To be sure we're in the right circuit, see if you can find the wires on the back of the alternator. There will be two small ones. Hook a voltmeter or test light to one of them, and set it so you can see it from inside the car.
When you first turn the ignition switch to "Run", you should see the test light turn on for one to two seconds, then turn off. It must turn on again when you crank the engine. If it does not, the circuit that powers the coil(s), fuel pump or pump relay, injectors, alternator field, and oxygen sensor heaters is dead. All these items are fed from the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) relay.
If that ASD relay is turning on during cranking, you do indeed have an ignition system problem. This is relatively rare; the trigger circuit gives a lot more problems. If the relay does not turn on during cranking, suspect the camshaft position sensor. Check for diagnostic faut codes first. They will lead you to the circuit with the problem.
Sunday, January 24th, 2010 AT 3:44 AM