How do I Start a Fuel Flooded Car?by Lee Sallings
When your car's engine becomes flooded with fuel, the spark plugs become wet and the necessary spark to ignite the air/fuel mixture is shorted to ground instead of jumping the spark plug gap and igniting the mixture. Clearing the fuel-flooded condition to allow ignition is a matter of allowing more air into the engine until the spark plugs are dry and begin to function properly.
Turn the ignition key off and let the vehicle sit for five minutes. This allows heat present in the engine to help vaporize the fuel in the cylinders and on the spark plugs.
Hold the throttle pedal to the floor. Turn the ignition key to the start position and crank the engine for no more than 30 seconds, keeping the throttle pedal to the floor. Cranking for more than 30 seconds can damage the starter. On a fuel injected engine, the on-board computer will see the throttle open while cranking and shut off the fuel flow to the engine. This is called clear flood mode. On a carbureted engine, this allows maximum air flow into the engine to help vaporize the fuel.
If the engine does not start, turn the ignition key to the off position and wait two minutes. Repeat the process until the engine starts.
- Author is a former ASE Master Technician and Technical Instructor