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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys I'm hoping someone can help me out here. I've got a 2006 hyundai elantra that died on me while downshifting into first from third at a stop sign. Slowed down, downshifted and as soon as I gave it gas to speed back up it sputtered and died. Doesn't seem to be electrical since it turns, it just won't start. The only code that was on it both before and after this happened was like p0420 or whatever, meant my cat was running lean, maybe bc of a **** o2 sensor which I swapped. I've charged the battery, tried jumping it, replaced the alternator, spark plugs, crankshaft, checked the starter, and tried starting it with starter fluid. There's spark going to the plugs though if they are sparking idk for sure. It just turns and turns and just doesn't start. If anyone has any idea what could've happened or even just another troubleshooting method to get some more information, that'd be great. Absolutely nothing I or my mechanic friends have tried have gotten the situation to move at all, as long as this isn't irreparable seeing I'm not exactly in a position to buy another car.
 

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When an engine cranks but wont fire there are a few simple checks you should perform that will give you a clue about what the problem might be.

1. Is the CEL illuminating when you first switch on the ignition?
2. Is there spark at the plugs?
3. Is the fuel pump switching on during crank?

If the CEL isn't illuminating there is usually PCM power supply/ground issue. If the PCM isn't switched on/powered up you'll have no spark & no operation of the fuel pump. Obviously, if the PCM isn't switched on the scan tool isn't going to be able to communicate with it either.

If the CEL is OK but you find you have no spark & no fuel pump operation (DURING CRANK), that is usually an indication of a fault with the crank position sensor.

If you have spark but no fuel, that is a sign of a fuel pump circuit problem.

If the fuel pump operates (DURING CRANK) but there is no spark, you have an ignition circuit fault.

And if you have a CEL, spark and fuel and it still wont start, your looking at maybe a timing issue or perhaps a breathing problem (intake/exhaust restriction, EGR leak)

I hope these simple checks point you in the right direction. They usually work for me.
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Discussion Starter #3
The CEL is all good, I believe the plugs are sparking though I do not know how to check if the plugs themselves are sparking, only if power which should spark them is getting to them, which it is. My pump primes, I can hear it when I turn the key to on, though I do not know if it sends fuel through the line. I filled my tank up the night before this happened so I have a full tank as well. Do you have quick tests to determine if the plugs are sparking/if fuel is present? Everything I've been able to find hasn't been really educational, more step by step and doesn't include those methods. Thank you very much :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When an engine cranks but wont fire there are a few simple checks you should perform that will give you a clue about what the problem might be.

1. Is the CEL illuminating when you first switch on the ignition?
2. Is there spark at the plugs?
3. Is the fuel pump switching on during crank?

If the CEL isn't illuminating there is usually PCM power supply/ground issue. If the PCM isn't switched on/powered up you'll have no spark & no operation of the fuel pump. Obviously, if the PCM isn't switched on the scan tool isn't going to be able to communicate with it either.

If the CEL is OK but you find you have no spark & no fuel pump operation (DURING CRANK), that is usually an indication of a fault with the crank position sensor.

If you have spark but no fuel, that is a sign of a fuel pump circuit problem.

If the fuel pump operates (DURING CRANK) but there is no spark, you have an ignition circuit fault.

And if you have a CEL, spark and fuel and it still wont start, your looking at maybe a timing issue or perhaps a breathing problem (intake/exhaust restriction, EGR leak)

I hope these simple checks point you in the right direction. They usually work for me.
View attachment 455025


If I helped you fix it, why not...

Your support is greatly appreciated
The CEL is all good, I believe the plugs are sparking though I do not know how to check if the plugs themselves are sparking, only if power which should spark them is getting to them, which it is. My pump primes, I can hear it when I turn the key to on, though I do not know if it sends fuel through the line. I filled my tank up the night before this happened so I have a full tank as well. Do you have quick tests to determine if the plugs are sparking/if fuel is present? Everything I've been able to find hasn't been really educational, more step by step and doesn't include those methods. Thank you very much :) (my bad for posting this twice, not proficient with this forum yet)
 

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Old grandpa method would work for ignition: just take old spark plug, connect it to one of spark plugs wires, put it on the metal engine part and ask one of your friends to crank engine. You'll see if you have a spark (or not). Be careful, make a good contact between spark plug and metal engine part. You don't want to discharge spark through yourself - it is not deadly but painful, believe me :)
You can found video on youtube how to do it, like this one:

For fuel you can remove one of spark plugs from the engine and crank the engine for a few seconds. You'll feel strong gasoline smell from spark plug hole if you fuel system work properly. These easy tests do not require any special tools.
 

