How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask 350matt Your Own Question
350matt
350matt, Engineer
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 20580
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer BEng Hons 22 years experience in car engine industry, 10 years in formula 1
12772297
Type Your Mitsubishi Question Here...
350matt is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Mitsubishi Eclipse: , my 97 eclipse rs randomly stopped

Customer Question

Hello, my 97 eclipse rs randomly stopped on me while driving now it wont start. Originally it cranked but no start, now if I crank it for a while it'll stop cranking and I'll have to leave it and come back about a day later. I've replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, I've checked for spark and replaced spark plugs with platinum ones. Also now the car power has started to die out after so long from cranking and I have to disconnect from the negative and reconnect to get power. I've heard it could be the timing belt tensioner. Some time before it stopped the charging failure light did come on. I've also heard that it could be the generator/alternator relay. I've poured tons of money into this car. I'm in need of a solution.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.

Hello

I'd go back to basics a little

1st check for spark by removing one of the spark plugs and plug it back into its lead and rest it on the metal of the engine ( DO NOT hold it on place by hand) then have your assistant turn the engine over whilst you watch the plug. It should give a fat blue spark at regular intervals.

If not then check that there's power to the coil pack (at the other end of the plug lead) using a meter. If there’s 12V at the pack but no spark then check the ECU power supply (fuse and relay) and also the connections to the crankshaft speed sensor.

If there is a spark and its still not starting then its likely that the ECU isn't opening the fuel injectors, if the injectors are working you can hear them click - its difficult to hear them with background noise so use a long screwdriver like a stethoscope, placing the handle end in your ear and the metal tip against the body of the injector whilst your assistant turns the engine over.

If you can't hear anything check the ECU power is present by measuring voltage at the fusebox and on its relay socket if OK then check the connections to the crank speed sensor and consider replacing this sensor if the wiring / connections look OK

If the car will start using a squirt of quick/ easi start into the intake then this confirms the problem is lack of fuel

Also its worth checking that the electric pump that feeds the injectors is working correctly, it should run for a few seconds then switch off when you first turn the ignition on. If you remove the filler cap to the fuel tank and listen inside while your assistant flicks the ignition you should hear it clearly

If the connections to this are corroded or damaged then the pump could stop at any time. Check that its relay switches in and out and the relay contacts are clean and bright – replace the relay if in any doubt and do the same for the fuse, ideally measure the voltage at the pump and check its getting 12V.

You should be getting around 3 bar measured at the injector rail check to see if the plugs are getting wet indicating fuel is flowing – if not and the injectors are opening then there’s a problem with the pump or the filter or even the pressure regulator


Could also be incorrect fuelling due to a faulty water temp sensor. If this is the problem then the ECU will never add the 'cold start' extra fuel required if the car starts OK when warm then I 'd look into changing the sensor.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So in my initial post I meant to say that I have already checked spark. I replaced the spark plugs and coil just in case as well. I've replaced the fuel pump and I can hear it come on every time I turn the ignition to the run position without cranking it. I also changed the fuel filter just in case as well. I've also already tried the starting fluid in the inhale

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

thanks for the extra information
So you have a spark at the plugs in which case the next test is to confirm if the ECU is opening the injectors

using the screwdriver method I outline above will show if the ECU is fully functioning

you don't mention if the car started on the fluid in the intake method as if it does then this confirms the engine is OK and the injectors are not being operated

if it doesn't start with this method the next thing to do is measure compression pressures to confirm that all cylinders are within 10-15 psi of each other as this confirms that the cam timing is OK and the engine is healthy
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No it didn't start but I'm going to try it again closer to the intake. Then I will update you with it

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
understood

good luck
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hi Chris

do you still need help?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes. I'm still going through things and referring to everything you said

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
understood

good luck
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, so the engine didn't start using the starting fluid method. Also I may have forgotten to mention that I have replaced the crankshaft sensor, I believe. It is the sensor closest to the passenger's side.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

One more thing, I was told that there was a valve on the end of my fuel rail, which there was, and I unscrewed it and pressed it in and gas sprayed out so I guess that the fuel is reaching the engine. It looks as if the belt is intact as well.

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

Ok if it didn't start with starter fluid but you have spark then the next test is to do a compression test
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok is there a way around this for the moment because I don't currently have the gauges.

