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WrinkledCheese 03-14-2013 08:43 PM

No Start - No Codes - diagnosis help request
Hello all. I have a no-start, no codes issue.

No-brainer right? I though so too. I've spent 4 hours trying to diagnose the issue and here is what I have come up with. 6 hours if you include time talking to people etc.

Any thoughts, suggestions, etc are welcome.

What I've Done. What I think. A little history.

It's a spark issue...I think.

I noticed a week ago that all of a sudden I lost performance. Literally the moment I went to the gas station and start the car back up it sounded funny and I had no performance.

Today on my way to's always on the way to wouldn't start.

First thing I did is check for the fuel pump sound, then for fuel. It's getting sufficient fuel to the rail. Let's assume the injectors are dispensing fuel as I don't have the skill set or tools to test beyond the rail getting fuel. I'm sure it's easy with the right tools.

I moved onto the spark. I don't have a lot of testing equipment for this so I relied on the multimeter and spare parts.

6 or 7 months ago, I got a sweet deal on the motorcraft coil pack, autolite wires and autolite iridium plugs and I was already ordering something and it came to ~$60. So I replaced working parts. Which is great because I had parts to test with.

First I checked the spark plugs. Cylinders 1 and 2 had what looked like battery corrosion all around them. There was also a little water around the top of the port where the plug goes in on both cylinders. I used a towel to clean up the water and then proceeded to take out the plugs. The plugs had wet white corrosion like substance along the threads half way down to the cylinder on Cyl. 1 and all the way down on Cyl. 2. I bought a new plumbers wire brush to clean up the threads, figuring the plugs weren't firing used shop towels to get as much as possible out. After two tries I was able to take the plugs out without any residue on them.

Next I moved onto the ignition coil pack. I just swapped it out for the old one that worked fine when I replaced it. It seemed to behave the same. So I tried replacing all components between the cylinder and the ignition coil pack - wires, plugs, coil - and it made no difference.

So I busted out the multimeter.

Using the lowest ohm setting - 200 ohm - I traced the pigtail back to the fuse/relay box in the engine bay. One wire went to one relay. One wire went to the relay next to it and the other wire I checked against the negative battery terminal. I had to bump my meter up to the 2k ohm setting since I had 250 ohms on one wire going to a relay and I had 600 ohm on one wire going to the other relay. The labels for the relays are 'gas pump' and 'check engine light'. I don't have any docs to find what these are but I assume they are spark and fuel delivery relays.

Next I checked voltages. I tried two methods of getting voltages. First I shaved part of the wire and poked my multimeter leads up to the exposed wire. The second method is I cut the pigtail off and spliced another one back in. Making it easy to hook my multimeter up to the wires. I didn't test voltages at the ports on the pigtail but I checked resistance so if there was any corrosion causing a voltage drop, I would see resistance.

I had the negative hooked up to the centre ground wire and I checked each of the other wires consecutively. I got a variable reading < 1vdc. Usually less than 0.5vdc. On one occasion, when the engine made an "I'm going to start....gotcah" sound - I assume one cylinder fired - I seemed to get 10vdc then it dropped down to 8 then 0.

I replaced the relays from another focus and that didn't change anything. I don't know where the wires go form there and I don't know what else to test.

Can anyone help me diagnose this issue?

2000 Ford Focus ZTS Zetec. 170,000 kms/100,000 miles. No check engine light, no codes.

WrinkledCheese 03-14-2013 08:56 PM

Googling around makes me think I want to check the Crankshaft Position Sensor. Does anyone know the specs for the volts or ohms for testing the sensor. Also, where is the sensor located?

Bryan23ferra 03-14-2013 09:17 PM

The crank sensor works with the cam sensor, both would set codes. Even so, if I was the cps, you could possibly hear it fire at the wrong time. The crank sensor will be somewhere next to the harmonic balancer. Check your oil, what's it smell like? Next check coolant, to me, sounds like a head gasket. Get a compression tester and test all cylinders. Compare specs, they should be within a 15psi range of each other. You can rent one at your parts store. Also, what's your coolant smell like, does it look normal?

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Bryan23ferra 03-14-2013 09:18 PM

Problems like this are when I wish I was there to help!

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Bryan23ferra 03-14-2013 09:27 PM

Also when it was running, was there a change in exhaust fumes? Oh and while at the coolant, check the level. Another thing, with the plug out, stick something down the cyl GENTLY!!! and see what kind of residue you get on the end.

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Covmister 03-14-2013 09:30 PM

it could be possible that you skipped timing....... an oscilloscope would help but they are pricey

FocusRus 03-14-2013 09:49 PM

Does the cel come on with key on/ engine off?

Bryan23ferra 03-14-2013 09:54 PM

That's a great thought about the oscilloscope but don't forget about the simple things! Learn from my mistakes. Lol.

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WrinkledCheese 03-14-2013 09:54 PM

Wow! Thanks for all the prompt replies. Yeah, a sensor would raise an error code, wouldn't it. I don't understand why there isn't any voltage going to the coil pack...well <1v.

I just did an oil change within the past week. It was 5,000-10,000km since I did my last oil change and I figured it might help with the loss of power issue. When I took off the oil cap, I noticed the oil on the cap had some white stuff in it. It kind of looked like the gasoline effect in the oil, but instead of rainbow it was white. The oil that came out looked normal. I can still smell it, it's in the jug the new oil came in.

Would this be sufficient for testing compression? Canadian tire lets you "rent tools", but you pay full price for them and bring it back within 3 days. At $30 I might as well just buy one, plus it won't be used it I bought it.

If the link diesn't work, just go to and search for equus compression. Either kit should be sufficient.

Bryan23ferra 03-14-2013 10:03 PM

The coil pack is ground side switched, so the voltage reading won't be right, also to see voltage that quick you'll need as oscilloscope. Here in America you can rent the tools and they give you a full refund when returned within a spec time.
How's the coolant?

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