98 Sunfire wont start

Tiny
MIKEOXBIGG
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PONTIAC SUNFIRE
  • 110,000 MILES
I have a 98 sunfire and was having problems with it starting and found that the starter was bad. Replaced and now it wont start. Is there a possibility that I could have mixed up the wires? It turns over and sounds like its trying to start but no go. I pulled the spark plugs and they were dry but it sounds like the fuel pump engages when turning the key. Any ideas please
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Saturday, September 10th, 2011 AT 9:42 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

4) If all of these things check good, then you would need to do a complete compression test.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.
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Saturday, September 10th, 2011 AT 12:33 PM
Tiny
MIKEOXBIGG
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the tips ill try and get to it this weekend. As far as checking for spark this car doesn't have plugs but a coil pack. Do you check spark on this the same way as with a normal plug?
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Monday, September 12th, 2011 AT 9:57 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Different engines sometimes require different methods of testing but since you never posted what engine you have I don't know what to tell you.
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Monday, September 12th, 2011 AT 10:00 AM
Tiny
MIKEOXBIGG
  • MEMBER
Its a 98 sunfire with a 2.4 liter. If I could get it towed somewhere does an engine diagnostic test tell you what is wrong if there is no cel?
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Monday, September 12th, 2011 AT 10:23 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
OK, you have a quad4. No, reading codes isn't a a real diagnostic. It may be helpful if there are any stored codes but it still requires manual testing. You have to be a little creative to check spark on that engine. You will need the type of tester that has wire with it so you can remove the ignition cluster and attach wires from the plug boots to the plugs for testing.
https://www.2carpros.com/images/external/imagesqtbnANd9GcRlIJKMKYZkC-ISEQo2o.jpg
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Monday, September 12th, 2011 AT 10:32 AM

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