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Discussion Starter #1
1987 Nissan Stanza Wagon 4WD XE
Mitsubishi CA20(E) 4 Cyl 2.0L
fuel-injected
>200,000 miles

Starter cranks but engine does not ignite. It sounds and feels to me like it's getting flooded the more I try to crank it. Sometimes it does run if I'm lucky. The engine sounds really good when it does.

A fuel pressure gauge hooked up on the other side of the fuel filter from the pump and tank shows 37 psi after one pump cycle which is good. It drops to 36 quickly and then to 33 or so after a few minutes.

Spark plugs are one year old. I think the sparks plugs are firing because I pulled off a wire and it arcs to a ground nicely when I crank the starter.

An auto parts guy suspected the fuel pressure regulator. He said to check if there is any gasoline in the vacuum hose connected to it, but there is none. Part is $86-115.

I'm not sure about air. I assume it gets all the air it needs. I brushed off the air filter. It doesn't look too bad.

I not sure if a bad sensor could be causing this. I did check the coolant temperature sensor as a mechanic on Justanswer.com suggested. That seemed to check out ok. The male terminals on the sensor had 3.75 kOhms between them when cold, and the female connector had 5.04 volts DC supplied to it.

I would appreciate any help anyone can offer diagnosing this. I've been trying to get it running since I missed a first date with a girl when it wouldn't start in December. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I just saw these suggestions on a pinned post on http://autoforums.carjunky.com/ , so I'll try them:

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.


3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

4) If all of these things check good, then you would need to do a complete compression test.

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/Auto...ANKS_THE_ENGINE_BUT_IT_WILL_NOT_START_P75655/
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Depending on how many miles are on those 1 year old plugs, they might be good, or bad.

A visual inspection is needed to be sure.

And if the car is flooding, you will see it and smell it on the removed plug.

I hope that the missed date did not ruin your luck with the girl. :devil3:

There are still too many things not covered in your query, to give a definite answer.

Take the air filter, and gently tap it on a workbench, any dirt falls out, you are starving the poor thing for air.


Yes a compression test will also give a clue to the engines condition.

ED
 

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At 200,000 miles there could be a slew of things worn out.
Low compression is the most likely culprit.
When it runs, does it smoke? Any oil con the floor or out of the exhaust pipe?
Quite often when an engine reaches that mileage it is a combination of things.
A little valve leak, some rings leaking, some vacuum leaks. it all adds up.
Start with a compression test.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you De-nagorg and Missouri Bound!

I'll borrow a compression test kit tomorrow and see what I can find.

I will see if the spark plugs smell like gas when I remove them. I'm skeptical that all 4 spark plugs could go bad at the same time or all 4 cylinders could lose compression at the same time. Incidentally this car has another 4 spark plugs on the other side of the engine for igniting the exhaust fumes, for a total of 8. I do not smell gasoline on the oil dipstick.

I don't notice black exhaust smoke. The engine does leak oil onto the ground, but I would not say it's an excessive amount, just average for an old car.

ChrisFix mentioned the Throttle Position Sensor in one of his Youtube videos, so I will look for that and try to test it.

I don't think the timing is off. I just replaced the timing belt myself in January, but the car has run a few times since then, and it sounded great. The distributor cap is new.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Run that compression test dry, then wet.

That's remove all 4 ignition plugs, run a "dry" test, record each cylinders results.

Then run a "wet" test, ( squirt a few [4] drops of oil in each cylinder , one at a time) , and record each result.


ED
 
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