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Help Won't Start!


VincyRay
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Help!!! I'm almost ready to shoot my coupe.

I've had her for 5 years, which is MUCH longer then any other car I've had. I've put over 150K on it in that time and haven't had any problems until the last few months.

First my transmission went out and I let the car sit for a few months before having a rebuilt one put in.

A few months after that, the 150 amp altenator fuse blew and I had to replace the altenator. The next day it died slowly, like the altenator was no good (first the stereo, then headlights, then inside lights then it just slowly cut off). I had the brand new altenator tested and even though it tested OK, I replaced it again.

Now for some reason, it still won't start. I checked at the spark plugs and they are not firing. So I took it to a local shop that is supposed to specialize in auto electronics (Johnny's Auto Electric - Garner, NC), where they SCREWED ME!!! First they charged me for 2.5 hours at $90/hour to diagnose a bad starter, which they quoted me $900+ to replace. When I showed them that the car would still turn over properly, but was not getting fire at the spark plugs, they said the starter seemed fine and they'd take another look (after my girlfriend already paid them $225). I don't think they did anything to it - they say now that they're afraid they'd do more damage checking the sensors and connectors which are worn from 15 years and 260K+ miles. I said to hell with it and brought it home. I'm pretty handy, I do most of the work on it myself including the altenator and timing belt, but don't really know where to begin with electric problems.

This is my baby, but I've put way too much in it in the last few months. Luckily, I've got another way to get around but I've got to either get her back on the road or get rid of her.

Please let me know what I can do - or at least a reasonable shop in N. Carolina.

Thanks!

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What does it sound like when you try to start it? Fast Click - usually battery, Silence with one tiny click - Starter, If its starting to die while ur driving then i would say its the alternator. Also check the ground wires going from ur (-) on the battery the engine block and chassis. The check the ones on the (+) side going to the engine block, the body, and to the alternator. If these connections are corroded with rust, dirt, etc. this might be the problem. Also check the connections on ur battery terminals. Then check all of ur plug wires and the coil connections.

That should just about do it!

oh and go get ur battery, starter and alternator checked. Process of elimination ;)

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I tried all that - I got a new battery the same time I replaced the altenator. I don't know how much I can do to check the starter while its still in the car though. But I'm pretty confident that it's not the starter - like I said, it turns over just fine.

I even went as far as to check that I had power going in to the ignigion coils - both of which registered, but didn't send anything to the plugs themselves. I wouldn't expect both coils to go at the same time, but I guess that's a possiblility - is there a way to check?

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I'm trying to avoid that if possible. I really don't want to tow it someplace and then tow it away if I can help it.

But with a bad sensor wouldn't it still start, and then cut off? I'm not getting any spark at all from the spark plug wires.

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Help!!! I'm almost ready to shoot my coupe.

I've had her for 5 years, which is MUCH longer then any other car I've had. I've put over 150K on it in that time and haven't had any problems until the last few months.

First my transmission went out and I let the car sit for a few months before having a rebuilt one put in.

A few months after that, the 150 amp altenator fuse blew and I had to replace the altenator. The next day it died slowly, like the altenator was no good (first the stereo, then headlights, then inside lights then it just slowly cut off). I had the brand new altenator tested and even though it tested OK, I replaced it again.

Now for some reason, it still won't start. I checked at the spark plugs and they are not firing. So I took it to a local shop that is supposed to specialize in auto electronics (Johnny's Auto Electric - Garner, NC), where they SCREWED ME!!! First they charged me for 2.5 hours at $90/hour to diagnose a bad starter, which they quoted me $900+ to replace. When I showed them that the car would still turn over properly, but was not getting fire at the spark plugs, they said the starter seemed fine and they'd take another look (after my girlfriend already paid them $225). I don't think they did anything to it - they say now that they're afraid they'd do more damage checking the sensors and connectors which are worn from 15 years and 260K+ miles. I said to hell with it and brought it home. I'm pretty handy, I do most of the work on it myself including the altenator and timing belt, but don't really know where to begin with electric problems.

This is my baby, but I've put way too much in it in the last few months. Luckily, I've got another way to get around but I've got to either get her back on the road or get rid of her.

Please let me know what I can do - or at least a reasonable shop in N. Carolina.

Thanks!

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Ironically, my sc400 is in having the starter replaced as I type this... I live in Wilmington but moved here a year ago from Raleigh, point is I used to have a Lexus guy in the Raleigh area, actually in Benson, I'm sure his name is in my records envelope... in my sc. I can send his contact info over when I get my car back tomorrow... If you have the local pages... his company was Power something... name was Roger... Lexus thru and thru, used to be with Johnson then launched his own business a few years back... Can't say enough Very Good.... Before doing my starter I checked on prices.... all quotes were 700-900.00 primarily due to the location of the starter on the 400.... everyone said its about a 6 hour job....

My symptom was failure to start...fatal click turns out the starter was drawing way too much current and killing the battery... actually killed the battery

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First step is too see if you actually are getting a spark to the plugs...IF your getting full spark then your electrical is probably ok..Fuel and air sensor reads could be bad..ECU maybe but dought it...

Does it crank and almost want to start or just nothing? Need more info to diagnos the problem...Try cleaning the Throttle body, change the air filter, check your MAF sensor, TPS sensor.. If no spark is being delivered to the spark plugs then you need to check out the electrical again, alternator, battery cables, etc..

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The engine spins over fine. I checked for a spark from both of the ignition coils by pulling a wire off of a plug and putting another plug in it while it is outside of the motor, and neither is firing. But, I do have something new to report... I checked the voltage going in to the coils, and it appears that there's a problem there. With the switch turned on, I'm reading 6 volts going in to one and none at the other. When I used the battery ground, I got 12 volts at both. I thought about just running a wire from a solid ground to the coils, but decided I should know more before I do that... With the ignition switch turned on and the car not running, should there be 12 volts going in to each coil? Where would they get their ground from - could it be a problem with the ground being switched as opposed to the positive?

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So - I thought about it and answered one of my own questions... I turned the car off and checked again and f course, neither one gets power withouth the switch being turned on. But I still don't want to try anything until I'm 100% sure that they are both supposed to get 12V in. And then if that does get the car to start, I've got the terrible task of finding out where the ground is broken and what else isn't working.

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I'm not getting a spark on either side. I'm really concerned about the voltage going in to the coils though - it looks to me like I've got a bad ground. I can ground either coil to the battery and get 12V, but on one side when I ground to the other wire going in to the coil I get 6V and nothing on the other.

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Sounds like electrical trouble for sure...Ecu maybe but dought it still..Something with your ignition system...Did you check your ignition fuse? The motor turns but you get no spark, right?...

If you can't figure it out have it looked at and diagnosed at service station... To have it checked out shouldn't cost you too much money...

I personally would work thru all the electrical until I located the problem..If the ignition is getting a different voltage that just sounds to wierd to me...How does the voltage get changed on the ignition by itself..Almost impossibel to fathom unless other electrical work was done and wires were crossed or something....It doesn't sound that major though, maybe ECU at the worst but I still dought that.... Good luck man, wish I could be of more help to you..

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