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Crank but no spark

 
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Old 16 Mar 2014, 04:45 pm
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Default Crank but no spark

Hello all, been ghosting in here for a while as I try to find an answer to my PT's issue.

Car is a 2002 automatic and has 156k miles on it. I have replaced the timing belt about a year ago along with all regular maintenance (belts, spark plugs/wires etc).

What I have going on is that sometimes the car will crank and crank and crank but not start. There are no codes displayed following these instances. Then suddenly it will start like nothing is wrong.

Last night it did this and when it would not start, I popped the hood and I could smell gas so I pulled a spark plug wire off the coils and held it close to the coil while the car was cranked. I was looking for a spark from the coil the spark plug wire, but none was found. I suspected the could was breaking down so I replaced the coil.

Today I drive the car, shut it down and attempt a restart and once again it would crank and crank but not start. After about 4 attempts it finally starts and runs like nothing ever happened. Again no codes.

It only does this when the car is being started. Once started all is great until it acts up again following a shut down.

I also have a cooling fan that does not always come on by itself. I say it in that manner as the temp will occasionally rise and if I select the air conditioner it kicks the fan on and cools the engine. Following that the fan will cycle on and off with no problem. I have replaced the cooling fan relay, but this did not help. This is something that happens only once or so a month so vary sporadic.

Anyone have any idea what else I should be looking at with either of these two issues?
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Old 16 Mar 2014, 07:11 pm
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

The brushes on the cooling fan is probably worn down to the point it doesn't always make contact.
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Old 16 Mar 2014, 09:18 pm
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
The brushes on the cooling fan is probably worn down to the point it doesn't always make contact.
Thank you for the reply, but I would have thought that if there were any issues with the cooling fan motor then it would not matter if it was being cycled on automatically or by me using the a/c switch. I would expect to not work in either mode. Once the fan kicks on by me using the a/c switch, it seems fine for quite some time.

However it does seem that cooling fans are a problem area on these cars.

Thanks again

Last edited by cfm56doc; 16 Mar 2014 at 09:20 pm.
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Old 16 Mar 2014, 09:37 pm
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56doc View Post
Thank you for the reply, but I would have thought that if there were any issues with the cooling fan motor then it would not matter if it was being cycled on automatically or by me using the a/c switch. I would expect to not work in either mode. Once the fan kicks on by me using the a/c switch, it seems fine for quite some time.

However it does seem that cooling fans are a problem area on these cars.

Thanks again
These have a high and low speed. One side always goes first. So instead of 2 brushes there are 4.
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Old 17 Mar 2014, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
These have a high and low speed. One side always goes first. So instead of 2 brushes there are 4.
So is the a/c system a one speed only? I.e. If I select the a/c and the fan kicks in, then the fan kicks to high speed only or low speed only?

Not trying to be a pain, but I am trying to wrap my head around if it were a fan motor issue, why would it not work automatically when the temperature rises (does this very sporadically) but works fine when I select the air conditioning? Again after the fan kicks in the first time using the a/c selector switch, it will continue to operate as it should. Problem only seems to be the initial turning on in automatic mode and then that is maybe once a month it does that.

I appreciate your input!
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Old 17 Mar 2014, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

When the engine won't start, try wiggling the wires to the Camshaft sensor, or maybe disconnecting it and plug it back in. If the Camshaft sensor isn't working properly, you won't have spark becuase it tells the coil when to send spark to the plugs. Just a thought.

On the fan, you say it won't start by itself unless you hit the A/C, but, the low speed fan is very, very quiet. You can't hear it and can only see it if you have a flashlight pointed to the inside of the radiator. When you turn on the A/C, the high speed fan kicks on like it's supposed to and it's very loud, louder than the engine noise itself, so what I'm saying is the low speed fan might be on and your not hearing it so you think it's not running.
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Old 17 Mar 2014, 03:19 pm
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

Thank you for the input and explanation on the fan speeds.

I know the fan is not operating when the engine temp rises above half way (witnessed fan not turning) and it sounds like the A/C kicks the high speed on. I may try replacing the fan and see what happens. I was sure it was a sticking relay, but I replaced the relay with no help.
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Old 17 Mar 2014, 03:27 pm
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

As explained before. The fan has two speeds, 2 brushes inside the motor for each speed. For some reason, maybe it's because it's used more often, the low speed fan brushes tend to burn out only leaving the high speed. In the picture below you can see two long (high speed) brushes and two short (low speed) brushes. When the low speed brushes burn out they don't reach the center armature and stop that speed working. They can be replaced by taking the fan apart and replacing the brushes.

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Old 01 Apr 2014, 07:16 pm
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

Update:

A couple weeks ago the car shut down on me for the first time while driving. Gave me codes for an auto shutdown relay. I swapped the relay with the horn and it drove fine and started fine for 5 days. I put the suspect relay back in the auto shut down position and the car would not start. So I replaced the relay and no shuts downs or starting issues since.

As for the fan, since it was only like $53 for a complete fan assembly shipped to my house, I just replaced it to see what happens. I did notice that even though my old fan would come on when the A/C was selected, there definitely was no dual speeds with the OEM fan like I now have with the new aftermarket fan.

Hopefully between he relay and new fan, my Cruiser is good for many more trouble free miles as this is my daughters college car.

Thanks to all who gave me some advice on my car!

Last edited by cfm56doc; 01 Apr 2014 at 09:14 pm.
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Old 01 Apr 2014, 09:24 pm
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Default Re: Crank but no spark

you knwo I can tell you that for me its always good to find out what did or did not work so many will post there problems and get a ton of helps and then NEVER come back to say hey this worked that didnt or a simply Thanks for your input
so a HEARTFELT THANK you for letting us know
thecabinguy and cfm56doc like this.
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