Getting Spark and Fuel but won't start

Tiny
METRICSCW
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
Engine Mechanical problem V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic

5.7L Vortec Engine and it's a van. It has had a history of hard time starting the vehicle. It would turn but hard time starting. Now won't start. I've changed spark plugs and rotor and distributor cap and it started (but not easy). Then I changed ignition wires. Then it won't start. It is getting fuel out of fuel port (splashes out if I open and press it for a split second) and it is getting spark at the spark plug wires. I can rotate the distributor slightly if I force it with hand so I am thinking it could be timing issue. I would back fire occasionally as it wants to start sometimes. So maybe it is misfiring. What are other components that I should check?


Fuel Pressure is reading slightly above 60 psi which is within factor spec (60 - 60 psi).

Current Status:
It backfires as frequently as it tries to start. Occasionally, the engine would turn then very briefly pause (hesitate) slightly and then keep cranking. The inside light would dim slightly when it does this.

Other note:
Fuses were checked and they seemed to be all fine. No code comes out when I read the ECU with the OBD reader.

Caveat Note:

When I changed spark plug wires, I did accidentally broke coolant temperature sender wire (for gauge, not ECU). I spilled coolant all over the places. I did reinstall brand new sensor to make sure it is not the cause of the problem. That was couple of days ago and coolant being slightly spilled over to the side are all dried up by now. I did unplug couple of wires and let it dry to make sure. I did refill coolant on overflow to the top but not main one since I have to break the coolant cap to refill the coolant.

Here are some of my possibilities that I can think of but it would be great if I knew which direction to go first.

1. FUEL ISSUE.

Clogged fuel injectors or some other fuel issue. I am thinking this because I did find pretty good amount of black deposits in the throttle body. I did clean them off with carb cleaner by spraying them few days ago. The van did start after I did this operation.

2. TIMING ISSUE

The distributor rotor moves slightly if I hold it firm and turn it. So I am concerned with timing.

3. SPARK ISSUE

I am not sure if I am getting weak spark or good spark. It looks good spark to me as I tested it with spark plug tester. It is hard to tell without more accurate equipment. So perhaps coil might be failing?
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Sunday, November 1st, 2009 AT 10:11 PM

30 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Fuel pressure: Perfect

Ignition system: what's the color of the spark-if orange looking its weak -test the coil's primary and secondary winding resistances-make sure you have battery voltage going into the coil positive terminal

Do this put the engine no.1 piston on its compression stroke remove the dizzy cap is the rotor pointing to the no.1 tower? If not the valve timing is off.

This guide may help

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/checking-a-service-engine-soon-or-check-engine-light-on-or-flashing

When you attempt to start-do you hear actually hear the fuel pump come on for 2 secs?
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Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 AT 11:23 AM
Tiny
METRICSCW
  • MEMBER
Fuel pump is good for sure for now at least. Also, nothing is leaking down at the throttle body.
Color is yellowish orange looking using spark plug tester. I did change ignition coil. It has only one coil ports so I didn't know how to test the coil. So I just changed it. I confirmed that it's getting all 8 spark plug using test lights. I used a can of starter fluid. It back fired out of throttle body if I sprayed too much. However, couple of occasion it sounded as if I quieted and started and died off if I sprayed right amount and let the throttle body door open. However, I am thinking it's more matter of fuel injector issue since it almost almost started with starting fluid. I have no easy way of telling if injectors are clogged without tearing things apart. Also, since it's electronically controlled, how do I know what controls fuel injectors are failing instead of fuel injectors being clogged up. My next move is attempt to take it apart and see the injectors themselves.

The fuel pressure gauge didn't seem to drop below 50 psi. After I turned off the car and when the car didn't start, the PSI level was up again about 65 psi. Also I could hear fuel pump in the back.

I also checked voltage feeding into ICM and it was slightly below 12v. Now the van of course won't start. It will keep on turning over and making usual sound but won't ignite.

Another theory I heard was the starter motor perhaps drawing too much power? I don't think that's the case since the starter motor turns over strong.

Also, I inspected the spark plug. The spark plug was slightly wet and I can smell slightly un-burned gasoline. I cleaned it off little bit, but it was pretty black. Maybe because I used starting fluid so much couple of days ago, and I was unsuccessful when I tried to start the van.

What do you think?
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Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 AT 6:09 PM
Tiny
ORMAZA
  • MEMBER
I had this problem before with my van and it was the fuel pump the PSI is supposed to be 65 any less it will give problems
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Sunday, November 29th, 2009 AT 1:29 PM
Tiny
TURKEYFARMER
  • MEMBER
I have had this problem for several years on my Express Cutaway Truck and have replaced everything related to the ignition system and still have the same starting issues. I left the Truck sit for several years and the other day I put a Battery in it and it started right up. Let it sit for 2 days and now it does the same thing and will not start. Acts like timing is out but it is not. Pops and backfires but will not start. I cranked it over for weeks to get it started and finally started but the crank case filled full of gas from cranking it so long. I changed the oil 3 times to clear out the gas and it would not start again. That is why I felt it sitting for over 4 years.

