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Randall C
Randall C, ASE Master Tech
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 11443
Experience:  ASE Master Tech, 35 years, Foreign/Domestic repairs
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Metro: geo..spark, fuel, timing is good..engine and now it wont start

Customer Question

1992 Geo Metro, 1.0, auto.

I have spark, fuel, timing is good. It turns over fine. I degreased and washed the engine and now it won't start.

Please help! Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: GM
Expert:  hornet0419 replied 2 years ago.

hornet0419 : Hello and thank you for choosing just answer this evening. Is the spark a nice blue color at the end of the spark plug wire? Can you hear the fuel injectors clicking by putting a screw driver on them and placing your ear to the handle?
Customer:

The spark is large and bright. I can visually see the injector firing.

hornet0419 : When you try to start the motor does it seem to fire and start to run any?
Customer:

It seems to fire. Sounds normal but, does not start.

Customer:

We did test that it was actually firing when trying to start it.

hornet0419 : Have you tried to use any ether or starting fluid yet. Since this vehicle only has one injector and mixes the air and fuel before reaching the cylinder some water may have gotten in the intake manifold which would make it hard to start?
Customer:

I did use some starting fluid. No go.

hornet0419 : Also I would remove the distributor cap and electrical connections to it and manually dry them out. Any moisture in the distributor will also make it hard to start.
Customer:

I have done that.

Customer:

Do you know what the crank angle sensor should ohm out at?

hornet0419 : Yes it should be between 140 and 180ohms
Customer:

hmm. so 20k on the multimeter is 1.6. is that correct?

hornet0419 : You will want to be on the 2k scale and it should read .16
Customer:

let me verify. brb...

hornet0419 : Ok
Customer:

It reads 000 with the 2k setting. It reads 156 on 2000.

hornet0419 : That is still in specifications then. When you first cranked the motor right after washing were there any abnormal noises
Customer:

no

hornet0419 : There are a few other sensors that have enough of an impact on fuel delivery to flood the motor enough not to start. Before testing that to figure out if the issue is fuel or ignition related you can unplug the fuel injector and just spray the starting fluid to see if it will start for a second and verify that you are getting to much fuel.
Customer:

ok. brb.

Customer:

Still no go.

hornet0419 : Is there a check engine lamp on while cranking?
Customer:

yes.

Customer:

I have checked for codes. none are present.

Customer:

except for code 42 which I caused by trying to start it with the cam angle sensor disconnected...

hornet0419 : Ok and that code should clear on its on now that it's reconnected. When you verified the spark was it a consistent steady spark?
Customer:

yes. it seemed to follow the engine firing sequence. We did check all three spark plugs several times.

hornet0419 : ok unfortunately with good spark timing and fuel delivery I am unable to come up with any other suggestions. I am going to find another gm expert for you that may be able to offer further assistance. You do not need to click accept for me and someone should be with you shortly. Thank you for your time.
Customer:

Thank you for helping.

Customer:

one quick note...

Customer:

We also sprayed starting fluid straight in to the cylinders and it still did not try to run.

Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
did you still need help ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes Please.
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
ok you have confirmed spark and you can visually see fuel correct ?when you removed the spark plugs where they soaked with gas or water ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Cylinders 2 and 3 where wet. the first one was dry. I am unsure if it was water.
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
ok an engine needs sprak,fuel and compression to run.you have confirmed spark and fuel.before you do a compression test i would replave the spark plugs as they may have become fouled out when it either was missing sprak before after you washed the engine.try a set of spark plugs.if it still will not start the next step is a compression test
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. question. We also sprayed starting fluid into all 3 cylinders and still no go. Can plugs fire even when they are fouled?
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
if they are foulded they will NOT spark.so you are down to fouled plugs or compression
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am getting spark. I have verified that several times. Hmm. Why would I loose compression after washing the engine?
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
hard to tell.you are seeing spark coming out of all the spark plug gaps when cranking it over?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. Question. I checked the timing with a timing light while the Misses was turning the engine over with the starter and key. It read 5 degrees BTDC. That is correct according to the sticker under the hood. Could the timing still be off some how?
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
not unless the timing belt jumped.you confirmed spark out of the plugs,fuel ( and even added fuel to make sure ) you are down to compression.can you do a compression test and tell me what you get for reading on all the cylinders?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do have a compression tester. It is pouring ran right now so I it will take a bit do it. Can I contact you after I test it? You think it could be electrical?
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
i dont think so if you have spark and fuel.let me know how the compression test goes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will do. Going out now.
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
ok let me know
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I decided to give it a try before the tests. It tried to start this time. Then I ran the tests. 120 on all. The plugs where very wet. Smelled like gasoline. Afterwards I tried it again, and it tried to catch. Should I keep trying to dry it out some how? Plugs getting too wet?
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
replace the plugs.try to start it if it still will not start when you are cranking it over do you see the fuel mist out in pulses from the fuel injector?or is it pouring in ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will do. The injector does mist. I will give you an update in about an hour. Thank you for trying to help. I appreciate it greatly. Talk to you in a bit.
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
ok talk soon
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The new spark plugs did not work. I bought some "Wire Dryer" and carb cleaner. I am going to clean all the electrical connections again and spray the carb cleaner down in the cylinder and intake to let it clean and hopefully remove any water. I will then turn the engine over to blow out and excess water and re try. Sound like a good idea?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Was unavailable upon my return.
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.
was unavailable upon MY return
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you there?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I have read everything the other expert and you discussed.

