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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished installing a new water pump on my 2002 Elantra GT when...

I went to start it, and it started for half a second and died. Further attempts to start were strained.

The battery is showing 12.58 volts on the multimeter so this was likely not the cause. I checked the fuses under the hood which all looked good. I don't know if it could be a relay or anything else electrical.

Other than the electrical side, there are two things I can think of that may be the cause.

First, being in a hurry to finish(which is probably the biggest mistake of all) I reconnected the battery too soon and wound up connecting the ground(I thought) wire to the alternator for a second causing an arc. I immediately removed the wire and followed proper procedures to reinstall it.

The only other thing I can think of is that one of the water pump bolts required removal of the idler pulley. The idler pulley demands the loosening of the timing belt tensioner in order to be reinstalled. Before removing anything I marked the position of the timing belt on the camshaft sprocket as well as the crankshaft sprocket so I'm really hoping I haven't lost timing.

Could it be something electrical? Did I over-tighten a belt or pulley? Is it timing?

Questions are welcome. Thanks in advance for your time. New to the forum by the way. Hello everyone!
 

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Just finished installing a new water pump on my 2002 Elantra GT when...

I went to start it, and it started for half a second and died. Further attempts to start were strained.

The battery is showing 12.58 volts on the multimeter so this was likely not the cause. I checked the fuses under the hood which all looked good. I don't know if it could be a relay or anything else electrical.

Other than the electrical side, there are two things I can think of that may be the cause.

First, being in a hurry to finish(which is probably the biggest mistake of all) I reconnected the battery too soon and wound up connecting the ground(I thought) wire to the alternator for a second causing an arc. I immediately removed the wire and followed proper procedures to reinstall it.

The only other thing I can think of is that one of the water pump bolts required removal of the idler pulley. The idler pulley demands the loosening of the timing belt tensioner in order to be reinstalled. Before removing anything I marked the position of the timing belt on the camshaft sprocket as well as the crankshaft sprocket so I'm really hoping I haven't lost timing.

Could it be something electrical? Did I over-tighten a belt or pulley? Is it timing?

Questions are welcome. Thanks in advance for your time. New to the forum by the way. Hello everyone!
Double check your timing. Even a tooth or two off can cause a no-start condition - ask me how I know. Seriously, I did the timing belt on an Accord a few weeks ago and the belt had a bit of slack in it which caused it to jump a couple of teeth. This caused the car not to start - had to take everything apart and re-do the timing belt alignment. After which it started and ran fine.

Couple of suggestions:

I.) Rotate your motor by hand, if it feels much easier to turn over than usual, its a sign your timing is off (the valves are not fully closing and thus air is escaping the cylinder and causing a lack of compression which makes turning the motor over easier)

II.) Pull the #1 plug and stick a screwdriver into the hole in the cylinder to verify you are at TDC. Watch the screwdriver bob up and down as you rotate the engine. At the screwdriver's highest point, you are at #1 TDC.

III.) When you have re-done your timing belt - rotate that son of a bitch (the engine) 5 or 6 full times to smooth out any slack in the timing belt. Double and triple check your timing marks before re-assembling.

Good luck and take comfort in the fact that if you have to re-do this job, its alot easier the second time around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did the timing belt less than 20,000 miles ago so I didn't bother replacing it. I went back in and adjusted the belt. It did seem to be slightly off but reassembly yielded no luck. When connecting the compression gauge to cylinder 1 I'm not getting any compression so I believe I've fragged something. I took the valve cover off to check the valves however upon inspection I realize that though I know what I'm looking at I don't know what I'm looking for. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to fix this thing short of taking it to an actual shop. Any suggestions on how to keep her out of the junkyard?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Also, upon removing the spark plug boot from cylinder three, I discovered oil but it only seemed to be at the edges where the boot meets the engine. Probably contamination from something else but I figured it's worth mentioning.

And of course thank you for the replies so far. Sorry about the double post.
 

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interesting....you should get SOME compression even if low. are the plug threads shot on cyl. 1? what sparked the water pump replacement anyhow? was there a reason or was this just preventive maintenance?

i think we need a bit more background info here.
 

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The oil on the plug is probably nothing to worry about, maybe a leaky valve cover or something.

Are you sure you did the compression test correctly? What was the reading for the other cylinders? If you're getting normal readings at #2, #3, and #4 and nothing or a reduced number at #1, there couldbe some bent valves.

So make sure you are doing all four cylinders to compare. If the valves are bent, you will need to pull the head and most likely take it into a machine shop for a valve job.

However, Im talking above my level of expertise - so Ill let others chime in here.

EDIT: Was the car running fine prior to the water pump replacement?
 

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The valve cover has orings seals for each of the plug galleries; full valve cover set comes with them; would fix oil on plug issue.
Gotta fix the timing first. There are marks on both the cam gears and on crank pulley and timing cover.
 

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do we even know if timing is an issue at this point? its an easy item to check.

i'm leaning towards that electrical arc causing a fuse to blow, possibly even trashing the ECU or other such damage. i really hope not, but an arc like that is not a good thing.

the compression test i would repeat to confirm since it seems kind of fishy. let's not get too hasty on pulling the head off. engine was fine until the maintenance was done.

even a loose plug can cause all kinds of trouble. i remember not too long ago i had the plug for the throttle position sensor not fully plugged in...and then wondered why my car was running like ass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Compression test results after 6 cranks(approximately):
1 - 40psi
2 - 55psi
3 - 65psi
4 - 27psi

Timing was originally off by a tooth, but now is proper.

