1998 sunfire stopped and won't start back up

40

Asked by Dec 30, 2014 at 10:24 AM about the 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr SE Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

It has spark to all 4 cylinders. I can smell gas after trying to start(1st try with foot off
pedal, 2nd try with pedal to the floor. Repeat.) I can hear the fuel pump whine when turning
on. I did a compression check. #1 - 120, #2 - 110, #3 & 4 - 130. What should my next
move be? Timing chain? Head gasket? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

12 Answers

67,465

You've got good compression on all 4 cylinders so it's not the timing chain or head gasket. Are the spark plugs gasoline fouled (wet and smell of gasoline)? If so, replace them. Was the check engine or service engine soon light on before it quit? If so you'll need to scan the computer and get the trouble codes so we can proceed. HTH. -Jim

40

Ok, here's what I got. The car was overheating when it stopped running. I just put a code reader on and it gave me 5 codes. P0117-Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) Circuit Low, P0125-Insufficient Coolant Temperature For Closed Loop Fuel Control, P0140 - 02 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 1 Sensor 2 P0141 - O2 Sensor Heater Circuit (Bank1, Sensor2 P0335.-Crankshaft Position Sensor 'A' Circui

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
67,465

The only code that I see that could make the engine not run is the crankshaft position sensor. You also need a downstream oxygen (O2) sensor and either the coolant temp sensor is bad or the wiring going to it is. The coolant temp sensor most likely fried when it overheated. If the P0125 code re-appears after the repairs are made replace the thermostat with a 195°F one. HTH. -Jim

40

well I got the crank position sensor changed after 5 1/2 or 6 hours{yes, I broke the top off}. Still wouldn't start. I erased and rechecked the codes but now it shows none, I rechecked the plug wires and have plenty of spark, I never actually checked anything with the fuel. I did check the relay at the fuse box and was getting 12 volts. Should I replace fuel filter? Check the injectors? Can I check the fuel pump without removing it?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
67,465

Have a helper turn the ignition on but don't try to start it. Stand near the back of the car and listen for the fuel pump. It should run for about 3 seconds. If not, get a hammer and hit the bottom center of the gas tank. Sometimes you can get the fuel pump going temporarily by doing this. If it starts it's the fuel pump. If you can't hear the fuel pump come on make sure that you have power at the fuel pump relay. If so, tap on the relay. Sometimes they stick. If the fuel pump now will run replace the relay. If not check for power at the fuel pump itself. If you have power to the fuel pump but it won't run. Replace it. HTH. -Jim

40

Wow. it's been 3 weeks already? 1st of all. thanks for the help so far Jim. As you can tell the car hasn't been a top priority, until now. I checked the relay and it was good. I have power to the relay. I replaced the fuel pump and fuel filter. Unfortunately the fuel return line got a kink in it while trying to connect it. I tried to start it anyway and it ran eally rough for about 10 seconds and quit. It ran long enough to give me a 0452 code. Found out the kinked hose could cause it so I replaced the kinked part of it with a piece of fuel line and hose clamps. But it still won't start. It keeps sounding like it wants to start but just won't. Any more suggests? Thanks again for the help.

67,465

The trouble code P0452 is for the gas tank pressure sensor. The computer is seeing low voltage on the circuit. The pressure sensor is part of the fuel pump module assembly. Check the wiring back there. Make sure there's no damaged or disconnected wires going to the fuel pump assembly. Try this as well. See if it'll run with the gas cap off. Sounds strange but if the vent valve is bad there may be a vacuum in the gas tank. This would prevent the fuel pump from pumping. I've seen it happen from time to time. HTH. -Jim

40

Could that cause a no start? Could the kinked return line cause it?

67,465

It could. Since we know it's a fuel problem check the fuel pressure at the fuel rail. There's a service port for this. HTH. -Jim

40

Ya. that's gonna be difficult. There's no Schroeder valve on these cars. I read somewhere that you have to disconnect the supply line from the rail and tee into it. Actually disconnect it from the pressure regulator. But if I have to do it then I'll do it. I'm at work but when I get home I'll see what I can find out. Thanks.

40

Well, I've about given up on checking the fuel pressure. I can't find a fitting that will fit in the fuel line by the rail. 5/16 is too small and 3/8 is too big. And the fuel filter is the same size. All the lines from the pump look good. When I disconnected the fuel line from the rail, gas poured out of it so it's getting there. Just don't know the pressure. I did do a noid light test and all the fuel injector connections are good. From what I understand if there is no gas coming from the pressure regulator when the line is removed than it's good. And there is none.

40

Well I was able to do some jimmy rigging and hook the fuel pressure gauge up. I turned the key on and off 3 times to let the pressure build and it topped out at 42. I had to leave for work so I couldn't do a leak check. I have read about the theft protection might be the culprit, but can that be ruled out because the connector for the fuel injectors flashed when I checked them.

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