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Old 01-28-2010, 08:21 PM   #1
liquidrider
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Have fuel, Have spark. No start

My winter beater/daily driver is a 2000 FOCUS SFI. The other day I was driving home and it stalled while I was going about 25mph. It wouldn't start again even with a boost.

I towed it to my shop, replaced the alternator because it has been dying for months now. Battery light was on for a while. Still would not start. Checked the fuel rail for pressure (just pressed the valve, squirted out fuel), also checked for spark. Both were good.

The car turns over fine but will not fire. I'm guessing the injectors are not pumping or something? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!


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Old 01-28-2010, 10:37 PM   #2
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whats your security light doing when you crank it over.is it on or flashing real fast.you might have fuel but maybe not enough
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:33 AM   #3
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1. Either something PATS/PCM related ^^^^ security light?
2. fuel pump
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidrider View Post
Battery light was on for a while. Still would not start. Checked the fuel rail for pressure (just pressed the valve, squirted out fuel), also checked for spark. Both were good.
Check your battery? You may have drained enough power out of it to start the car, with tha alt dying for a while. Plus its cold, winter is tuff on batterys.

Always check the simplest thing before you start throwing parts at it.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:36 AM   #5
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1) Testing fuel pressure by pressing on the Schrader valve doesn't determine much. Pressure remains in the system even after you turn it off. It's at a shop right? Go borrow an FI pressure tester. Hook it up, turn the key on. If you're somewhere around 30 psi, that's right, but I'd think it would run with as little as 20- no idea, hopefully a more experienced SPI guy can chime in on the correct fuel pressure.
2) If it's cranking, then it's not a problem with the PATS system. If the PATS was preventing you from starting, then nothing would happen when you turned the key.
3) How did you test spark? I prefer to use an old timing light, but that is not all inclusive. You might have spark going through the plug wire, but it could be leaking from cracked or old insulation along the length of the wire somewhere preventing enough spark to fire the A/F mix. I would still expect some sputter at some point if the engine doesn't become flooded. Flooding will seem like the battery has died if you haven't experienced it. Remove a spark plug and sniff, if you don't smell fuel, then you have a FI problem of some sort. If you have flooded the engine, it is not recommended to use the "hold the spark plug against the block and crank the engine" method of testing for spark at this moment. That is, unless you want a plastic surgeon to replace your face skin with your butt skin after weeks in IC.
4) Typically, if you verify you have spark and fuel pressure, and the engine doesn't start, then the next thing to check is compression. It doesn't matter if you just turned the car off or not, the next step is to go on to checking to be sure that the lowest cylinder is within 20% of the highest in compression. If you have a compression problem, whatever the cause, at least one cylinder will have almost no compression as compared to over 100 psi on the others.
5) In the really odd event that you have fuel pressure, compression, and spark but the engine will still not crank, then you need to investigate the fuel injectors, and the fuel injection relay. If you have an electrical tester you should be able to find 12v between one pin on the injector connector, and a good ground (battery terminal or bare engine metal). If not, then check those big fuses for electrical continuity (resistance=0-.01). To check the relay, locate another relay which is the same part number, and verify that it performs it's function, then swap it with the relay in question. This might not be possible for the EFI relay, without looking, I don't think it is, and I would certainly not recommend purchasing another one to see if it's the cause of the problem as it will likely be a waste of money/time. Failure of EFI relays is so rare that I can hardly remember one in my experiences, but I'm sure some more experienced mechanics can give you a better idea of how rare it is.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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i was actually gonna go into compression, if you have 2 cylinders on bad compression, then its hard for it to turn over. but someone ^^^ already kinda mensioned it.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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Timing belt snapped. Surprising, didn't seem/sound like that at all. Thanks for all the suggestions guys
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:17 PM   #8
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well that not so bad. at least its not a valve crasher
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:55 PM   #9
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i thought the SPI was an interference engine? doing a timing belt isnt so bad. of course i say that and my car has been down for nearly 2 months from a simple timing belt because im too lazy and too much of a wuss to go out and work on it when its cold outside...
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
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i was actually gonna go into compression, if you have 2 cylinders on bad compression, then its hard for it to turn over. but someone ^^^ already kinda mensioned it.


With 2 cylinders with no compression the engine turns over like a champ, faster than it ever has before like your battery is suddenly putting out 18v instead of 12. It just won't start, maybe sputter, but no start.

Sorry to hear it's the timing belt, but yeah, if you got spark, and fuel, then it's time to check compression. Don't worry about that DTC code, it will likely not reappear after the timing belt is repaired. I'd also look into what else should be logically replaced with the timing belt. I'm not sure how SPI's are put together, but a water pump replacement might be a good idea.
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