We are both uncertain as to what has happened but please bear in mind that we are not online every second of every day. We do come and go and sometimes have to wait on customers as well as customers may? have to wait on us

If you plugs are getting that wet? I suggest pulling the plugs, unhooking injector. move wires clear. crank engine over and over with plugs out to help dry cylinders. You will not have fuel when injector unplugged.

Try drying out this way. Be sure plugs are real dry when you go back with them,. Do not hook up injector, just crank with plugs in and keep cranking. Hopefulley it will pop and sputter some. Keep cranking with injector unplugged so we can really get cylinders dry

Then hook up injector. do not touch gas pedal./ just crank and see if it fires
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand about not being online 24/7. This is the first time I have used this service and I think I am getting a bit turned around with it. I will try to get better at it. I think the other tech and I just missed each other. I will continue to keep drying it out in the manner you described. Thank you for helping! I will be MORE THAN HAPPY to pay you for your time if this gets resolved!!!!!!!!

It will be a bit before I will try to crank on it again. I need to hook it back up to the charger now, and go to the store. When I get back, I will continue to crank it with the injector disconnected. I will let the starter rest several minutes after a few tries. How long should I do this?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
plugs OUT as well. i dont know, say 4-6 times cranking on/off? then put plugs in and do NOT hook up injector, crank several times again. We are trying to dry it out. I am just hoping the water did not get on soemthing to skip the timing belt a toothe or so. even with, you would get compression but a littl low. Yours is a little low by specs
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK. I will do as you request. I will get back with you in a about an hour.
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
take your time. I am on/off all evening
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you. I am still drying it out. I have a question because I am second guessing myself...

Looking at the timing marks on the crank pully...

It shows from left to right; 20,,,,,10,,,,,0

1) 0 is TDC correct?
2) 5 degrees BTDC is: 20,,,,,10,,,,,0,,,,5 correct? The 5 being to the RIGHT of the 0.

I am going back out to dry. I want to dry crank it without plugs one more time then do it about 3 times with plugs in and injector unplugged....
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
yes, the O is #1 piston at top. You would have to pull #1 plug, bump engine till you feel burst of air with finger in plug hole, then go back to crank and line up to O

then the timing marks should like like pic #2

be advised, your spark may look ok byt could still be weak. you may have to do cap/rotor to be safe if not done yet

graphic



graphic
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. so, I am reading it correctly with the 5 degrees BTDC being on the RIGHT side of the 0? I have read much saying it is correct, but I find it odd that there are not any markings to the right of the 0.

