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'01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

 
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  • 2 Post By dsab
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 Aug 2017, 09:33 pm
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Default '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

Hey people,

I have a '01 PT Cruiser that won't start. When I turn the key, it slowly clicks once and that's it. I'll summarize what it was doing then list what I've checked.

The day it broke down, my girlfriend drove it. When she turned the key, she could smell a little gasoline. At every stop sign and redlight, she would hit the brake and it would sputter and die; if she hit the gas while it was dying, the car stayed going.
After about 15 minutes and 8 miles, the car started over heating. It was smoking though the gauge didn't read "Hot". She added some water. I came, added water, finally got it started (it turned over slow) and drove it a mile home, where she sits today.

I noticed that the radiator had a hole in the bottom of it with fluid squirting out, hence the smoking. I got that sealed up where it's holding water again. Now, what I've tried:

1. The battery was about dead so I cleaned the connections, hooked it up in another vehicle and jumped it. My battery is at 45% power now (according to AutoZone). Even with jumper cables hooked onto it in my car, it still only clicks as I try to turn the ignition. With the headlights on, they do him about 50% when I try to turn it.

2. I removed the starter. O'Reillys tested it twice and told me that it was fine.

3. I removed both belts and tested my pulley's to make sure they're not locked up. All but the main crankshaft pulley spin freely (which is the way, I believe, it's supposed to).

Now, I've been told by a buddy that it COULD be the spark plugs, coils or intake manifold. Online, with similar problems, a forum was talking about the fuses, relays and jumping pins 30 & 87 in the bottom of fuses - however electrical stuff is beyond my skill.

At this point, I'm not for sure what to check next. Suggestions?
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Old 02 Aug 2017, 10:34 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

The easiest thing do do would be to put in a battery that is fully charged the try it. Also make sure the connections to the starter are tight and in good condition.Spark plugs, coils, or the intake manifold will not prevent the car from cranking.
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Old 02 Aug 2017, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

I am suggesting that the engine overheated after it started leaking coolant. I believe what happened was the coolant leaked fast enough where your girl friend didn't see the temperature go up to the overheating mark. After the coolant drained below the coolant temperature sensor it no longer send an overheated condition to the temperature gauge. Your girl friend didn't know this and started cooking the engine driving it further.

I would suggest manually try turning the crankshaft and see if it turns. Do you have coolant in the oil?
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Old 03 Aug 2017, 06:35 am
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

I agree with dsab. That's what I'd try first, but I'M NOT A MECHANIC! And the crank pulley won't free spin. You'll have to actually put a large socket with a ratchet on it in order to turn the crankshaft. It WILL turn easier if you remove all of the spark plugs first.
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Last edited by chuzz; 03 Aug 2017 at 06:38 am.
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Old 03 Aug 2017, 07:12 am
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

I would expect with the spark plugs out you will see a geyser when you turn the key... As in i think 1 or more cylinder filled with water from a failed headgasket.

Take the spark plugs out,
look in the holes,
Turn the key(water may shoot out so don't look in the holes)
Post a pic of the sparkplugs

If you are capable of doing a compression test, that would be my next step
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Last edited by rob302; 03 Aug 2017 at 07:16 am.
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Old 03 Aug 2017, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

Thanks, people!
I'll try a fully charged battery later on today and if that don't work I'll move on to the plugs. I'm not for sure on how to do a compression test but I'll look into it!
Thanks for the tips and if y'all have any more suggestions, please keep 'em coming! Thanks!
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Old 03 Aug 2017, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

And no coolant in the oil, i checked the dipstick and its still black and isn't creamy. :-/
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Old 04 Aug 2017, 02:09 am
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

Update: I took a 19mm socket on a 3/8 ratchet and extension and tried to turn the crankshaft pulley. The ratchet and 2 extensions were cheaply made but did break. I used a little prybar/sissy bar on the ratchet, too, but no budge.

I'm going to take the spark plugs out, to hopefully lower the compression and try again with better tools.. :-/
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Old 04 Aug 2017, 07:43 am
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Default Re: '01 Cruiser won't start, only clicks - HELP

That doesn't sound good. Remove the spark plugs now and see if it'll crank. If not, put some type of penetrating oil in each spark plug hole and let it sit for a day, then try it again. In the mean time, post a pic of your plugs. Sounds like you might need a new engine. A 1/2 inch drive 18" long breaker bar with a socket on the crank pulley (with the plugs out) and you should be able to spin that engine over with one hand. I can and I'm not that big. 5'11" and 195 pounds of pure weakling.
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