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Engine cranks but won't start

 
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  • 1 Post By Ray_Dockrey
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Old 22 Aug 2015, 02:12 am
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Default Engine cranks but won't start

I have a 2006 PT Cruiser with just over 100k miles. I got almost a mile from work when my engine died. It has a 2 week old battery, and gas, but when I turn the key, it won't start, just cranks and won't turn over.
I don't know much about auto mechanics, but do you all have any ideas what might be wrong?
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Old 22 Aug 2015, 03:51 am
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

I would suggest taking the camshaft sensor off and try to start it while someone else is watching to see if the camshaft is turning. If it doesn't turn you need to check your timing belt. You are due for a timing belt replacement if you have not done so yet.

If the cam does turn and you are not getting any engine trouble codes I would suggest checking your fuel pressure. Make sure you are getting 57 +/- 5 PSI. If you don't have a fuel pressure tester just put some starter fluid in the throttle body and see if it starts to run. If it starts to run then you are not getting enough fuel.

If your engine light is on then you need to get an OBDII Scan Tool and found out what is the diagnostic trouble codes are. You can get an OBDII Scan Tool at Harbor Freight for a reasonable price. Post the codes here and we can help you step by step on the best way to diagnose the problem. Do not just start replacing parts based on the codes you get. Sometime it can be just a wiring problem.

Was there any problems before the PT Cruiser died? Give us a little history on the PT Cruiser such as mileage, if timing belt has been replaced, any sensors or parts replaced lately? The 2006 PT Cruiser is popular for electrical problems and we will help you try to find the electrical problem if its exists.

When you have a chance introduce yourself to the forum. Tell us a little about your Pt Cruiser and how you came to this forum.

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 22 Aug 2015 at 04:27 am.
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Old 22 Aug 2015, 05:45 am
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

No problems when I started driving home, but it's been overheating a lot lately, and leaking coolant on the driver's side of the radiator.
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Old 22 Aug 2015, 07:04 am
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

I'd suggest you go rent a pressure tester and do a test on the system. That includes the radiator cap. I'd also do a flush on the cooling system, replace the anti-freeze and thermostat. Be sure to back flush your heater core too. If all of that doesn't help, it could be the radiator. Known problem for the PT's as the put some crappy radiators in them from the factory. Seams leak over time as they've got plastic tanks on them.
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Old 22 Aug 2015, 11:23 am
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

Do you have tools to remove the camshaft sensor? Do you know where it is located on your PT Cruiser?
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Old 23 Aug 2015, 11:32 am
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
I'd suggest you go rent a pressure tester and do a test on the system. That includes the radiator cap. I'd also do a flush on the cooling system, replace the anti-freeze and thermostat. Be sure to back flush your heater core too. If all of that doesn't help, it could be the radiator. Known problem for the PT's as the put some crappy radiators in them from the factory. Seams leak over time as they've got plastic tanks on them.
You can't do a pressure test if it won't start and run. I think Steve is on the right track. The timing belt needs to be checked.
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Old 23 Aug 2015, 02:12 pm
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_Dockrey View Post
You can't do a pressure test if it won't start and run. I think Steve is on the right track. The timing belt needs to be checked.

You can't? I've done plenty of them over the years without the car running. Of course, I had to remove the thermostat first, but that's no big deal. Just remove the t-stat, and put the housing and hose back on, and use the pressure tester as directed. I found a leak in one of my older brothers Mustang several years ago that he couldn't find. It was a small leak at the intake. Pressure tester pushed anti-freeze out and I finally spotted it. New intake gasket took care of that problem for him. You have to be patient and watch the gauge and if you see it dropping, then you'd better start looking because the coolant is going somewhere. Sometimes it's been a loose hose clamp, sometimes it's been a pinhole in a hose and sometimes it's been a problem with the radiator. Had a Geo that kept leaking and finally discovered that the filler neck was cracked on it. How? Pressure tester. Test the radiator cap too. Sometimes it's them.
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Old 23 Aug 2015, 02:49 pm
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

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Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
You can't? I've done plenty of them over the years without the car running. Of course, I had to remove the thermostat first, but that's no big deal. Just remove the t-stat, and put the housing and hose back on, and use the pressure tester as directed. I found a leak in one of my older brothers Mustang several years ago that he couldn't find. It was a small leak at the intake. Pressure tester pushed anti-freeze out and I finally spotted it. New intake gasket took care of that problem for him. You have to be patient and watch the gauge and if you see it dropping, then you'd better start looking because the coolant is going somewhere. Sometimes it's been a loose hose clamp, sometimes it's been a pinhole in a hose and sometimes it's been a problem with the radiator. Had a Geo that kept leaking and finally discovered that the filler neck was cracked on it. How? Pressure tester. Test the radiator cap too. Sometimes it's them.
Wow! Seems like a lot of trouble of taking out the thermostat instead of waiting until the engine is running again.
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Old 23 Aug 2015, 03:14 pm
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

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Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
Wow! Seems like a lot of trouble of taking out the thermostat instead of waiting until the engine is running again.
The seal is on the t state. I don't thinks you can get it to seal without the t state holding the seal in place. The running issue is the most pressing issue. If it don't run it can't over heat. Belt needs to be ruled out or in before moving on at this point.
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Old 23 Aug 2015, 03:31 pm
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Default Re: Engine cranks but won't start

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Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
The seal is on the t state. I don't thinks you can get it to seal without the t state holding the seal in place. The running issue is the most pressing issue. If it don't run it can't over heat. Belt needs to be ruled out or in before moving on at this point.
I have read other posts where the members of the forum has run the PT Cruisers without a thermostat. There must be a substitute to hold the seal in place but that was an excellent point on the requirement to hold the seal in place.
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