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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone. I've been searching around, and I can't seem to find anything related to my problem, so I'm going to post it.

I have a '97 GL with a Vulcan.

Cold starts are fine. Car always starts right up. That being said, the idle is always a little rough. Warm starts immediately after shutting the car off are also fine.

It's when the car sits for about a half hour, and then I restart it, that I experience issues.

Basically, the car will sputter and choke, and nearly stall (on occasion it does stall), shaking violently the whole time. I've also noted a strong gas smell when this happens.

The only way to get the car running normally is to open the throttle at least halfway. When it settles down, it usually idles normally.

There is another issue, where the car tends to stall during the winter if it's not warmed up enough, and it won't easily start again. It usually takes two or three attempts to get the engine to turn over, and then it does the aforementioned sputtering.

The fuel economy is also usually terrible (less than 20 MPG combined sometimes), but it's not predictable. I'm not sure if this is related.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that recently, it's started stumbling a little bit on takeoffs, usually under the same circumstances as the sputtering.

I hope someone has insight to offer :) Thanks in advance!
 

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You need to get a fuel pressure gauge on your car. This sounds like a fuel pressure/pump problem.

If you have to push the pedal halfway, then the engine is flooded or running really rich. You could have a leaking injector. It also won't hurt to check for vacuum leaks. But doing all the fuel pressure tests are a must.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update: For the last few days, especially since this problem has been getting worse, I've been noticing a slight gas smell outside the car.
Today, my friend and I were going to the store, and the smell was unusually strong. I asked her, and she said it was so strong it was making her eyes water.

I'm going to be taking it in ASAP, but could i possibly have a leaking fuel line?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes. Have you even opened the hood yet?
I'm not very mechanically inclined.. So I would have no idea what to look for. Thus why I came here.

I also haven't had much time. I've been busy with work and such, and the majority of these issues have just started recently (the strong gas smell just started tonight.)
 

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Well, before your risk starting your engine on fire, I would pop the hood and check for leaks. It should only take a minute or two. Look at the fuel rails which are located in the area near the base of the silver intake manifold (right above the rocker cover). The rail for the rear cylinders is actually under the intake manifold so try your best looking at it from the side. There are also fuel lines that run from that area back over to the passenger strut tower and down the firewall. So basically get on top of the engine and start sniffing. If you actually see gas pooled or squiring out of something (check with the engine running) then you might think about having your car towed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright, so I started it and sniffed around for gas in the areas you suggested, and I can't smell it at all while the car is running.
I took it out for a drive to warm it up, and I'll go out in about a half hour to check for leaks again, because i don't seem to smell gas until it's been sitting warm.
Thanks so far. I'll probably be taking it in today.
 
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sheila
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