This page is 100% all about Diagnosis and
testing, no guessing !
Do not fail to inspect every inch of the EFI system before doing any testing of said system. (electronic fuel injection and spark)
Missing parts, loose, broken sensor or actuator wires, physical damage, hacking damage, etc. Spark plug wires crossed?
The parts are here to FIND!.
This short page, is the peamble to my main egnine page, for my full page here.
For sure ,me, the retired mechanic, does not know you or skills , your tools, your actual engine failure, nor can I do the test s for you.
My pages are ALL about TESTS. (diagnosis)
For sure, I can not guess, or wish to, in fact I'm 100% against guessing. (for 100s of real good reasons, your safety being 1st)
The tests I prescribe, are mostly that which is fully covered in the factory FSM, I try hard to use the correct tools, so you have the best fall back for help.
If you use the wrong tool, getting help will be, near impossible. Not to mention the bad responses you will get, for a lot of good reasons.
Don't forget the tools are an investment, better than the SP500 this year. They can be sold later. making the tool cost, near zero.
See ASE Jargon here.
My web page is to help people, help them selves. "Prime focus is on starting and running and correcting drive ability issues"
For most problems you have 3 choices:
TOOLS? (No tools? No joy ! and the tools ARE FREE, just 1 hour in any shop, that labor cost, pays for the full tool set!)
When I say tools, I do not mean the metric spanners etc, those are a given! I'm talking meters and gauges !
See some of my hand made tools here.
Compression, vacuum, fuel pressure and DMM timing light ( 5 tools , costing about $100 total) Harbor Fright has all 5.
Buy a scan tool, for $50 and stop wasting time and throwing parts.
The folks doing a piss test, for fuel pressure? , will fail. (it's not a Carb. car , the car has no FLOAT BOWL !)
In order to do it all , you must have tools and documents.
Some folks just buy the tools they need, at each step below, and that way, only buy what was actually needed. Great !
A set of torque wrenches, in both inch/lbs and in foot/lbs. (never force any 6mm threaded bolt , it will SNAP) (EGR main seems to always SNAP)
A Digital volt ohm meter "DMM" , a strobe timing light , a compression gauge , a vacuum gaug,
A $15 Ignition timing strobe lamp ! do not skip this TOOL !
You can rent them barrow them or buy one, 3 choices
1996 and newr cars.
A full OBD2 hand scan tool, if car is 96+ or newer (USA). ( a $50 tool called a MS509)
The more powerful OBD2 tool is here. 1996 and newer.
A very good full scan tool software product by Palmer. For 96+ only OBD2 cars! (it's about $100 software )
See me use both tools above , here.
A full OBD2 scan here on a 96 car. step by step.
1989-1995 OBD1 experimental scan tool , software free, hard ware cable not.
NO ? Tool like this? 1989 to 1995 Pre-1996 OBD1, most non scan tool users, will have only this help. CEL lamp.
The Obsolete (read, hen's teeth) OBD1, used back in the DAY.
The only obsolete tool, seen here, no over the counter sold scan tools, for the early pre 1996 Suzuki's ,only the above "experiemental tool"
Autozone or like stores, will be clueless to help you. (pre 96) but can help on all cars 1996 and newer, they sure can, at least get the DTC codes.(96+ only)
They (autozone) will not do a full scan (it's just a simple code reader), not doing a full scan , again will be costly, in the end.
The last chance Garage is here, the silly CEL lamp. ( the 1996 cars and newer will not flash DTC codes, so don't bother trying)
With most OBD1 cars, you work blind $$$ , that means , using a meter (DMM) to check each and every sensor/actuator 1 by 1.
A factory service manual is really very helpful , but it will NOT train you to be a mechanic, it will only show the data , and facts unique to your vehicle.
The best book in print and many smart ASE mechanics , have it.. (find them used too, very cheap. $10) < the finest book on topic, if ever...
Next, I want to talk about technique, and some basic rules, (In any ASE school, we call this BASICS)
( This is not style or opinion , freak'n ego, or arrogance , it is about saving labor costs and not throwing expensive parts at the car .)
The ASE trains all mechanics, this one set of very crucial techniques and order...
Always do the basics first ! If you choose to do it backward, in most cases, you lose, cash, labor costs, down time, fustration, and endless wasted effort.
The order, is not by accident. (it's a law)
1: Bad motor? (Do the 60k mile service now, with cam inspection, then a compression by the book, and vacuum bounce test)
2: Bad spark? ( check all 4 plugs, for full intensity spark, static timing and for full rate of spark advance (off scale)
3: Bad fueling. (too much or too little) fuel pressure tests, all 7 and up to 6 injector tests on 16v (EFI problems, are last.)
Doing it backwards only makes good comedy for YouTube. (do send some, we love a comedy!)
If you are a glass 1/2 full guy , replace BAD above with GOOD ! I'm not, I assume all parts are bad, and prove myself wrong.
Rule 1: Assumptions are the mind killer, a killer of logic and progress.
Example of 1: My motor compression is ok, 100PSI is ok, (the prim rose path to H3LL)
The 60k service list, covers a FULL and complete TUNE UP. I'll assume you did that. Not doing the service, is just dumb.
Dumb is spending $500 or more ! labor to find out the 60k service was skipped. Dumb.
I will list most the tests. (by order of importance and easy of test, some tests are very very easy and basic) (no assumptions, just a sick motor)
We begin at assuming its a bad motor. The engine must pump air, if not, all bets are off. (and more advanced testing is a big waste, of time and cash)
To see all tests, go back one page, (home key above) "No starts, misfire, flooding, starving, spark issues, power loss, bogging , hesitation, etc."
This list does not cover all failures. (for example I didn't cover broken head valve springs, and weak engine power, from that....nor 1/2 flat cam lobes.............)
Nor the endless task of finding all induction air leaks.
During the 60k mile service, lash is checked and set, at this time, one walks the crank by hand and looks at all cam lobes, for low lift and damage, and that
the cam is not busted in half (LOL) and that each valve keeper is in place, the springs are not broken and the valves are not stuck open.
We also check head bolt and cam cap torque, the head bolts are not all readily accessible, so just just check a few, for spec. (if one is loose, check them all) dig?
Do not mix up, foot pounds with inch pounds, as many books on this car love to do..
The cam caps are near 100 inch-lbs, and on 8v engines they were later staked screws. (google" staking screws" (said like tent stakes), a pre loctite technology)
Good luck and hope you like my free web site.
Common Sidekick (Tracker) failures:
ECU dead or totally NUTS, due to main filter capacitors are dried out or leaking.
TPS bad, if the ECU says its bad, it is or not calibrated. (the TPS has a life of about 100,000 miles) (varies by how happy your right foot is !)
No crank. (I turn the key and , silent)
Cranks but nostart
Starts on test fuel only.
Bad grounds or a bad main fuse box.
Keep in mind there are 1000s of things that can go wrong. The above are only the steps to finding it.
revision 7 1-2-13)