Now, I believe it is dry. What is next? Plug in injector or starting fluid?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
tell ya what, spray a littl starting fluid in first and try
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OOH! It tried very hard to start several times with just a little squirt. Next?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
ok, plug in injector and lest see what happens
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
nothing. same as before. bummer. Thought we had it.
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
something is odd. what did you hose down? was it running when you did this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Everything. I used degreaser and sprayed it down with a light pressure garden canister of water. It was not running. Should I dry it out again and use starting fluid again?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
At this point I really dont feel you did anything with timing belt. your compression is somewhat ok, You are pumping fuel. injector works, you are getting spark. compression ok to run so.. I am leaning to either you need new cap and rotor as well as may consider wire set. I am leaning to wek spark. it may look ok but,, very hard to tell when it becomes weak enough to allow no start. the starting fluid is more potent than gas. this is why it tries to hit on fluid. weak spark can ignite starting fluid but not gas. 2 complete different fluids. I will submit as answer as i cant think of anything else. we and the other expert have covered all bases. It really is looking like weak spark. its does not take much.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hmm. OK. I bought the car just a week ago and it has new wires, cap and rotor button. Should I replace again or maybe the coil?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
the proble m is not so much being new but rather harsh degreaser. it does not take much to ruin a cap/rotor. if you really soaked coil with degreaser? then yes,, you could have affected it. you can also try cranking in the dark looking for any small sparks from coil, wires, cap etc trying to find ground
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Good point. Just got back from store with new wires and coil. I will try them tomorrow afternoon. Will I still be able to contact you? Take care.
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
ok, I ma ok with wires and coil but,, i did mention i was leaning more to cap/rotor as well. the degreaser can work its way into area of cap and affect it
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK. I will stop and pick up a cap and rotor on the way home.
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
i feel best. I tend to lean more to them but the more ignition you can change, I feel the better but hate to see you drop the $ but.. all signs seem to point that way
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
New plugs, wires, rotor button, cap, coil. No go. With it dry and spraying a little starting fluid it tries to catch.
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
I am real sorry but I have no idea what has happened.you see gas from injector, you have changed ignition parts. can you turn the crank to line up the O onthe pulley then undo top cover so we can check timing
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, so put timing mark on crank pully to zero. then take timing belt cover off and look at the tick marks? I may need help on how to read those marks. Give me about thirty minutes...
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
k
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok. done. now. i cant seem to line up all 4 marks. should all 4 be lined up?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
dont worry about crank gear as you have the pulley at O.. so you should see a mark on cam lining up to cover mark behind cam gear like shown

graphic
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well. I had to remove the crank pully to take the timing cover off. so, make sure the crank mark is at 12 oclock and the cam marks are lined up, correct? Now, how do I make sure that I am not 180 degrees out?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
at this point, its not an issue. just need to align crank gear as shown, and if cam marks not lined, rotoate another turn to see if they line up. the proper way is to tak out#1 plug, turn engine by hand till burst of air, then line up crank and llok at cam marks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok, marks lined up. 1# XXXXX is up. Button up and check timing? This so odd. Was I need reading the timing correct?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
so the crank gear is lined up and the 2 marks on cam gear are aligned?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
I am out of ideas. You have confirmed everything except,, valid strong spark.

Are you sure plug wires on correct spots at cap and plugs?

can you take coil wire off cap and hold close to metal, crank and be able to throw a 1/2"+ spark
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
wait. I think we misunderstood each other. The timing marks are lined up because I just aligned them. They were not correct.
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
you had set crank gear and cam was off? you took belt off and redid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes. i she fired right up. ERRR, i feel so stupid... She is running but rough. check with timing light and adjust the dizzy? You are so going to get free advertising on my website for helping me on top of your payment!
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
You go boy. Its been long go at it but..you must have got that belt wet with degreaser and it jumped, skipped. i do suggest a new belt since you know where problem is in case old belt degraded due to degreaser.be 100% marks are correct. Adjust timing, if still rough, may? require a good drive an blowout on hwy
Randall C, ASE Master Tech
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 11443
Experience: ASE Master Tech, 35 years, Foreign/Domestic repairs
Randall C and other GM Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help. Well, the timing seems to be set.... there is a loud ticking though and its still rough. I have let it warm up. any ideas?
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
Ticking, unsure not being there. Are you sure no water got down in engine?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
pretty sure. I just drove it a good bit. seems to run good. Thank you again for your help! Take care!
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
Best I have. Hope all goes well. Change that oil again soon from all the cranking and excess gas
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will do. I just changed it a couple days ago, full synthetic. I will put your screen name on some of my forums and give you props! It started smoothing out more and get smoother. Thanks again.
Expert:  Randall C replied 2 years ago.
I think it will once rings seat again etc from all the gas going through it

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Randall C
Randall C
Auto Technician / Consultant
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ASE Master Tech, 35 years, Foreign/Domestic repairs