1988 Monte Carlo SS won't start



May 9, 2020
The car has been running nice and most recently had it out last weekend. It is a 1988 Monte SS with 350...all the CCC etc still intact so basically stock other than the 350.

Tried to start it today and it won't fire up. Seems to be getting gas but just cranks.

I'll probably get her towed to the shop after the holiday, but was hoping you guys can give me some things to check. I'm not that savvy as a mechanic so thanks for any help.



Apr 25, 2020
Ocean County, NJ
Notice anything unusual? Fuel smell after trying to start? Maybe also check to make sure it’s getting spark? Fuel (too much or none) and Ignition (spark) Are usually two good starting points.


May 9, 2020
The car has always been very dependable and consistent on how it likes to be handled on start up...so for it not to start up is unusual.

Not a lot of fuel smell. I don't think it is flooded. What's the best way to check for spark?


Dec 8, 2019
You can pull a wire at a time. Put a plug in it and stick it against a metal surface. Watch for the spark to jump the gap as someone tries to start it. Or you could be safe and use a timing light. If it strobes while your starting it then your getting spark at that plug wire.
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Royal Smart Person
Aug 14, 2011
Galaxy far far away
A stock HEI system puts out quite a bit of juice and even a failing HEI can give a false positive. You will need a HEI spark tester to be sure.


Aug 8, 2011
Just throwing this out there as a remote possibility not knowing how long you have had the SS but is there any chance there is a kill switch you might have touched, possibly a dimmer switch on the floor or a toggle in or around the center console, etc.


May 9, 2020
Where is ignition module? Is it under the distributor cap? Hard to remove? Thanks for the replies.
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