Engine stopped?

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  #1  
Old 12-21-07, 12:33 PM
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Engine stopped?

2002 Dakota V6 2wd, 96k miles, recent tune up, cap/rt, plugs/wires, air/oil filters,just drove it last week, ran great.

Has been in garage for 1 week, started it up, pulled out of garage, idled for 30 sec, then stopped?
Doesnt start, acts like its flooded, slight smell of gas. Left it to sit for 2hrs, still not starting? Too chilly out to play around with it too long if not necessary.
Any ideas on where to start, coil perhaps, or maybe one of a dozen little sensors the automotive engineers just love to sprinkle under the hood?
This is where I wonder, should I purchase electronic auto code reader from parts house, seen them for $80? Does anyone like those gagets

Thanks in advance for any tips!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-21-07, 03:48 PM
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An engine needs 4 things to run, Air, Fuel, Compression, and Spark.

Start simple, does the check engine light come on when you turn the key on?

Step 2, check for spark, pull off a plug wire and install a spark tester (about $15 at a parts store). Do you have spark?

Step 3 check for fuel, spray some carb and choke cleaner into the throttle body while someone cranks the engine. If it starts you have a fuel problem.

If you have no compression, the engine will spin extremely fast when you crank it over. Does it sound normal to you?

Air is ALMOST never a problem

Check that out and let me know how you make out, that will give me an idea which direction to send you in.

Those code readers work ok for the most part, but do not give you access to ALL the info a full scan tool will. All in all not a bad tool to own but it may not help you here.
 
  #3  
Old 12-21-07, 10:14 PM
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I've put ether in throttle body earlier, not starting yet.
Pulled spark plug, tip wet with fuel, must be getting gas,
layed plug against metal valve cover, no spark.
Pulled coil, low side tests good by Haynes book specs, hi volt side has 16.33k ohms, book states should be 13.51k ohms?

I thought in morning, to run plug wire directly from coil and lay against engine, see if it sparks. Either way I think the cheapest part to try now may be the coil, $38. Cross my fingers an hope for best. (I figure this truck should be about due for new coil anyway at 96k, old coil has worked long enough)

Do you recommend the spark plug tester over the old way of just laying plug on metal engine parts? If it makes a difference, I'll surely get one?

Thanks for any more tips, or if you have ideas, always willing to listen.
 
  #4  
Old 12-22-07, 06:48 AM
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I doubt that amount of difference in the coil spec would create a no-spark condition. You may have a crank/cam sensor out. Not sure if your vehicle has an ignition module or not, but it would be a suspect, also. A code scan may be helpful.

Provided you are actually getting a good ground where you lay the plug, that should be okay.
 
  #5  
Old 12-22-07, 11:59 AM
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Put ignition coil back on mount, put plug wire w/plug directly on coil and layed across ground & cranked engine, still no spark? Borrowed OBD II scan tool, ( the $160 model) from parts store. No codes come up, just had the O2 sensor that I've been ignoring for months, cleared that code, disconnected neg batt cable 5 min. Started process over, no codes at all.

Would it be wise to purchase new coil, and see if it starts.
or,,, just have it towed to dealer, let them diagnos with computers?

Any thoughts?
Thanks,
 
  #6  
Old 12-22-07, 12:14 PM
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Unless you have money to burn (or it's still in warranty) I would skip the dealer in favor of a good independent. At $38 it might be worth the gamble; only problem with gambling on electrical parts is that they are not ususally returnable.

Did a little research on autozone.com. Unfortunately they don't have repair info on any Dakotas newer that '96, but both ignition systems in the older ones utilize an ignition module, which is one of the other possibles and like a bad coil will not directly give you a check engine code. Downside is the ignition module can run 2 or 3 times the cost of the coil and of course it may be neither the coil nor the module.

Some parts stores have the capability to test ignition modules.

Some more reading:

http://autorepair.about.com/cs/gener.../bldef_341.htm
 
  #7  
Old 12-22-07, 12:31 PM
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Did some part hunting on-line and I don't find a module listed for that vehicle, so that might be a dead end.
 
