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Old 02-26-2008, 12:18 AM   #1
jeff-mpls
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Default 2000 Lw1 won't start

Hello all, and thanks for the great forum. I've been quietly watching.

I have a 2000 LW1 that won't start. The engine turns over, but it just cranks and doesn't fire at all.

I checked for spark by pulling all the plugs and putting them back in the plug "wire" (ok it's not a plug wire, but I don't know the actual term) and cranked the engine. They sparked a plenty. Then I checked for fuel by pressing the schrader valve on the fuel line, and a bit of gas spurted out. I also tried cranking the engine with the gas pedal to the floor. I read here to try that in case the engine is flooded.

What's the next thing I should look for?

Thanks,
Jeff

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Old 02-26-2008, 06:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-mpls View Post
.. Then I checked for fuel by pressing the schrader valve on the fuel line, and a bit of gas spurted out.
You may have found the clue as fuel should have sprayed out the valve under 30-45 psi pressure. Cycle the ignition key to the ON/RUN position and listen for the faint hum/hiss of the fuel pump/lines as the fuel pump pressurizes for 2-3 seconds then shuts off. There must be fuel pressure before the injectors can operate to spray into the cylinders. You can cycle the ignition key several times to listen for the fuel pump or lines then try the fuel test valve again. There should be plenty of pressure to spray fuel out and if not, there's a fuel pump problem.

If there's a fuel problem, the fuel pump fuse should be checked, then the fuel pump relay substituted with another similar relay. The last two issues would be a clogged filter or broken fuel pump. Perhaps a loose ground wire?

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Thanks for the reply. This moring, I cycled the key to the run position a number of times, and I very clearly heard the fuel pump cycle on and then turn off after a few seconds. Then I checked the schrader valve again, and it did the same thing. Just a little burp of fuel - No spraying.

Even though I heard it come on, I checked the fuel pump fuse anyway, and it was ok. I'll try fuel pump relay when I get home from work.

If it was a bad ground connection, would I have to get to the fuel pump to check it, or is there an easier way? Is the pump inside the tank?

oh, and my fuel filter has about 20,000 miles on it. I don't know if that rules it out, but I thought I'd through that info in.

Thanks again,
Jeff

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Old 02-26-2008, 07:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

You don't really have to replace the fuel pump relay as you heard the fuel pump run; that in itself confirms that the fuel pump runs , the relay is working, ground connection is there, and the pump fuse is OK. The pump is in the tank. The problem seems to be the pressure, at least at the test valve that does represent the overall pressure in the fuel injector lines. You may have to have a fuel pressure gauge mounted on the test valve to actually assess the amount of pressure; the average pressure should be around 35-55 psi, any lower would mean a blockage, bad filter restriction, kink in the line, debris stuck on the inlet (although unlikely), defective gas cap, etc. Try loosening the gas cap and see if pressure comes back. The fuel pressure gauge may be a loaner item from perhaps Autozone; a temporary charge on your dredit card and removed when returned in good condition. A quick attachment on the test valve, ignition ON, and pressure read.

Its good that you poiinted out the replacement filter, can't rule out a clogged filter from crap picked up in the tank if a bad load of gas got in there.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 02-26-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

I had my wife run out and try the gas cap. no luck. I'll stop and pick up the pressure gage, but I'm pretty sure it's going to read 0. With the key on run, I pressed and held the center of the test valve. After a very small amount of fuel burped out (it maybe spat 1/2 inch), there was no pressure at all. Does the process for finding where it's getting blocked start with just visually looking for kinks and then swapping out the fuel filter, or is there a smarter way to go about it?

Thanks,
Jeff

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Old 02-26-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

I threw out the kinked line but never meant it as its a very small possibility if the engine was removed and replaced. Its also very hard to kink lines as they're hard to bend into any small radius.

The best way of troubleshooting the fuel pump, filter, electrical, and pressure issue woud be to start by listening for the sounds of the pump running whenever the ignition key is turned to the On/RUN position. You must hear it or else it can be more difficult to isolate. By hearing it cycle for the 2-3 seconds will practically cut in half the work needed to find the problem. Be certain of hearing it run, have your wife turn the ignition key to the ON position while you stick your head near the fuel lines to listen for the sounds of hissing as fuel is supposed to be pressurizing from the fuel pump, then shut off. If you are certain of hearing it then a pressure gauge reading should correspond with an immediate pressure reading, anything above 30 psi is good. NO fuel pump sounds means an electrical circuit problem; fuse, ground, relay, pump. Good sounds from a running pump and you'll need the pressure gauge to further determine where and why a pressure loss is occurring. Anything below 30 psi would suggest anything from a leak, a clogged fuel filter, the pressure regulator failed, and lastly a failing fuel pump.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 02-26-2008, 07:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Is the fuel pressure supposed to be maintained when the key is in the on position, but the car not running? In the first few seconds after turning the key to the run position, while the fuel pump is making its pressuring up sound, gas will spray out of the test valve, but after that, it won't.

