How to Troubleshoot a 350 Chevy That Won't Start

Written by jeffrey caldwell
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How to Troubleshoot a 350 Chevy That Won't Start
Chevy 350 engine (

The 350 V8 engine was used in many Chevrolet cars and light trucks from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. Starting problems are usually caused by faults in the vehicle's starting circuit or a faulty starter motor. Clogged air and fuel filters can also contribute to starting problems.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wrench set
  • Socket set
  • Wire brush

Show MoreHide


    Electrical and Starter Motor

  1. 1

    Examine the electrical connections at the battery. Clean any corrosion off the terminals and connectors, and tighten the bolts that secure the cables.

  2. 2

    Examine both the negative and positive battery cables. Replace the cables if they are brittle, corroded or the cable ends are broken.

  3. 3

    Examine the electrical connections on the starter solenoid. Tighten any loose connections and clean any corrosion.

  4. 4

    Examine the negative battery cable's connection to the frame. Tighten the connection and clean any corrosion from the end of the cable.

  5. 5

    Tighten the bolts that connect the starter motor to the engine block.

  6. 6

    Remove the starter and examine the teeth on both the starter gear and the flywheel. If any are missing or chipped, the starter motor or flywheel must be replaced.

  7. 7

    Remove the starter motor and take it to an auto parts supplier for testing if none of the above solve the problem.

    Hard Starts

  1. 1

    Check for a battery discharge. Turn on the vehicle's headlights. If they appear dimmer than normal, the battery must be recharged.

  2. 2

    Examine the air filter by removing it and shining a light through the paper element. If it is dirty, it must be replaced.

  3. 3

    Check for carburettor flooding. Stop attempting to start the engine, and wait 15 to 20 minutes before trying again.

  4. 4

    Make sure fuel is reaching the carburettor. Remove the fuel line from the carburettor and place the end in a fuel safe container. Have an assistant crank the engine while you look to see if fuel is coming out of the end of the line.

    Engine Stops Immediately After Starting

  1. 1

    Check the electrical connections and the distributor and ignition coil. Clean any corrosion and tighten any connections that are loose.

  2. 2

    Check the connections at the alternator. Clean any corrosion and tighten any loose connections.

  3. 3

    Check for vacuum leaks at the intake manifold and carburettor by tightening the bolts that secure the intake manifold to the engine, and tightening the bolts that connect the carburettor to the intake manifold.

  4. 4

    Check the condition of the vacuum hoses connected to the intake manifold and carburettor. Replace any which are overly worn or brittle.

Tips and warnings

  • When you get the engine running, check for leaks in the vacuum lines by spraying them with soapy water. Leaks will appear as small bubbles.
  • While working on an engine, be careful to keep your hands away from any moving parts on the engine, such as drive belts and the engine fan, as well as any parts that become excessively hot.

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