  #8  
Old 12-22-07, 07:21 PM
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OK no spark, does the truck have a tachometer? If so does it move when you crank the engine? That's usually a good indicator of whether or not the pcm sees an rpm input. If you still have the scan tool from the parts store see if you can monitor data, if so look for rpm while cranking the engine.

I couldn't find a free online wiring diagram to look at but you have the Haynes manual right? Look in wiring diagrams under ignition (might be listed under electronic engine controls) see what the wires to the coil do. USUALLY the coil will be powered whenever the key is on and the computer provides the ground to fire the coil. Make sure you have power to the coil. If you do connect a test light to the battery positive terminal and to the coil ground wire, have someone crank the engine. The light should flash rapidly. If it does the coil is bad. If it doesn't the pcm isn't firing the coil. At that point you're really just making guesses without a good scan tool.

Edit; How many coils does this truck have? Is it one big coil with 6 plug wires going to it, or is it a coil and distributor?
 
  #9  
Old 12-23-07, 05:48 PM
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No tach, on truck. Checked the scan tool, Actron, doesnt have RPM read outs, ran another try on scan today, no codes from truck yet.
New ignition coil at parts counter reads 10.4kohms, the truck coil reads 16.3k, book claims should be 13.5k ?

Not in hurry to guess at sensors. Purchased multi v dc probe and hi energy ignition spark tester. I'll get an analog multi meter tommorrow and try an figure out, between coil,
crank pos senser, or cam sensor. Also book says there is ASD (auto shut down relay) between coil and battery, will have to try to check that tommorrow.
When previously checking low side to coil, no volts on digital meter, will have to make more positive checks w/analog.
This truck has one coil, not much bigger than a golf ball, and one coil wire to center of dist cap.
 
  #10  
Old 12-23-07, 07:44 PM
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To my knowllege you're checking for spark improperly.
That way works great on '75 Plymouth but not these "New Generation" cars.

Go onto AutoZone.com and look up your vehicle (if it's listed)(some are not) and go to the troubleshooting section or get a Chiltons manual. It should describe the proper way to generate a spark from your ignition system.
A simple capacitor from Radio Shack and an aligator clip may be what you need to see if ignition is taking place.
You can actualy generate a spark to see if you have ignition without cranking the engine.
I have done this succesfully but you must follow the directions.
And yes, those code readers are worth it.

One more thing.......have you changed your fuel filter?.......I know you said the plugs had fuel on them but if your system isn't maintaining consistant fuel pressure wheather it be a bad pump, regulator or clogged filter it aint gonna fly.

One, one more thing........could your vehicle have been bumped unknowingly. It may have been bumped hard enough to activate the "Inertia" switch which cuts off the power the fuel pump...........just thinking out loud.
 
  #11  
Old 12-23-07, 07:57 PM
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Try putting the old parts back in if you haven't thrown them away yet......at least the ignition parts.

It could be a case of bad repro parts.

I allways save my old parts for a week or two for good measure just in case.

Remember K.I.S.S measns keep it simple.
It's easy to get carried away with these "New Gen" cars.
Who realy understands them when something goes wrong?
 
  #12  
Old 12-30-07, 03:40 PM
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Purchase spark tester, no spark. New ignition coil installed, ran great for 5 min. stalled, not starting, let sit for 2 days,
started right up, tried to drive it 1 mile to mechanic, stalled half way there, no start. Tow it to mechanic,
diagnosed the crank pos sensor bad, & battery only putting out 490 crankin amps from a 600 cc battery.

Had new crank pos sensor installed, truck running great again. They must hide that sensor up against the firewall I'm guessing, $100 to install & $98 for part. Just 2 bolts and electric plug connection.

Thanks for the tips and suggestions,
Happy New Year !
 
  #13  
Old 12-30-07, 08:56 PM
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Wow!

Who wouda' thunk it.

I love a happy ending.
 
  #14  
Old 12-31-07, 04:28 PM
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Well, there is indeed a lot (more) to think about in these newer cars, that is for sure. Gone are the days when shade tree mechancis could be about as good as the pros. And no sooner are the shade tree mechanics going to start catching up, with the help of boards like this, and then these engines will be obsolete and will instead be electrical or hydrogen or something.
 
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