Also here are a few other things that I have done that I did not mention earlier. I drained the oil and coolant to make sure they aren't mixed. I made sure the belts aren't broken. Like I said in the last message, I replaced the crankshaft sensor.

Another way we haven't checked too is the other electronics. I said before that the system charging light came on a little before the car stopped. Now I didn't say earlier but I also replaced the wire from the battery to the starter with either 1/0 or 2/0. Could this have overpowered the system and caused problems?

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

OK ignoring the compression test for the moment then its well worth checking that you have power to the ECUand the main battery connections are tight and uncorroded
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So I've replaced the battery terminals a number of times. So how would I go about checking the ecu and while we're at it doing a compression test as well that way I can know before doing it.

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello

in the engine bay fusebox locate the ECU / ECM fuse and use a voltmeter to measure what power is there with the ignition on

a compression test needs a a compression gauge which you screw in place of the spark plug

then with the ECU fuse removed so it won't try and start you crank the engine on the starter with the throttle fully open until the pressure on the gauge stops increasing - it should only take 10 seconds of cranking or so to achieve this
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok I have a few questions. First what do you mean by the throttle fully open? Second, my fuse box doesn't have one that says ECU or ECM. It has one that says engine. Also, once this fuse is located, what should be the voltage and what should I measure the voltage in? Lastly, once I remove this fuse and screw the gauge into the space where the spark plugs were, what should the pressure read and is that I need to do to measure the pressure?

Also I've attached a photo of my fuse box cover for reference

Fuse Box Cover

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello

Ok its going to be the 30A Engine ( moteur) one

the voltage should be 12V with the ignition on but the engine off

the pressure shodul be about 150psi on all cylinders with about 15 psi variation allowed between the cylinders

this how to should help

http://www.wikihow.com/Check-Compression-on-a-First-Generation-Mitsubishi-Eclipse
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. Am I measuring the volts or current? And would this be in Dc?

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

you're measuring volts in DC
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So I have no compression in 1 - 3 and it died out before I got to the 4th. And there are 12V

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

for the battery to have died during cranking its possible it wasn't cranking fast enough to generate compression pressure in the other cylinders

but you should have generated some pressure at least

to have no pressure at all then its possible the valves has hit the pistons and cannot seal any more

Sorry to say that the cylinder head may have to come off to make repairs

I'd next fully charge the battery so you can double check the compression pressures really are low
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well I was cranking it from my jumper/battery pack. My battery died long ago so I've used my portable battery pack in its place. I dont mind if the head has to come off. I've spent so much time and money on this engine that I am just consumed in getting it started.

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

OK its well worth checking the compression again with a charged battery pack and also check that the throttle / gas pedal is fully open as it won't generate any pressure with a closed throttle
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

SO I've charged my battery and tried to crank it. Now it cranks a couple of times then stops cranking and I get a constant clicking sounds. Could I have worn out my starter from the constant cranking? Also from the few cranks I did, it never even got close to 30 psi. Maybe one notch on the gauge.

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

the constant clicking is the starter solenoid thumping in and out because there's not enough battery power to hold it in

so its likely that your battery is faulty and needs replacing

but before you do check the connections to the battery are on tight and the terminals are clean and bright. Do the same for the engine / gearbox earth strap.
Then follow the main positive lead back to the engine and down to the starter motor, and check the connection at this end as well.

There should also be a small wire to the motor which should have 12V when you're turning the ignition switch to crank. If the 12V isn't there, check back along this wire for damage to the insulation or corroded connections

This 12V feed comes directly from the ignition switch so this may be faulty and need replacing

Check the resistance of the main positive lead that runs down to the motor as anything more than a few ohms and it should be replaced
Don't forget to try a jump start from another car / battery as its possible the battery is poor, if you have a voltmeter a healthy battery should read 12.7+V

also try substituting the battery for another as I've known a very flat battery to drag down the system voltage too far even with jump cables
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well I charged the battery completely and It was at 12V. I went to check the reading at the engine fuse and it read about 11V on the battery. Usually on the jump pack it reads about 12V. This clicking would also happen on the jump pack as well so I believe it isn't a lack of power from that end. So I'll go and check the connections to the starter. Now you also said,

"There should also be a small wire to the motor which should have 12V when you're turning the ignition switch to crank. If the 12V isn't there, check back along this wire for damage to the insulation or corroded connections

This 12V feed comes directly from the ignition switch so this may be faulty and need replacing "

Is this the second wire that is coming from the starter? And if so from where should I check the voltage? Is there a fuse or in the wire itself? There is a small connector right before it reaches the starter.

