1994 Saturn SL2 1994 Saturn SL2 - cranks but no fire

Tiny
WAYNETIFFANY
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 140,000 MILES
I have a 1994 Saturn SL2 that on Sunday night I drove up the driveway and parked at the top because the weather was getting cold & bad. The next morning the engine would crank, but not start. I have 41 psi fuel pressure that holds even while cranking, so it's not the fuel pump. I can see one of the cams turning so it's not the timing chain. I plugged a noid light into two of the injector connectors, and while cranking I get a blip on it, which leads me to think that I am probably getting fuel. I tried to fire it on starting fluid, and it would not except for the occasional hiccup. I pulled the plugs and cranked with the plug in the wire and grounded and had a good spark. I see fluid on top of the pistons that is the unburned starting fluid. I have asked around a bit and told to suspect the ignition module and/or the crank position sensor. But it the crank sensor were bad, I would think that I would not get any spark. Same with the ignition module. Thoughts? I'm puzzled.
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 12:42 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
If both fuel and spark is present-check the valve and ignition timing, this will lead you to problems with compression and valves opening and closing at the wrong time/broken or jumped timing belt/chain
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 12:52 PM
Tiny
WAYNETIFFANY
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With the cams being chain driven I figure that for them to be out of time would have made major noise. So I also have been thinking about ignition timing - isn't it controlled by the crank position sensor? And the fact that I have some spark at all would lead to the crank sensor working? Can the ignition module or the coil fail in such a manor that I still produce a spark out in the open but either not in time or not strong enough to fire under compression?
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Friday, December 19th, 2008 AT 3:41 PM
Tiny
WAYNETIFFANY
  • MEMBER
Update - problem solved - replaced the battery.

Yesterday we had below zero temps and it still started fine so I am calling it fixed. The fact that I could get a spark on all plug wires while cranking, had proper fuel pressure, and the camshafts were turning, all were puzzling. The ignition module checked out fine. New plugs. Relatively new plug wires. Apparently even with jumper cables on I wasn't able to maintain enough voltage for the computer to operate properly. Yes, the engine would crank over slowly, but on a 12 F day it started once and ran fine until I shut it off. Then it would not restart. Crank, yes. Fire off, no. The only difference in that time that it started and other attempts was that the battery charger had been on high charge for about 4 hours.

Maybe this will save someone else from going through all that I had to go through to figure it out.

WT
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Friday, January 16th, 2009 AT 12:41 PM

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