Replaced valve cover gasket now car won't start - Focus Fanatics
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace



Go Back   Focus Fanatics > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
FocusFest Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-17-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
gitano
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Fan#: 77765
Location: Columbia, MO
What I Drive: 2000 Red Wagon

Posts: 29
FF Reputation: 1 gitano Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Replaced valve cover gasket now car won't start

Ok, so I had to replace my valve cover gasket because it was leaking and eventually ate away at my thermostat housing gasket causing it to leak. After replacing the valve cover gasket I went to start the car and, although it cranks, it won't start. The cranking sounds labored (like a slow chug..chug...chug, or slog...slog...slog), definitely not cranking as fast (or as "sharply" if you know what I mean) as it normally does.

Fuel pump shouldn't be a problem: already had it replaced due to recall.
When I put the key in the ON position I seem to hear the sound of the pump for a few seconds.

I recently replaced the spark plugs (and wires not to long before that also) but haven't tested for spark yet though I don't see why that would be the problem since it worked fine before the repair.

Thought the battery might be dead so I tested it: only 230 amps output, so I replaced it, thinking I had solved the problem. Nope, still doesn't start, and has the exact same problem.

When I was replacing the valve cover gasket, the timing belt was all there and I didn't observe any missing teeth (on the top at least).

Any ideas? I'm currently at a loss. Thanks. Oh, and I have a 2000 Ford Focus with a Zetec


gitano is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-17-2013, 02:55 PM   #2
GhostTribute
Focus Enthusiast
 
GhostTribute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 107929
Location: 506 East Coast, Canada
What I Drive: 2001 Mazda Tribute (2.0L Zetec)

Posts: 231
FF Reputation: 1 GhostTribute Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
You have to check that the engine is actually getting fuel and spark to the cylinder head.

If it isn't getting one of the other. It could be something as simple as a loose connector/ground. Check all the connections around the valve cover that you could have knocked loose.....
GhostTribute is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2013, 03:11 PM   #3
Bigdaddycodes
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Fan#: 119857
Location: Medicine hat, Canada
What I Drive: 2000 black zx3

Posts: 8
FF Reputation: 1 Bigdaddycodes Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Maybe check and see if you got the spark plug boots fully onto the plug itself. I know I had the same issue and that seemed to fix it
Bigdaddycodes is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
clayton89
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Fan#: 108214
Location: Fort Dodge, IA
What I Drive: 2006 Sonic Blue ZXW

Posts: 98
FF Reputation: 1 clayton89 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdaddycodes View Post
Maybe check and see if you got the spark plug boots fully onto the plug itself. I know I had the same issue and that seemed to fix it
x100

they can be tricky to get on correctly. Double check this and you may have found your culprit.
clayton89 is online now  
    Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
gitano
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Fan#: 77765
Location: Columbia, MO
What I Drive: 2000 Red Wagon

Posts: 29
FF Reputation: 1 gitano Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
I'll go ahead and check the spark plug cables then. I do distinctly remember them clicking into place, but I guess I will borrow some fresh wires and see if they work and get back with my results. I did take them off a good amount of times. Could they have been bent or damaged somehow?

As far as the electrical connections, I'll double check, but I'm pretty sure I reconnected everything. The only ones I disconnected were the connectors to the coilpack and MAF. I did take off the coilpack mounting bracket and was pushing some wires around to get to the thermostat housing, but that's about it.
gitano is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2013, 04:41 PM   #6
makuloco2000
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Fan#: 34231
Location: Illinois
What I Drive: 01' Focus LX

Posts: 93
FF Reputation: 5 makuloco2000 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
you didn't pop the cam sensor?
__________________
Check out all my Ford Tech Repair Videos @
http://www.youtube.com/user/FordTechMakuloco/videos
Please Subscribe. Always something new and interesting!
makuloco2000 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2013, 07:20 PM   #7
gitano
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Fan#: 77765
Location: Columbia, MO
What I Drive: 2000 Red Wagon

Posts: 29
FF Reputation: 1 gitano Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Spark plug wires were fine.

Just checked the connector for the camshaft position sensor and it was secure (the one by the breather tube right...). However, before I replaced the valve cover gasket, I remember wiping the mating surface clean with a rag and some brake clean. Is it possible that the sensor was damaged somehow without me knowing? (just shooting in the dark here)

Are there any systematic steps I can take to rule out other problems? Thanks again.
gitano is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2013, 07:57 PM   #8
iminhell
C2H5OH
 
iminhell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Fan#: 36222
Location: Darwin, MN
What I Drive: 2000 & 2001 ZX3's

Posts: 10,234
FF Reputation: 48 iminhell Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (4)
It will be related to the job you just performed. Nothing else.


To do a VC job all you need to remove are the plug wires and breather tube.
Being the breather tube has no mechanical or electrical effect, it must be the plug wires.

So verify they are in the correct order on the coil. The wrong firing order can cause a no start.
iminhell is online now  
    Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
gitano
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Fan#: 77765
Location: Columbia, MO
What I Drive: 2000 Red Wagon

Posts: 29
FF Reputation: 1 gitano Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Just checked and the wires are in the correct order (double checked with the wiring diagram). But I also replaced my thermostat housing at the same time I did the VC. To make some working room I removed the air intake, coilpack, and coilpack retaining bracket.

A good amount of antifreeze leaked during this process as well (there was a leak in the housing the first time I installed it and refilled the coolant) and it leaked all over the top of the transmission and over a bunch of wires, etc. That general area was already covered in oil as well because of the leaky VC.

Is it possible that any sensors/connectors were damaged, e.g. crank position sensor?
gitano is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2013, 09:33 PM   #10
sailor
"Elder"
 
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Fan#: 57268
Location: Williamsville, NY
What I Drive: 2004 Pitch Black ZTS 2.3 5spd.

Posts: 11,347
FF Reputation: 60 sailor Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Coil Pack connector & wires are a common failure point, so much so that Ford sells a replacement "pigtail" for the problem.

Look close there & check for spark would be a good place to start...

Luck!
__________________
"Rubber Side Down"

S.R. #275

sailor is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:45 AM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information : Site Map

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Acura TLX or Fiesta ST. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.