Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car doesn't start

asked by on

While driving , my car turns off . It appears that the engine will start only when you spray carb cleaner in the engine filter conected to the throttle body . However , when you press the gas it turns off . I changed the fuel pump, fuel pressure, and spark plugs and it still doesn't work . Do you think it has something to do with the electical system or Throttle body ?

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: If there is a check engine light on, you sh...

If there is a check engine light on, you should check for codes first. If not, the one thing you have not checked yet is injector pulse. Injector pulse is driven by the PCM (powertrain control module) and the PCM is signaled by the crank sensor as when to fire the injector pulse. You can check for injector pulse by using a noid light and connecting it to the injector connector. With the noid light plugged in, crank the motor. The noid light should flash rapidly. If it does not, the crank sensor may be at fault.

Another diagnostic path to check uses a scanner. With the scanner connected you will want to look at the data for the crank sensor. If there is not a crank sensor signal, it is time to directly check the crank sensor.

If this doesn't reveal any problems, the next thing to do is to check for spark. You can use a spark tester inline with the coil removed from the cylinder but plugged into the connector. The spark tester should be plugged in place of the spark plug. If your car runs when something is sprayed into the intake, this indicates you have spark. The fact that it won't rev past idle only is simply a factor of not being able to supply the motor with enough fuel in this fashion. In other words, it would be normal for the motor to die when the accelerator is pushed when spraying something into the intake.

There are a few other things that will cause your car not to start, but they won't allow your car to drive at all. If your car drives then turns off, then begins to drive again after a time, then the above items are the most likely causes. If your car turned off while driving and has not restarted since, you will want to check compression. If one or more cylinders are low, you may have a timing belt issue. You would need to remove the timing cover to inspect the timing marks and belt condition.

If you should require further assistance, a certified YourMechanic technician can be dispatched to your location to help inspect your non-starting vehicle.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Poor fuel economy

Hello there, This is a common question. The fuel filter on your vehicle is built into the fuel pump and is located in the fuel tank. Fuel filters on this vehicle are not serviceable separately from the fuel pump unfortunately....

Q: I lost my engagement ring in the defrost vent, please help!

The good new is, your ring is still there, but unfortunately it is not easy to get to. Dash work can be some of the most challenging jobs to perform. If your ring fell into the vents on the driver...

Q: It starts, but takes a couple tries. Then if I stomp the gas pedal too hard on take off it will shut off.

With your elevated mileage, there are several suspect components: a dirty idle air control valve or throttle body will have poor "transition" behavior, loose hoses or other intake system leaks can cause hesitation and poor low-speed running. Low fuel pressure,...

Related articles

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...