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Old 01-16-2018, 11:12 PM   #1
Cmharliosne
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Default 05 saturn vue, crank no start

Hey all,
New to the forum. I have a 05 saturn vue 4 cylinder that cranks but doesn't start. I have replaced the spark plugs with new ones. I tested the plugs with a plug light tester from harbor freight. The light came on, showing that I have power going to the plugs. I spray starter fluid in the tubing just before the idle control. The vapor, theoretically, should get pulled into the engine and become ignited by the spark of the plugs, starting the engine if for just a moment. Well, it doesn't at all. I have fuel pressure at the schaeter valve, but I haven't tested the actual pressure reading. I can hear the fuel pump turning on when I first turn the key, before cranking. My thought was maybe the crankshaft position sensor. But would that prevent the starter fluid from starting the engine? Another thought of mine was thinking it was compression, but I heard it would still start with bad compression.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-17-2018, 11:43 AM   #2
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 05 saturn vue, crank no start

Yes, a bad crank position sensor will cause this problem.

Before replacing, I would do a quick compression test. This will tell you if the timing chain has jumped timing. (common problem with early 2.2s)

...
2003 Vue - 2.2L with Manual Trans. (Swapped)
Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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Old 01-17-2018, 12:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: 05 saturn vue, crank no start

I just figured I could replace the sensor because it seems fairly cheap and easy.
I don't have the tools for a compression test. Should I get the tools for a compression test before replacing the sensor?
How hard is it to fix a jumped timing chain?

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Old 01-17-2018, 03:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: 05 saturn vue, crank no start

Did you check for blown fuses? Don't assume, check. Better to waste time checking fuses than to spend useless time chasing a problem when a fuse blew and wasn't found.

Your descriptions doesn't fit a faulty crank sensor symptom because three things always occur with a working sensor; fuel pump running when starting, ignition system creating spark and injectors pulsing to feed fuel into each cylinder. A dead crank sensor means the ECM is dead too because the ECM cannot operate at all without the sensor. If you verified spark, check it again. Noid lights are helpful but a real spark test to see actual spark eliminates all doubts. Simply removing plugs also tells you whether or not injectors are pulsing as fuel should be seen or smelled. No spark and no fuel on plugs are two criteria pointing to a faulty crank sensor.

If spark is generated, spray more starting fluid into throttle and try starting again.

Compression and fuel pressure gauge are loaner tools from AutoZone if one is nearby and have them.

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Old 01-17-2018, 04:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: 05 saturn vue, crank no start

I thought that I couldn't get a spark if the sensor was bad but I heard that on some vehicles, you can get spark and fuel pressure even with a bad sensor.
I checked over the fuses that are related to the fuel/ignition system. None of them seemed bad but I didn't do an actual continuity test on any.
Another thing I heard to check is the rpms while cranking. I guess if it moves, the computer is seeing that the engine is cranking. I checked this and it moves very slightly but not much. Is this something that actually helps with diagnosing problems?
There is an autozone close by that I went to for the new spark plugs. I can stop by there on my day off tomorrow and see if they have the compression and fuel test tools for rent.

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Old 01-17-2018, 05:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: 05 saturn vue, crank no start

Hearsay is great if it relates to a specific vehicle. If you choose to use hearsay that doesn't specifically point to your car then it's useless. As far as Saturn vehicles and their EFI systems; no crank sensor output = no fuel pump operation, no ignition system for spark, and no injector pulses. When you hear the full pump run, it's because of a program run automatically from the ECM to operate the pump for two seconds then shuts off, a timed event at every turn on of the ignition switch. All this does is pressurize the fuel lines. This does not mean the ECM is getting crank sensor signals to turn on the pump. When starting, the engine turning over is detected by the crank sensor and sends precise timing signals to the ECM. These timing signals allows the ECM to operate the entire EFI system.

If you see or have spark, the crank sensor is working. If you see or smell fuel on spark plugs after several failed starting attempts, the crank sensor is working. No spark and no fuel on plugs means either a faulty crank sensor or other issues (damaged wiring from a crash, etc).

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Old 01-17-2018, 10:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: 05 saturn vue, crank no start

Okay tomorrow, Thursday, I'll go get a pressure tester to test for fuel pressure after crank, right? And also to get compression from the engine after crank, right? If both check out, would that be a problem with spark? I'm also going to do continuity tests on the fuses to time that out. Seeing as how they are brand new plugs, it would lead to the wires between the plugs and the fuses, right?
Thanks again for the help. Sorry for all the questions.

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Old 01-17-2018, 11:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: 05 saturn vue, crank no start

Fuel pressure can be checked twice, at ignition on time and after the engine is started (if you get the engine running). A compression test can be done at anytime as it serves as one indicator for overall mechanical health.

Expect 50-60 psi for fuel pressure, compression no less than 100 psi. Good compression should be around 180 psi. A dry test is without oil, wet test after squirting some motor oil into each cylinder.

Last edited by fdryer; 01-17-2018 at 11:25 PM..

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