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Mike S.
Mike S., Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 7298
Experience:  25+ years experience as an auto mechanic.
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Toyota: no start but batt and alt are good.

Customer Question

Well it's not a Toyota but... I have a customers car on the shop now. It was a no start but batt and alt are good. It will fire after a long time if cranking but immediately dies. I gave also checked flow from fuel pump. I am thinking coils or knock or crank sensor. I should also add that it was acting like an alternator from her description but it year fine in and out of the car. I believe that she was confusing a dying issue with a charging issue. Any way to test the knock and cam with out a check engine code?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 years ago.

Do you have a timing light? Usually, you can test the knock sensor by hooking up a timing light and watch to see if the timing retards as you take something metal and tap near the knock sensor.

To test the cam and crank sensors, click here.

Without a scan tool, you are basically left with wiggling the wires and connections and listening if the engine misfires, although if you use an ohmmeter you can check the resistance of the wiring. Plus, you could check for codes for free at most auto-parts stores.

Have you tried to rule out the fuel system by seeing if it starts right away with starting fluid?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have not rules out the fuel system but I have pulled the fuel line to see if I'm getting flow. The car will not start. It was sputtering the other night and now just cranks and cranks. It will sputter start every now and then but instantly dies. The know wouldn't cause it to not start I don't believe it would just cause it to run rough. I'm going to test with starting fluid but at this point I'm leaning towards cps. I wanted opinion before I quoted cps to my customer because it is built into the dist. If there is no start on ether could you think of anything other than cps and dist?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 years ago.

How old is the gasoline? Is it over 1 year old? If so, do you have anything else to try some of that gas in, like a lawn mower or lawn tractor?

Are the spark plugs gas fouled?

Is the check engine light even coming on or flashing?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Nothing on the light. The gas is good checked yesterday in my mower after testing the fuel pump. I checked the plugs this morning
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 years ago.
Ok, try the starting fluid.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 5 years ago.

It's got to be either fuel or spark. If it starts with the starting fluid, change the fuel filter and clean the fuel injectors. If still no start with the starting fluid, I assume you have a timing light. See if the timing light is working while cranking the engine when it won't start. Or just do it the old fashion way and hold a wire close to ground or make a test plug.