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winrawr 09-14-2013 03:44 PM

02 Sebring isn't starting.
2002 Chrysler Sebring LXi Coupe 3.0l SOHC no aftermarket parts except head unit

I've had an 02 Chrysler Sebring for about 3 years. Bought it at around 67,000 miles and it now has 146,000. Since then I've done regular oil and brake maintainence as well as tire replacement. I noticed I was losing oil a 4 months ago. I noticed I was losing oil about 4 months ago and had it checked, ended up having a shop fix a gasket of some sort resulting in fixing that problem.
I have also had a slow coolant leak starting before that, but in the last month it has been leaking more. Often the car smelt of coolant after running and under the hood the top and around the radiator was very shiny with little bits of residual coolant on the outside. Suspected to be the radiator cap burping the coolant away. I recently found a radiator cap in my trunk under the spare as if it was put away there by its previous owner in order to fix the same issue..

About ten days ago, I arrived home from work my car driving normally showing no signs of an issue. I park it and go to bed.
Three days afterwards I start my car to make a twenty minute drive. As soon as I put the car in reverse I realize it feels as if it is misfiring. I look at the tach and notice it's acting very boggy, as if it was about to stall. I give it a bit of gas to keep it going and it steadies out. Phew.
I put it into drive and give it a little and it starts to go normally. I give it some more and it immediately drops to 500 rpms. I let off a bit and keep it barely above idle and I'm able to gain a bit of speed evenly. Takes about 15 seconds to get to 25. If I give it too much gas it immediately begins to stall.
Initially I had thought all that coolant had been leaking into the oil. The consequences.. A blown head gasket maybe with a warped cylinder head?

I'm not very car repair oriented. I'm able to do the basics, but when I get stuck with something that isn't simple to me I'm going to have to ask for help. I'm also a 20 minute drive from any repair shop and I'm not willing to risk destroying my vehicle.
I had two separate friends both with who've had experience working on cars test drive it. One immediately suggested the fuel pump. The other suggested immediately both the fuel pump and filter.
On one test drive, we started hearing a high pitched sound coming from the back seat area right where the fuel tank is. The frequency would drop in sync with a drop in rpms. We parked the car just in time to see its idle drop and drop until it died, and wouldn't start again.
Turns out in this model car, the pump and filter are both inside the tank both in the same assembly. Also in this model, you can access the assembly from under the back seat.

We changed swapped the fuel and ac relay first and took out the back seat to have a hand over the plastic tank cover. I cycled the key to "on" and the fuel pump didn't do anything. I proceeded to try to turn it over and the pump continued to do nothing. It was dead.

Fast forward, yesterday. We bought a new fuel pump/filter assembly and installed it. Mind you, the tank was half full but we didn't have to drop it. It took a couple good tries to seat the gasket in the hole first and then force then pump down while a second hand has to catch the thread just right and get it tight enough to keep it down. when we had a good seal, we reconnected the gas lines and harnesses. We then put the tank cover on and reconnected the relay and the battery. We tried to start the car and the starter would turn but the tach wouldn't move. You could feel the fuel pump prime as well. The weird thing is, it primes only while you're trying to crank it, not when it is at 'on'. When checking the gas lines at the fuel pump, just barely wiggling it a tiny bit off allowed gas out as if it was pressurized. We checked but there is no schrader valve on my vehicle to test the pressure.
also three little squirts of starter fluid in the air intake and nothing. Weird.

I'm working on getting a diagnostic tool from a friend to check for anything new but beyond that IDK. Halp

ukrkoz 09-15-2013 05:55 PM

ukrkoz 09-15-2013 05:55 PM

winrawr 09-20-2013 07:15 AM

We determined it was the timing belt due to only missing compression. Fuel, Air, and Spark were all there. We checked the timing belt and it has slack in it. It rocks back pretty hard when you stop cranking. Also, pinging was heard the very last time it was running, but I wasn't there so this wasn't known by me. We're going to check if the timing is off and I'll update.

ukrkoz 09-20-2013 09:03 PM

of course timing is off, if the belt was loose. You need to replace it asap. Quite surprised you have belt, not chain.

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