1995 Ford Aspire



April, 18, 2006 AT 1:23 AM

This car is driving me completely insane. 95 Ford Aspire 1.3 engine, 125K miles - won't start

Here's the quick version: (long version below)

170PSI Compression on all 4 cyl +/- 3PSI
Good Fuel Pressure
Noid light shows pulse at fuel injectors
Spark at plugs pushing around 10KV (measured with gap tester and KV Probe)

Double checked cylinder#1 on Top Dead Center relationship to rotor/plug wire. All good!

Disconnected the exhaust at the front flange gasket to confirm there wasn't excessive backpressure.

Died while cleaning throttle body - will not start now.

It appears to be too rich.

Any further ideas?

Long version:

Car came in because it failed california emission test due to high NOx (the gentleman didn't bring in a copy of exactly how high it was - like I asked - but oh well).

He wanted to get it to pass the emissions test and to get the water pump and timing belt replaced.

I ran the codes, and as expected, Code16 popped up - " EGR Sensor out of range", I tested the EGR Valve on the vehilce with it running, it had a good diaphram (held vacuum), but little effect when applying vacuum (very slight stumble)- so, I removed the valve from the car and cleaned it and the manifold port(s) with Sea Foam Deep Creep. Re-installed and now it's working great, cleared the code and all was fine, other than it still running rough like when it came in.

Then I decided to check the compression to make sure it was worth the guy putting $300-$500 dollars into a car that's only worth about $200 dollars on a good day. Compresstion Test was good @ 170PSI accross all 4, plus/minus only 3PSI on the lowest cylinder, so I decided to go for it.

The car was in need of a severe tune-up and I found the throttle body coked up pretty bad, so I decided to get that cleaned up while the old spark plugs were still in there so the new plugs wouldn't get any undesireable deposits on them from the cleaning.

Anyway, I was doing the final clean (which was rinsing the last bit out of the throttle body with the car runnning) and just as I was finishing, the car died and woudn't start again.

I couldn't get it started and the plugs were pretty wet, so I left them out over night and very carefully burned the residual gas out of the cylinders with an extended fireplace lighter (please don't try this at home unless you know " exactly" what you're doing).

The next day I tried to start it again to no avail.

Checked the battery voltage and it was a little low from cranking it the night before. So, I charged the battery (all checks good now).

Tried to start it again - no go!
Then installed the new Spark Plugs, Plug Wires, Dist Cap, Rotor hoping it would make a difference.
Still no go!

Checked the fuel pressure - which was fine
Check the injectors with noid light and stethoscope again all ok.

Checked the ignition switch and it was ok as well. 12volts getting to the distributor.

Spark at plugs is around 10KV (measured with gap tester and KV Probe)

Double checked cylinder#1 on Top Dead Center relationship to rotor/plug wire. All good!

Disconnected the exhaust at the front flange gasket to confirm there wasn't excessive backpressure.

The final prognosis is that it's still way too rich, but with 10Kv at the plug - what am I missing?

Everything I check appears to be working fine yet it still won't start.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



4 Answers



April, 18, 2006 AT 3:42 PM

If it died while cleaning the throttle body you may have a bad fuel pressure regulator. Also you need to check closely for a major vacuum leak. I had one Aspire that gave the same symptoms. It was the brake booster. Take the vacuum hose from the booster, plug it and try a start. It will something simple that is causing all the grief.



April, 19, 2006 AT 1:26 AM

Thanks for the quick response.

I've just re-checked the timing marks on the timing belt to be sure it hasn't jumped. Alll looks fine.

Plugged the Brake booster port and still no hint of starting.

I'll check out the fuel pressure regulator tomorrow.

I also tried (which I will normally never do) to blast a little starting fluid into it while cranking to see if it would even hit for a second and there was still not even a hint of it trying to start.

So I'm also going to dig into the ditributor a bit to check coil resistances etc. I would have thought that 10Kv at the plug would have been enough to fire it but maybe not. I can't wait to give this car back to it's owner as I'll never work on another one. I'll stick to working on Mercedes. : )

Thanks again for your help.



May, 2, 2006 AT 9:48 PM

Found the coil was weak and not producing " enough" spark to make it fire.

The fix for this car was replacing the distributor from one from the salvage yard for $50. Dealer wanted $500 for one so that was the best way to go.

Hope this helps someone someday



May, 3, 2006 AT 7:11 AM

Good response Benz_Guy. It is difficult to troubleshoot long distance and your response will help someone else. Losone

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