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Old 02-26-2008, 07:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Only to a certain extent that fuel pressure is maintained; normally pressure will build up and stay for some minimum time period as a function of the sealing capabilities of each injector to close completely and the check valves along with the pressure regulator to maintain a preset pressure, say 38 psi, for 10 hours or so. The pressurized portion of the fuel lines are actually small diameter and pressures build up rapidly. Because you repeated the fuel pressurization again and began to observe some things, it will be clearer to understand what you did. All things given, this last test has now confirmed that there is fuel pressure unlike how you first described it because now you allowed the fuel pump to run the 2-3 seconds then depressed the test valve and now noticed a healthy spray of fuel but only for a short period of time. Remember, the fuel pump turns off and the pressure is still there but only for the length of pressurized line, a small volume; releasing the pressure by depressing the test valve will result in an immediate lowering of pressure that slows down the flow of fuel until no more is flowing. That is correct as it is as the pump stopped after 3 seconds. Its a safety issue; why have the pump constantly running if the engine isn't? Visualize a horrific accident and the fuel line is broken, the engine can be running or not but the fuel pump is constantly on as long as power is supplied to the pump? The ignition key is still ON! FIRE possibility, big time. Not so with the way it works as intended.

The cps is the heart of the EFI system; w/o any continuous signal from the cps into the PCM/ECM (as long as the engine rotates) there won't be any fuel pump operation, no ignition system to provide spark, and no injector pulses. A non-outputting cps (as in engine stopped) won't allow the PCM to operate but as soon as the engine begins rotation the cps begins signal generation to the PCM that begins supplying a fuel ON signal to allow the fuel pump to begin pumping, signals to allow the PCM timing ignition signals to provide spark ignition, and injector pulses to feed pressurized fuel into the cylinders. The fuel pump will run automatically as soon as the engine begins rotating from the starter, along with the ignition system and injector pulses.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Yeah, it makes sense that the pump wouldn't keep running if the engine wasn't. Oh well, there's fuel and spark, beyond that I'm sure it's beyond my abilities, so I think I'll have to tow the car in. I'll let you know what I find out. Thanks so much for answering my questions.

Jeff

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Let's see, there's spark and ignition, and the engine can rotate but won't run? Assemble everthing back and give it another try as you did something to correct the problem while troubleshooting. The ignition module pack is what you connected all four saprk plugs to and grounded to the engine to test for sparks. I'm not sure where you went wrong but everything is there to run the engine.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 02-26-2008, 09:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Is there some trick to putting the ignition module pack back on? I just pushed it down over the plugs and bolted it down with the four bolts. It seems hard to tell if the boots actually make a good connection over the plugs, but I know they aren't plug wires, and don't have that snap to tell you they're on.

I just went out and pulled it off again, pulled a plug, and verified spark.

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Old 02-27-2008, 06:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

I can't be sure but the plug boots have to be conductive so perhaps they're the weak point? Replace them, rockauto.com unless they're available locally.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 03-01-2008, 01:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

We are having the exact same problem with our 2000 LW1- has the problem been resolved? Any information would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 03-01-2008, 05:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Hey dalakos,
Not resolved yet. I haven't had time to deal with it the last couple days, and luckily, my other Saturn is still running. :-)

A friend found a couple other saturn owners that also had the same promblem. They both had fuel at the test valve and spark, but for one, the ignition coil was bad, and I think the other had bad fuel injectors. I guess it's not enough just to see the spark coming off the plugs. I was going to call the dealer and see if they had any way of testing the coil. It's a pretty expensive part to just buy a new one to see if that's the problem.

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Old 03-02-2008, 04:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

OK... I think we at least know what might be going on...

We are pretty sure the timing chain is off. Checked compression at the cylinder and there is no pressure whatsoever. The belt is still intact as we could see the camshaft rotating with the power steering resevoir off. Hopefully there wil be no damage of any of the valves or pistons. Probably revisit in a week. Fingers crossed...

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Old 03-14-2008, 08:06 AM   #16
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Well, it's the timing chain. The tensioner that keeps the right amount of tension on the chain broke, causing the chain to skip. Now we are pricing replacement engines since there is so much top end damage. Trying to decide whether to fix it or scrap it. Hopefully you have a better outcome.

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Old 03-14-2008, 03:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

same problem here. There was a recall on 2001s, but no luck on my car. I'm looking at a new engine too.

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Old 03-15-2008, 04:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

Unbelievable! Thought this was an interesting web site:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...a_saturnl.html

Good luck!

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Old 03-15-2008, 05:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2000 Lw1 won't start

In case you're interested, there is an investigation being done for a class action lawsuit.

http://saturnclassaction.com/

i am considering joining the complaint.

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