Car won't start or stay running
Okay, so I have been working on this for nearly a
month now, and after today, I'm really at the worst
kind of loss as to proceeding. I bought this car, I
knew it had problems, but it was relatively cheap
and I needed immediate transportation. I've
replaced (at the suggestion of family, friends, and
different mechanics) the fuel filter, battery, and fuel
pump. I had the alternator checked at two
locations, tested good. When I turn the key, the car
shakes and other than the usual cranking sound, it
also makes this short- high pitched screech.
Sometimes it starts, when it does, it doesnt stay
over 1000 rpm for long, and the engine dies. It was
driving when I bought it, of course, but after a few
days it started stalling out in traffic. I've had it
running on and off since, but each time someone
tells me it HAS to be something, and I replace it,
the problem gets worse or stays the same. I'm
willing to provide any additional information
needed. I will try to record what the car sounds like
when I try to start it tomorrow afternoon, as its
raining outside atm.
This might be a fuel delivery problem - check fuel pressure at the engine. Spark is another thing to check. Have you replaced the plugs, wires and coil pack?
I replaced the spark plugs, and the wires seem good. 3 of them are new, replaced before I purchased the car. I do not know how to check the coil pack, but I know where it is. I'll try to get that recording here.
You could just replace it as they are not that expensive on Amazon or you can check for spark at each plug. If your CEL is on you need to have the trouble codes read.
The screech might simply be a loose old ps belt; if loose enough the alt won't charge the battery fully. Bad coil packs will throw a misfire CEL. Have any? Yeah, check plugs for oil-fouling, as you may have seal leaks too. Try to find a decent Subie wrench to look and listen, as there may be a tricky tree in this forest of frustration.
Spray-cleaning the throttle body isn't a bad idea either, as well swapping out cam and crank sensors.
Isolate the problem. Is it ignition or fuel. If fuel, adding fuel to the intake (carb spray) will keep it running. If Ignition, the carb spray in the intake will make no difference. Use a screw driver or hose to isolate where the screech is coming from. If it is a fuel injected, use a light to verify injectors are opening, or just listen for clicking. Test the fuel flow into a container at the engine. Test for proper grounding of the computer. I had this problem with a ford van that turned out to be a broken ground wire to the computer. If it is OBD compliant, get a computer connected and watch the output.
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