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If you don't feel comfortable to test spark as described above, you can spent a few bucks on tool called "Inline ignition tester" or "Ignition spark plug tester" - you can buy it in local auto parts store or online...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you don't feel comfortable to test spark as described above, you can spent a few bucks on tool called "Inline ignition tester" or "Ignition spark plug tester" - you can buy it in local auto parts store or online...
Awesome thank you! I'll try this out as soon as the sun rises. Hopefully with your tests and auto's troubleshooting methods I'll be able to figure out exactly what's preventing it from starting
 

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Discussion Starter #9
does yours have an antitheft built in? if so it will shut off the fuel pump
I believe it does, but when the antitheft non start happens its electrical. Absolutely nothing happens when I turn the key as if the battery is dead. Then I have to fiddle with the fob and it'll start again XD Super weird I've never had a car that wouldn't let me start it even though the key was in the ignition. I can hear and feel the fuel pump
 

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Sorry, I just realised that I didn't say where the secondary diagnostic connector is. It's under the dash on the driver's side, beside the OBD connector. There should be approx 10V on the fuel pump check terminal DURING CRANK.


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There should be approx 10V on the fuel pump check terminal DURING CRANK.
Sadly I do not have a multimeter, though I do have one coming and will test the secondary diagnostic connector when the multimeter arrives.

The plugs are sparking and I smell gas when its cranking. I am doing more research on the timing and exhaust/intake systems to try and pin point what in them is wrong.
 

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I am doing more research on the timing and exhaust/intake systems to try and pin point what in them is wrong.
A quick test for excessive exhaust back pressure (exhaust system restriction) is to remove the upstream O2 sensor. That's the sensor that sticks out of the exhaust right at the front of the engine bay. They are often difficult to remove on an older car though. And you usually need a special O2 sensor socket to loosen them. If the engine starts with that sensor removed from the exhaust, the catalytic converter is probably blocked. Unless Axel Foley has pushed some bananas up your tail pipe :D

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It is unlukely blocked catalytic converter - car died suddenly during driving...

Did you check your timing belt? Remove plastic cover from upper timing belt pulley (it is easy) and crank the engine. Is this pulley turning when you cranking engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
quick test for excessive exhaust back pressure (exhaust system restriction) is to remove the upstream O2 sensor.
I'll try starting it without the upstream sensor.

Did you check your timing belt? Remove plastic cover from upper timing belt pulley (it is easy) and crank the engine. Is this pulley turning when you cranking engine?
I believe the timing belt is fine, the belt around the alternator is a-ok and so is the other one in the same vicinity. They both turn when cranking as well, though I'll take one more look when I go out today.
 

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No, I'm not talking about alternator of air conditioner compressor belt. Timing belt is connecting your crankshaft and camshaft and you can see it only if you remove camshaft pulley plastic cover.
Take a look on this video:
At 1:29 mark when guy lifted engine plastic cover you can see part which you need to remove
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Remove this cover. You do not need to do anything else from this video (jack vehicle up, remove wheel etc.) - just remove upper plastic engine cover and cover above. Underneath you'll see camshaft pulley and timing belt:
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Crank the engine and see if this pulley turning.
 

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No, I'm not talking about alternator of air conditioner compressor belt.
Aaaahhh dope thank you! I didn't know there was another belt. Though that makes sense as serpentine belts aren't the same XD I will check in about an hour. Still waiting on the multimeter.
 

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Crank the engine and see if this pulley turning.
I just got back from trying this. Finally some progress! When I had my sister crank the engine and it didn't spin, the half closest to the hood latch just vibrated. The belt looks okay, though not perfect. What could be stopping the pulley from turning?
 

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I just got back from trying this. Finally some progress! When I had my sister crank the engine and it didn't spin, the half closest to the hood latch just vibrated. The belt looks okay, though not perfect. What could be stopping the pulley from turning?
The timing belt doesn't turn just vibrates. Will post a video asap
 

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When I had msy sister crank the engine and it didn't spin.
Oh crap! That's not good :eek:
But it's a mechanical issue so I'll leave it to @Oleg S. to deliver the bad news. He seems more switched on mechanically than I am and will be better at explaining the consequences of what has happened.

If I helped you fix it, why not...

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