I also replaced the fuel pump and it tests out at 65 lbs. It gets Fuel, Spark but acts out of time until it starts then runs like a top.

So I had the PCM replaced and have not had a problem since I wanted others to know so they don't have the pain I had. I cost me $450.00 to program in a used one

Thanks.
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Thursday, May 28th, 2015 AT 7:30 PM
Tiny
SNOWCATNS
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 250,000 MILES
Engine problem
2002 Chevy Express 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 250000 miles

Heres my issue. I have a 02 Chev Express with the V6 Vortec Engine. Lately, the van has been "cutting out" at normal speeds, almost like dies but keeps going. Yesterday, started the van, drove it about 2 kms and it quit completly. Tryed to restar, backfired no go. Came back 12 hrs latter, started right up and drive fine back home. Started next day, then after 3 minutes, died. Tryed starting, kicked and licked, then a backfire, nothing completly dead. Leave it sit, will start for a few minutes then die again. Replaced Coil & Crank Sensor, same problems. Plenty of Fuel pressure & Volume. Whats up with this beast?
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
There is a bulletin for your problem from gm. Its caused by a bad crankshaft position sensor. What will happen if you dont fix it right away, it can actually break the starter motor off of the transmission. Very common. Hope this helps. Feedback is much appreciated.
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SNOWCATNS
  • MEMBER
I was kinda suspecting this. I replaced this last year. But, I hear they can cause all kinds of weird issues like what is happening to the van now. Cheaper then towing it to GM YThxs
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
LANNY4727
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
  • 4.3L
  • V6
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 211,343 MILES
I cant seem to keep the van running. I must spray starting fluid into the air intake just to start the van. I drive for something like less that a mile, and the van starts to sputter. I reduce the foot pressure on the accelerator and go for another half a mile(it seems) before the van sputters again. Before too long, the van will completely shut off. I've been able to sometimes restart on a second try, but I still can go more that maybe fifty or so feet before it shuts off again. This problem is compounded by the fact that I can seem to get the van to do over 70 mph before it starts to shake and I smell something like either oil burning or another fluid getting too hot. I've changed the fuel filter, and air filter.
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check fuel pressure with a gauge 60-66psi if lower replace fuel pump
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MILOILO
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 60,000 MILES
2002 Chevy Express V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 60000 miles

my battery died and I changed it. Now the motor turns but wont it start. It sounds like im getting no gas. It has an after market remote start, would that disengage the fuel pump? Whats my next step? The fuel pump used to buzz when I turned the car on now nothing. Please help thanks
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ESTEBBIN
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
Engine Performance problem
2002 Chevy Express 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic

I need to know what the fuel pressure is soppose to be on the 4.3. It's 40 psi with KOEO and 50psi when it runs on starting fluid. Pressure was 0 until I changed the filter.
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Fuel pump NO GOOD
fuel pressure 60-66 psi (415-455 kPa) for VIN W models or 55-62 psi (379-427 kPa) for VIN X models
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ESTEBBIN
  • MEMBER
Thank you!
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JAMES WHEELER
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
  • 216,000 MILES
I have a 2002 chevy express 3500 with 5.7 motor. It quit today going down road. When you try to start it, it backfires and puffs smoke out of exhaust. The code reader plug does not work on this van. I replaced pickup in coil in distributor, crank sensor, distributor cap and rotor button, as well as coil. Nothing changed
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Take compression tests. Timing may have jumped.
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SCOTT ALLEN
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
  • 5.7L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 220,000 MILES
Van won't start, but if you pour fuel into throttle body it will start and run. But will not accelerate normally. Will accelerate gradually.
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check fuel pressure with a gauge auto parts rent it. Should be 59-66 psi with lower number as minimum. Key on only
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
WOOD101871@GMAIL.COM
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
2003 chevy exoress turn ignition wont crank
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
*No crank at all/nothing/nada when key is engage to starting position

Could be a blown fusible link, the starter, starter relay, clutch switch/park and neutral switch/transmission position switch and ignition switch assuming the battery condition and connections are good. Note:If it doesn't apply disregard.
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RANGELEY ELECTRIC
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET EXPRESS
  • 23,500 MILES
This problam started a month ago, at first it had a hard time starting - would crank and crank untill it would fire. Know it won't start at all. Last week I replaced the coil, cap, rotor, wires. Last year I replaced the plugs, crank sensor. It seems to me to be electrical - can smell gas. There is a lot of frost on engine. Don't know where to go from here. Fuel pump pressure is 66
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Thursday, March 9th, 2017 AT 9:32 AM (Merged)

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