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

thats right its the small 2nd wire , this is the low power one

however if you have a clicking then this usually means the small wire for the solenoid has power
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So am I measuring the voltage from the starter or do I have to cut the wire bundle and follow this wire back to the source?

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello

just measure the voltage between the starter and the engine block
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry it has taken so long to reply, I had to do some other work. How would I go about measuring the voltage between the starter and engine block?

Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello Chris

the 12V feed you're measuring is off the small terminal that secures the small wire

so you don't have to expose the wiring to check the feed, just use the 2 probes off the voltmeter to touch on the small terminal and onto the block

with the ignition switched on and the key turned to crank you should measure 12V
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So should I have someone cranking the car or is it fine to just leave it in the on start position and measure it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I never got a reply from you and I almost forgot. So I checked the voltage without cranking and got nothing. Then I had someone crank while I measured the voltage and the voltage seemed fine. What I did was hook my jump box up to the battery that measures the voltage and then used my volt meter to measure the voltage at the starter's second electrical line and it measured about 10v. Does this mean it's getting plenty of voltage and the starting solenoid isn't the problem?
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello
if you can feel / hear the starter solenoid 'click' during turning the key to crank then that's functioning and the issue lies with the starter motor itself
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The starter motor? I took the starter off and had it tester at autozone. The receipt said that the voltage was fine and something else was fine as well. When it came to drive function it had N/a next to it, I'm guessing due to it not being needed while driving. Now my car actually stopped while I was driving so does that help in the diagnosis?
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Ok
so the starter motor tests fine but occasioanlly the starter will not turn the motor over?
so this means its losing power form soemwhrere
looking back over all the replies
something occurs to me
is the battery any good?
how old is its and have you tried a new one at any point?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well I have charged the battery completely as you said I should. It held charge and when I cranked the motor the starter tries to start it but it never turns over. As a brief recap of the entire situation, I was driving down the road and the car randomly stopped on me. I tried starting it again but it wouldn't turn over. You had me check compression and I told you that there wasn't any. I also checked spark, which there was. I also replaced the factory spark plugs with platinum ones. Also I replaced the ignition coil.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh and we were concerned about fuel so I checked the fuel rail which gas squirted from. Also I replaced my fuel pump and filter.
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
thanks for the recap
I didn't realise that you got a negative compression result
with no compression then the engine will never start
if its low on 2 out of the 4 cylinders then this could be a slip in cam timing
but if its low on all 4 then either the valves are bent or the pistons aren't sealing
if you squirt some oil into the bore, repeat the compression test and hte reading goes up then its the bores
if its the same as last time then its the valves
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. So you're saying to put oil in where the spark plugs were and re test the compression and see if it remains the same or increases?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So what am I doing next?
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello
what was the result of the compression test with a small squirt of oil in the cylinder
did the pressure increase?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok So I did all of the compression tests again. No compression on 1, 3 & 4 from left to right. And 45 psi on the 2nd. I've attached a photo for reference.
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello
OK
I'd say that the next step is to remove the cylinder head for reapir as I'd say its likely that the cam timing has slipped and you've had valves touch pistons
the head will need rebuilding with new valves and a fresh head gasket and check the block and head surfaces for flatness while its all apart
sorry its not better news but with compression in all cylinders the engine will start
alternativley you may wish to source a good used engine and drop that in instead as the cost will be comparable
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok So do you have a diagram or video you can refer me to do that I can gain a better understanding of what you think the problem is and what it is that I will be doing? Maybe one explaining off cam timing, or valves touching pistons. And another on how to replace them
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello
this one is quite comprehensive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06l5jHMZt0Y
& part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDf_IrEEbYg
Bear in mind that the site takes a deposit from you at the beginning and this is held by the site until you rate my answer at which point the cash is split between the site and the expert. so if my answers have been helpful please rate my answer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand. If I rate your service now will I be able to continue asking questions in case my problem isn't solved?
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Hello
yes you should be able to
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well the site says to rate you once I have completed my questioning. Maybe to ensure they get my opinion on the entire process.
Expert:  350matt replied 1 year ago.
Understood, just do what you're comfortable with
let me know how you get on

Related Mitsubishi Questions