engine cranks but wont start.... any answers???
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This is a discussion on engine cranks but wont start.... any answers??? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; i just bought a 2002 impreza wrx yesterday and was driving it home on the freeway and it just shut ...

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    engine cranks but wont start.... any answers???

    i just bought a 2002 impreza wrx yesterday and was driving it home on the freeway and it just shut off when i was driving all the electronics turned off. then tried roll starting and all electric went back on but no power in pedal. pulled over cranks but wont start. i noticed when i first started the car before i got it it sounded like it was running on 3 cylinders but the seller said thats how they ran. and it idled real lumpy and was sluggish off the line. checked one spark plug and it gets spark. checked fuses, checked fuel pump. tried using scanner to get codes but will not give any. check engine was flashing while driving. pulled one timin cover and marks were lined up. and aslo pos. battery terminal is really loose and needs replacement. any ideas what the problem could be????

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    Registered User Poohbear's Avatar
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    Sounds electrical... But these things are hard to diagnose over the Internet... Here is what bothers me, you said the battery terminal was loose and needed replaced, but if your motor is running the alternator should do the work if the battery is disconnected.

    As for the rough idle, Boxer motors are a little rougher then other motors. But no they do not sound like they run on 3 cyl rough. Worst case you can do a compression test and see what it is your dealing with.

    You have 1 of 3 issues at the least. Its either fuel, electrical, or mechanical. I would start with the least expensive thing first. Check that terminal get your connections right then try a compression test.

    Like i said its hard to say with out actually seeing the car. Maybe someone will jump in who has had the same issue. But since you said that the electrical stopped working until you tried to start it in a roll leads me to think its all electrical.. But please keep in mind you may have more then one issue with the car.
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    it died like it ran out of gas but the guage was al,most on e but not quite. and when it turns over it sounds like it wants to start sometimes but dont

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    Registered User Poohbear's Avatar
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    Did you try put gas int eh tank? sometimes with older vehicles the strainer will get gobbed up with rust and funky stuff... this will lead to poor fuel pressure at low tank levels and make your pump work harder shortening its life... but you said you checked your pump... and by check it did you do a fuel pressure test, remove the pump, or just turn the key and listen for it to work?
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Are you 100% sure the timing marks are dead on? How many miles are on the car? Does it sound like a healthy crank like the battery has sufficient power to start the vehicle?
    Last edited by EvoEatr; 11-22-2009 at 04:49 PM.

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    i tried putting gas in. about 6 gallons, and i checked the pump by taking the fuel line off and turning the ignition over and seeing if it sprayed out, and no im not 100% sure the timing marks r lined up. the guy who checked only pulled one cover off and said it was lined up and has not checked the other side yet. 116,000 miles and sometimes it cranks like its gonna start but kinda slows down from the battery but the battery is new. and also when its turning over and sounding like its about to start if i hit the gas it really slows down and stuggles to turn over

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    Registered User Poohbear's Avatar
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    Starting to sound electrical again... You cant judge the fuel pump working just by seeing gas pump out.. on carbureted motors its a little easier then motors that are direct injected. gas will will still flow and pump though the line but the fuel pump may not bring the pressure up high enough... you should still be able to idle though more then likely ... get those marks checked out and go back and check your connections... if you can put a trickle charger on that battery so you don't kill it...

    You said you had spark also.. What color? yellow? blue? dark blue? yellow would indicate poor voltage or poor plugs

    I know it sounds cruddy and your looking for the immediate answer but you have got to just begin to narrow down whats going on... Trial and error... eliminate issues one at time... thats the best you can do especially if your not throwing codes... so start with the least expensive and most simple explanation first..

    Yo unow have three things to check on, mechanical timing, electrical (battery, connections, spark etc etc), and your fuel including fuel pump and strainer.
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    let me ask u this?? is it worth me spending time and money to fix this car?? i paid 5000 and it has a salvage title. the body is in perfect condition and interior perfect condition. should i keep it and figure out whats wrong and pay the money or return it?? ive always wanted a suburu but everyone ive talked to says there a nightmare to work on and u cant find anyone to fix them for cheap. whats your thoughts??

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    Registered User Poohbear's Avatar
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    I cant answer that for you... depends what the car worth to you? and it boils down to whats wrong with the car... You really need to just diagnose it and find out whats wrong... It could be something simple and cost you 50 to fix but in the same breath it could be much more then that... You should really find out whats wrong with the car before you go making harsh decisions like if you should get rid of your baby or not..
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    ok i am going to try everything u have told me and figure out whats wrong with it cuz i really want this car. i will keep posting when i find out more. i appreciate all ur advice and if anyone has anymore advice please let me know

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    If the car just shut off while driving...as mentioned its most likely either electrical or engine timing...If the charging system and battery are ok..and all positive connections and ground connections seem secure, I would most likely look further into the timing...good luck FWIW Ive also seen some crank/cam sensors on these cars cause some odd problems...However that would USUALLY result in a "no start" from the getco...

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    Since the CEL was flashing there will be a code stored. Before fixing the battery, pull that code and post it here. Then fix the battery terminal, and depending on the code someone here will be able to tell you what to try next.

    Since the timing belt is intact and presumably has not skipped a tooth we're left with CAS and/or bad electricals as far as timing or ignition are concerned. Hopefully it'll be simple. Post back.
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mabenation View Post
    i just bought a 2002 impreza wrx yesterday and was driving it home on the freeway and it just shut off when i was driving all the electronics turned off. then tried roll starting and all electric went back on but no power in pedal. pulled over cranks but wont start. i noticed when i first started the car before i got it it sounded like it was running on 3 cylinders but the seller said thats how they ran. and it idled real lumpy and was sluggish off the line. checked one spark plug and it gets spark. checked fuses, checked fuel pump. tried using scanner to get codes but will not give any. check engine was flashing while driving. pulled one timin cover and marks were lined up. and aslo pos. battery terminal is really loose and needs replacement. any ideas what the problem could be????
    You mentioned you cant get any codes out of it...Like the scanner will read it but there are no codes stored in the ECM? I would also check to see if the PDI connectors are plugged together..your flashing CEL and you saying theres no codes confuses me...lol...

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    i am towing it to a shop this morning to have a diagnosis on ity to see what they find. i figure its worth the 80 to see if they find out anything. ill keep u posted

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    so i found out 2 coil packs were bad so i replaced the coil packs and all plugs. and it finally started.... and now that it runs theres no throttle response barely at all and its knocking or chattering really bad... please help

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