If it cranks good but won't start, have a helper crank it while you check for spark at the spark plugs. If you have spark everywhere, use a gage and check fuel pressure.
To check for spark, where applicable remove a spark plug wire, use a spark tester in spark plug wire boot. You can also, use a known good spark plug, don't pull one out of the engine. Ground metal part of tester to metal part of engine, watch for spark. Even with coil on plug ignition, it's the same thing, just remove the coil, stick tester in boot.
August, 15, 2011 AT 7:43 PM
Most common causes are camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor. There will usually be a related diagnostic fault code stored in the Engine Computer. Many auto parts stores will read those codes for you for free. Those codes will get you to the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis, not necessarily to the defective part.
August, 15, 2011 AT 7:49 PM
I checked for spark and I am getting spark. Could it be the timing belt or the crank sensor?
August, 15, 2011 AT 7:57 PM
What about fuel pressure? Some of the national brand autostores used to loan out a fuel pressure gage. Caradiodoc has some good ideas. I wouldn't throw parts at it unless something pointed in that direction.
August, 15, 2011 AT 8:04 PM
Havent had a chance to check the fuel pressure yet. Got stuck with the car late at night and spark was the first thing I checked for. When I get home from work later I can check the pressure.
August, 15, 2011 AT 8:20 PM
The autostore sells an obd2 code reader, can't remember how much. If you get one, make sure it will work with your year--make--model. The code doesn't tell you what to replace, just that the computer thinks there is a problem on that circuit somewhere.
Hey, caradiodoc, jump in, I'm just killing time. Have a good day.
August, 15, 2011 AT 8:29 PM
Hi JDL. I'm confused by it having spark. On older models it won't if either sensor is defective, but from what I've read, beginning with the early 2000s models, there will be spark if only one sensor fails and I think it can run on just one but the injector firing times will be off a little. I'd still be looking at fuel pressure or fault codes.
August, 15, 2011 AT 8:43 PM
So is it safe to rule out a busted timing belt?
August, 15, 2011 AT 11:18 PM
Check for spark on both pairs of cylinders. Unless things have changed for '05 models, if the timing belt is off by one tooth, the Check Engine light will turn on and the stored fault code will be "cam and crank sync". The engine won't run well either. At two teeth off, the Engine Computer will shut the engine down to protect the valves. At three teeth off, the open valves will hit the pistons and be bent.
On the single cam engine, there was a common problem with the dowel pin between the camshaft and sprocket shearing off, and the sprocket would turn slightly on the camshaft. The timing marks would be correct, but the camshaft itself would be late. The camshaft position sensor would pick that up because it's at the other end of the camshaft. The symptom often is a no-start condition with one of the two coils firing intermittently so it looks like you have spark when you really don't.
August, 16, 2011 AT 4:05 PM
I didnt notice that the timing cover had a little rubber plug toward the top of it. I pulled the plug off and noticed the the belt wasnt on the cam gear. I just hope I didnt bend the valve checking for spark.