air filter because it’s a primary reason for the lack of airflow. So, if the air inlet or any duct is filled with debris, it will prevent the air from entering the combustion cylinder.

And, if the filters are clean, check for any leak or crack in the air induction system that may be allowing excess air to enter inside the system. For this, you can spray starting fluid near the suspected area. In case, the engines tune changes, it’s clearly the sign of leakage.

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2. Assess Fuel Filter

Assess Fuel Filter and Replace it if needed
Assess Fuel Filter and Replace it if needed

Here, you can perform a visual test of the fuel filter.

There are certain filters with a window that allows looking inside them. And, if the view is dark, gummed up, or dirty, replace the filters immediately. However, there’re some fuel filters without window, too. In such cases, you can assess the outside condition of the filter and if it has been there for a long time or appears rusty, consider its replacement.

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3. Inspect Fuel Pump

Examine car won’t start unless I give it gas issue
Resolving car won’t start unless I give it gas problem

To diagnose the fuel pump, an amp clamp is placed over the positive pump-wire. Next, start the vehicle and use a voltmeter to set and record the amperage reading. Then, compare the recorded readings to the manufacturer’s defined specification.

Note: If the amperage reading is high, this means the fuel pump is working harder, indicating pump replacement- an ultimate solution to the “car won’t start unless I give it gas.”

4. Examine Compression

Buying a compression tester to check your car
Buying a compression tester to check your car

For checking the compression, rent or buy a compression tester. Next, insert the compression tester’s fitting into the spark plug, and turn on the engine. During the test, unplug the ignition coil and fuel pump relay.

Here, if the two adjacent cylinders have a difference of 40psi, this is an alarming issue. In fact, the compression value should be ideally above 100 psi. However, if you don’t have a compression tester, put your finger over the hole of the spark plug. Then, ask someone to start the engine. In case, your finger is able to withstand the pressure generated, your car lacks sufficient compression.

5. Test Throttle Body

Insert the alligator clips into the right jacks on DMM and set the range to 20k ohm. With three wires connected to throttle body, attach the test lead to the center wire and other lead to the ground connector or +12V input wire.

Now, slowly move the throttle full range movement from the closed to full-open position. Here, if the digital reading increases or decreases suddenly, this clearly indicates bad throttle position sensor. Hence, if you doubt that-“car won’t start unless I give it gas”, then try testing the all these components.

Car won’t start unless I give it gas properly
Reasons why car won’t start unless I give it gas

I hope that after knowing the above maintenance tips of the car, you can diagnose the symptoms of this issue and determine the best course of action. If you have any question about “car won’t start unless I give gas“, leave us a comment below.