Spark plugs are all firing 1-3 bright yellow, 4 purplish so I doubt it's an electrical issue.

I get some combustion when cranking but not enough to power the engine. Probably going to wind up scrapping her sadly.
 

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Wow that's low compression; target specs are based on engine being warmed up , which yours obviously wasn't. Retest with a teaspoon of oil down each cyclinder would be interesting.

Fuel pump relay was removed so fuel doesn't wash down oil and drop compression ?
Intake butterfly valve normally held open. Fully charged battery so engine turns over well; approx 5-7 seconds should give a pretty good idea. All plugs removed during test procedure.
Not a push on compression gauge but a proper screw in type which holds reading before being cleared.
One tooth off on belt would not have damaged valves.
Spark plugs always have a bright blue spark ; never yellow or spark is weak., or grounding during test not quite good enough. Deal with compression issue first.
 

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Compression test results after 6 cranks(approximately):
1 - 40psi
2 - 55psi
3 - 65psi
4 - 27psi

Timing was originally off by a tooth, but now is proper.

Spark plugs are all firing 1-3 bright yellow, 4 purplish so I doubt it's an electrical issue.

I get some combustion when cranking but not enough to power the engine. Probably going to wind up scrapping her sadly.
Im not sure what to recommend at this point. 160-180 psi is about the normal range for compression for most cars. Even on a stone cold motor, I dont think the drop would be that much.

How many miles are on the motor and were there any issues prior to the water pump change? Perhaps you have a recently blown head gasket and/or piston rings that are well worn away?
 

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shadow: you have some testing to do before you scrap this car. doing so now would be foolish.

the compression is low, but we can cross both rings and valves off the list. why? simple, its low in all cylinders. anyone care to guess what the chances of losing ALL your rings or valves at once is? practically nothing. also, we can cross a blown head gasket or warped head off the list. this is because although the results are low, they are similar. you'd have at least 1 cylinder with high compression - or at least much higher than what you're getting.

that leaves us with 2 options:

1. the timing belt is off and the valves are opening before full compression is achieved. considering the work done, this is a likely possibility. furthermore, from what i gather the car ran fine before maintenance. low compression like that and your car wouldn't have been running (sounds familiar!). this is further evidence that the head, rings and valves themselves are likely fine unless i got that detail wrong.

2. your tester is either faulty or you're not screwing it in tightly enough. can you check on a vehicle known to be good? another tester you can borrow from someone maybe? it could be as simple as missing an o-ring from the hose fitting end. although many are different, note the o-rings in the tester in the below pic:



checking your timing is not hard at all. with the crank at 0º (look at the main pulley, there will be a marking and notch in the pulley) the marking in the cam gear will be either at 180º or lined up. if its 180, rotate the crank one full turn. that is quite normal, 2x crank rotations for every cam rotation.

fuel in the cylinders for this test would not drop the numbers this low...its just too much.
 

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Timing was originally off by a tooth, but now is proper.
just noticed this one, i think this detail needs to be questioned. it could be the key to the whole thing.

again, assuming your car was running fine before this - you haven't really said and if you're looking for a diagnosis you might want to provide all the info you can.

the fact of the matter is the car would not run fine with the timing off a tooth. in fact it would run like ass....possibly not even run at all. so if your car was running fine with it off a tooth, why?

two possibilities:

1. you read the timing incorrectly and accidentally put the timing out a tooth. nothing to be ashamed of, mistakes like this is how we learn to do the job right.

2. something has happened in the past with the car and either the cam sprocket or the crank sprocket are off a tooth. previous owner might have known this (or a previous mechanic) and set timing off a tooth intentionally to compensate.
 

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Yeah.. verifiy your timing, too bad you didnt do timing belt while in there.
Did the timing belt less than 20,000 miles ago so I didn't bother replacing it.
Been there, done that. I learned this lesson the hard way, too. ONCE. Many year's ago. From that point forward, I always changed both at the same time. And suggested others do the same if I overheard them saying they were having issues or concerns with either one. We live and learn...hopefully. ;)
 

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Im not sure what to recommend at this point. 160-180 psi is about the normal range for compression for most cars. Even on a stone cold motor, I dont think the drop would be that much.

How many miles are on the motor and were there any issues prior to the water pump change? Perhaps you have a recently blown head gasket and/or piston rings that are well worn away?
Good post.

Shadow, Im far from an auto tech, but it sounds more and more like you've gotten crossed up and gotten screwy with the timing. Pull everything off again and double check the timing.

Use the marks on the crank to ensure TDC. Also, since your #1 cylinder is easily accesible, use the screwdriver method to ensure you are in fact at TDC when you should be (pull the spark plug in #1 and put in a screwdriver into the cylinder till it touches the piston. Rotate the engine till you see the handle go up and down a few times, then rotate it to the highest point of the handle - and ta-da you are at TDC #1) At that point, you can line up your cam pulley with its correct mark. So before you put the timing belt on, you will have both the crank and cam at their marks. Then, work the belt on from the bottom of the crank going counterclockwise. Make sue when you tighten the tensioner, the bet or the ca pulley dont jump or slip (this gets a lot of people on timing belts - including me the first time I did it). You might want to use a zip tie or two to tie the belt on to the cam pulley to help keep it from jumping.

Now, after you have tightened the belt with the tensioner, double check your marking and then ROTATE THE MOTOR 6 TIMES to remove all slack from the belt (this is the second thing that gets folks that dont do this all the time). After rotating the motor 6 times and double and triple checking your timing marks, you can put everything back on, double check all your electrical connections and start the car.
 
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