The only thing the pump and gauge have in common is the ground wire at the tank. If that ground connection is intermittent, it could cause a no-stat condition and it would have no affect on spark. Since you do have spark, the cam and crank sensors are working. I described how that trigger circuit works in the second paragraph of my second reply but I didn't do a real thorough job.
There are two ways to tell when these two sensors are working. Mechanics can use a scanner to view live sensor data. The scanner will display when the pulses are coming from the sensors. There's a much easier way you can do this yourself. Grab a test light or an inexpensive digital voltmeter and measure the voltage on the dark green wire with orange stripe in the coil pack, one of the injectors, or either of the two wires or small terminal nuts on the back of the alternator. First, you should see 12 volts on all of those points for just one second after turning on the ignition switch to the "run" position. That proves the Engine Computer is working. Next, that voltage must come back when you crank the engine. When the engine is rotating, the cam and crank sensors develop pulses that tell the computer the engine is turning and it should turn the automatic shutdown (ASD) relay back on. That's the relay that sends the 12 volts to the coil, injectors, and alternator.
Your car model uses a separate fuel pump relay but it is turned on at the same time as the ASD relay. Because there are two different relays, it IS possible to have a dead fuel pump when you do have the voltage at the coil, injectors, and alternator. It is rare for a relay to fail, but a fast way to check is to replace a suspect one with a different identical one. Good choices are the starter relay because you know it's working, or the AC compressor relay.
To boil this all down, based on your dandy observations, I am fairly confident we can narrow the search down real quick. First of all, you have spark. That proves the cam and crank sensors, Engine Computer, and automatic shutdown relay are working. That leaves just the fuel supply system. That circuit includes the fuel pump relay, Engine Computer, fuel pump motor, and the wires. Everything in that circuit has nothing to do with the fuel gauge except the common ground wire at the tank. That's where I believe you will find the problem. (Gee; I feel like a psychic)!
Your original post, second sentence, where you found no fuel, is the clue when you do still have spark. The entire fuel supply system is not monitored by the Engine Computer so there will be no related diagnostic fault codes set in memory as there would have been if a sensor had failed.
Friday, December 10th, 2010 AT 4:46 AM