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Old 09-29-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
BC_ZX3
DTC P0606
 
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Fan#: 48751
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
What I Drive: 2001 Red ZX3 Turbo

Posts: 2,836
FF Reputation: 86 BC_ZX3 Excellent Standing Member
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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.
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