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Borski 09-29-2012 11:15 AM

Car Stopped Running
Hey all,

Trying to fix my buddies car right now - I'll give you the symptoms and keep updating as we work throughout the day.

Car is a 2005 Hyandai Accent GT

We were sitting in an intersection, and the car turns off. Couldn't restart the car, towed it back to our apartment with a rope. The battery checks out fine and the engine turns over when trying to start it.

We have opened up the throttle and cleaned out the idle air control, it's full of black oil-like substance (is this normal?)

Could this be a fuel problem? (injectors, main pump?)

All fuses check fine - I'm in the process of looking for a wiring diagram to do resistance checks.

Thanks so much guys! Your input is greatly appreciated!

BC_ZX3 09-29-2012 11:25 AM

Fuel, compression, spark required for any engine to run. Be methodical and check each one.
Sudden death like that - it didn't stumble and die, right, or make any horrible noises? just shut off completely - is usually electrics. I'd check spark first.
I assume more than a quarter tank of fuel is in the tank (have to ask.)

Borski 09-29-2012 11:53 AM

Car suddenly died, he said it felt like it stalled - no strange noises.

What components would you reccomend checking for
1) Fuel
2) Compression
3) Spark (besides just the plugs)


BC_ZX3 09-29-2012 02:35 PM

1) Roadside breakdown test: Check the fuel pump fuse, listen for the electric pump to turn on with the ignition, hit the fuel tank underside with a rubber mallet and listen for the pump to kick in, disconnect the fuel delivery line to the fuel rail and turn on the ignition. Catch the fuel that should pump out under high pressure in a container. <-- Usual safety warnings when dealing with flammable liquids apply to this one. If plugs are wet after several attempted starts, fuel is likely not the problem; spark is.
Proper test: Attach a fuel pressure gauge to the Schrader valve on the fuel rail (if one exists) or monitor the fuel pressure with a data logging device through the OBD II port.

2) Roadside breakdown test: Remove the oll cap, peer into cam cover, ensure overhead cams are turning, valves are opening. Pull spark plug (examine for obvious mechanical damage), place finger over plug hole, if accessible, and feel for pressure.
Proper test: Measure with a compression tester. Throttle open. Readings should be +/-10% between highest and lowest and generally above 150 psi.

3) Roadside breakdown test: Pull a spark plug, ground the plug end on the block away from plug hole with insulated pliers, turn engine and look for a solid blue spark. Risk of electrical shock and flammable liquid warnings apply here too.
Proper test: Use an in line ignition spark tester to test for presence of spark at each cylinder during an attempted start.

An ignition spark tester and compression tester should set you back no more than $30 (or borrow or rent one) at your local auto parts store. The proper diagnostic tools are always the better choice.

Borski 09-30-2012 06:47 AM

Thank you so much for that^^, we will get cracking on the fuel pump, that's our prime suspect!

UPDATE: I'll list the things that it is most certainly NOT.
-Fuel Pump Relay
-Spark plugs (did a spark test) Spark plugs were caked in black deposit, replaced all spark plugs.

BUT: The spark plugs were relatively dry... not totally dry, but not what you would expect for an engine that isn't igniting. This is leading us to suspect fuel - but because of the suddenness of the breakdown, something electrical on the fuel.

Borski 09-30-2012 07:16 AM

Would it be legitimate to think that the ignition coil-packs could be bad? Would that cause the car to stop running?

VEGAS 09-30-2012 11:05 AM

all 4 at same time, no...

sailor 09-30-2012 11:08 AM

If you saw spark, the coils certainly ARE working....

"did a spark test"


VEGAS 09-30-2012 11:08 AM

its either fuel or signal going to coils.. which is like 80% if the engine.. I would also check out how it dies, did it shudder then shut off? or just shut off? fuel shudder helps to think its fuel, if it just died with no warning higher rate of possibility its electrical., signal to injectors to.. Any codes?


VEGAS 09-30-2012 11:09 AM

if you did a "did a spark test" and you seen a sparks, stop looking at that :D has to be fuel related. injectors/pump/empty tank... :P

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