Cranks but wont start

Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
  • 1988 ALL OTHER MAKES ALL OTHER MODELS
Hi I'm new to these boards and wondering if someone could give me some diagnosis on a problem that I recently have with my car. Its an 1988 Acura Legend, I drove it early on the day. Tried to start it an hour later it started everything was fine then a second later it stalled then died but the electronics were still playing in the car. I tried starting it again but all it did was crank. So what could the problem be? I'm hoping that its something simple.

Thanx in advance.
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Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 AT 4:37 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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Has it started since? Does the CEL (Check Engine Light) been illuminated?
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Friday, December 29th, 2006 AT 2:20 AM
Tiny
BETTERDAYS
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Nope, and the alternator has been recently replace if that makes any difference.
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Friday, December 29th, 2006 AT 5:02 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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Why not start with the basics and check the plug wires for spark. Take one at a time off and put on an old plug or pull one from the car. Ground the tip and crank the engine over. You should see a good blue spark. While you are doing this and that spark plug is out. Use your nose and see if the cylinder has a gas smell. We need to ensure that the cylinders are getting fuel.
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Saturday, December 30th, 2006 AT 9:42 AM
Tiny
KC0MLP
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I am having exactly the same problem with an 89 Integra
I was driving when I heard a pop a lot like a light bulb burning out in your house the car died and now it will not start but cranks with no problem at all. The fuel pump is working and the plugs are sparking but there is no fuel in the cylinders. Also the check engine light is not lit. Strangely this car also recently had an alternator replacement (not a fun job at all on that car). Any help would be great, thanks.
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Saturday, December 30th, 2006 AT 1:34 PM
Tiny
KC0MLP
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I have also checked the fuse, but no problems there.
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Saturday, December 30th, 2006 AT 1:46 PM
Tiny
KC0MLP
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Correction: I get one spark and one spark only when trying to start it.
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Saturday, December 30th, 2006 AT 1:55 PM
Tiny
KC0MLP
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Here is another update that might help, I checked out the voltage coming off of the distributor. Initially, for the first firing the voltage jumps way high, (past the 2000 my meter will read) and thats where it should be but for each successive firing the voltage drops to about 12. This make me think that the ignition coil is probably bad and has shorted out. This also explains why I only got one spark.
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Saturday, December 30th, 2006 AT 5:12 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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That should be steady, so I believe that you have found it.
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Saturday, December 30th, 2006 AT 9:50 PM
Tiny
KC0MLP
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I replaced the coil in the distributor, but to no avail, same problems, I aslo tried replacing the Ignition Control Unit in the distributor which also had no effect. I am now looking into the main ignition relay under the dash and the tach sensor. About. Com says that the computer will not allow spark without input from the tach sensor.
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Monday, January 1st, 2007 AT 6:39 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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I am going to assume that the connection to the distributor is the same as the accord. In the dist. Should be the following sensors. The Crank, TDC, and CYL sensors are built in to the dist. How many connections does the dist have. Is there an eight pin connector?
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Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 AT 12:50 AM
Tiny
KC0MLP
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There is the twelve volts in and a six pin connector as well.
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Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 AT 2:11 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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I do not have access to a manual yet for that model. A Haynes manual available at some libraries to borrow or available at an auto parts store will explain the internal components of the distributor and those sensors. They are pretty easy to test with a simple volt ohm meter. This is a rather cheap route to go versus just guessing the bad part and getting it wrong.
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Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 AT 4:37 PM
Tiny
KC0MLP
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Ok, now I feel pretty dumb but at least I have discovered the source of the problem, the intake camshaft is not spinning. Now I just need to take a look and see if it broke or the timing belt just went.
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Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 AT 10:57 AM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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With intigrated valve clearance you may have head or valve problems. Check the belt, if it is off, timing belt that is and if it is I would pull the head as well to look at the valves. If that distributor does not turn the timing belt is gone.
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Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 AT 11:22 AM
Tiny
KC0MLP
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The timing belt went, now we are checking to see if it was an interference engine to see if we bent a valve as well.
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Saturday, January 13th, 2007 AT 7:23 PM

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