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Steve, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience:  25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician
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Chevy: geo..cranks..checked timing..Even replaced head ... Any ideas

Customer Question

I have a chevy geo metro 1.3 its cranks but does not start has spark fuel and checked timing still no go.. Even replaced head ... Any ideas
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Steve replied 11 years ago.

If you have spark, fuel, compression, and it all happens at the right time, the engine should run, but you know this.... therefore I am assuming you are overlooking something (like we all do when staring at a problem for too long sometimes).

This is a throttle body injection system, i believe; can you see fuel spraying in during cranking? Measuring fuel pressure and volume may be a good idea, just to not overlook something.

Try taking the spark plugs out, laying them on the engine while plugged onto the cables, and cranking it over while watching for spark at the electrodes.

Take a vacuum gauge and check cranking vacuum at the intake manifold ; if it is very low or close to zero, loosen the exhaust pipe at the engine and try again (checking for excessive backpressure from a clogged CAT or bent pipe)

Measure compression; if unusual, recheck the timing marks on the cam and crank.

I believe this is a distributor ignition system; any chance you have the distributor indexed wrong (like 180 degrees?)

Any service codes stored that might give a clue?

I hope this is helpful; if so clicking my accept button would be most appreciated; if anything else occurs to me, Ill be sure to post it for you, but it sounds like you know what you are doing and have covered the bases once. Go have a beer and get a good nights sleep; things often look different in the morning!

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: It has fuel injection ... and it disturlbless... I drove the car in the shop and change oil pan and when i got it all back toghter it would not start... that is why I thought mabe it jumped time... so i replaced the head... if my book is right the timing markes are E on the cam saft line up with the mark on the vavle cover... and there is a arrow on the crank that lines up with the mark on the block... so would a blocked CAT make ya car not start ... and the check engine light stays on .... let me no thanks
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Also will I need a Scan tool to get the codes or is there a way to count the flashes of the engine light
Expert:  Steve replied 11 years ago.

you dont mention the year, but if it has DIS it probably is a 96 or up OBD car and you cant obtain P-codes without a scan tool.

If it drove in the shop to replace the oil pan, and would not drive out after pan replacement, then chances are it was something that was distrubed during the oil pan replacement. Things usually dont just fail otherwise...

How about the crank position sensor? did you have to remove the plug to the crank sensor to get the pan off?

So, did you take the plugs out, plug them on to the wires and crank the engine to verify spark at all cylinders? How have you verified that there is fuel getting to the cylinders (in your original post you mention having verified fuel, but I don't know what method you used)... the absolute best method would be if you are able to remove the fuel rail and injectors (if it is a port injected engine) as an assembly, and place them in a pan and visually verify that the injectors are spraying pulses of fuel during cranking. this would eliminate all control system problems and fuel supply problems in one step, if it is possible.

Let me know how you make out....

Need to check for these 2 basic things before deciding what direction to go with diagnosis here...

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