Found on Road Dead     F.O.R.D    USA cars and no others.. other countries have different parts/engines, EFI, Carb.'s or a different. evolutionary path          

My car died on the road to work  , my car is a DD, a daily driver, and was so reliable , until today. Dang what a Bummer !  I'm dead in the pavement ! DIP.    CRANKS BUT DOES NOT START , Hear  what Scotty Says?
Rule 1: The ECU (puter brain) will never ever, tell you what is wrong or what part is bad. It only reports bad tests (called monitors).

Did  you do the 60k mile tune up steps (aka: completing all service points, listed in operators guide seen in the FSM "Factory Service Manual"?       See chart 60k full service done?
Skipping the 60k service, assures you, (I promise) that the timing belt will slip, and bingo  "F.O.R.D " same with spark parts.

Given this simple truth, I will presume the engine  is good, (bad motor, bad spark , bad fueling ) This page covers only ,the latter 2. 
 I will assume the engine is ok and has 150psi min. compression, only because it ran fine, until now.
Did you check all 3 EFI  fuses ? (
in USA 1996 +, the FI fuse moved to the engine bay right fuse box) FI = Fuel Injection.)  (IG-coil, FI and Dome?)
If the CEL lamp is dead this means the ECU lost power. (Check Engine Lamp) The ECU must have power, or there well be no spark or Fueling.
If the head lamps are both dead, then you blew the main fuses in the engine bay. (right fender top box)

or  I parked my car and it wont start, in both cases it cranks robustly.  (fast cranking)  if motor don't crank?, click the home button above or  do a search for no crank.
I have a hot soak fail page here, I cover every possible stall or no start reason.

WE CHECK FOR LOSS OF SPARK after the fuse test, first, then and only then for FUEL lost or flooding. 
 Keep in mind, spark has  2 dimensions, (1: intensity and 2: timing) Did the Dizzy com loose and now the timing is way off? "grab it, feel it, as you twist"
While dead use a scan tool or the paper clip in the DLC socket now and look for hard failures, reported by the ECU. See Scan data 96 and newer or  CEL lamp flash codes.
If your car died on the road and quickly restarted and runs fine, then you need to set traps in to find this intermittent problem , more later, on that.
If it will not restart until cool, then you need to do tests immediately, while it is busted. ! Always try to fix it busted, doing it non busted, is a waste of time , and cash..
The top tests while not starting are?  (fast check list)
  1. CEL out key on , Dead ECU. (assumes it worked every day before. , but may have burned out today, but at the same time as the engine died, NO WAY is that MAGIC going to happen)
  2. Tachometer fails to move up scale say 300 RPM (not 3000) while cranking,  needle shows 0.3 x 1000 (spark is dead , indication) yes, the Tacho. is driven  directly from SPARK. No tach no spark, no spark ECU cuts FUEL. Some 2WD have no dash tachometer.
  3. W.O.T  (wide open throttle) cranking fails to start a flooded engine?. (this is in the operators guide)
  4. 10% throttle cranking (if a bad IAC) fails to start car. (I'm adding just a tad more air, to cure minor flooding, see?) Good EFI hates for you to do this, but bad IAC's  are, well , bad.... and respond differently.
  5. Not removing a spark plug from your pocket (a new test spark plug in all my cars trunk tool boxes) and check for spark at #1 front (easy to reach) spark plug, GOT SPARK? No spark !, is cam  spinning? (look in oil filler hole (hint) see cam spin?).
  6. Dash lamps ,gauges, etc, are dead?, and indication of lost electrical power. (fuses blown)
  7. Does ECU flash 12s or other codes when asked (asked means, with a 1 cent paper clip)  (if dead, lamp, ECU is dead, (lamp out) if other codes,  consider each for reasons for non startup.  Code 41 or Code (DTC) 42 while cranking is the REASON there is no spark)
  8. If spark is good, I pull #1 spark plug, to see if it is white or black tips, is it wet or dry of fuel.   If dry? , look for lost fuel pressure (try test fuel)  if wet, its flooding use fueling tests.
  9. If dry ? those sparky TIP'S. try test fuel , now.  does it run now , with test fuel for the duration of said fuel you used.  3 sprays max per run out. do not go crazy with test fuel. or use this below.
9 fast tests.
Again, watch and  hear  what Scotty Says?
The Long play:  NO SPARK. Spark must come first or there is not going to be fueling, if  the ECU detects NO SPARK
NO START: (cranks fine) does WOT un-flood mode start car now?
When it fails to start, does cranking show the Tachometer needle swing upscale? a 4WD feature,  
On pre 1996 cars, set the DLC jumper paper clip, and crank for 5 seconds, min.   (1989-1995)
Look for  DTC Code 41 is lost spark or code 42, 
 (in 1996 and newer,  look for, no RPM counts, P0355, P0340 , or P0300s)  The ECU trips errors for 1 in 10 fails. EG> CMP pulses must not drop out..
No Code 41/42 or P0340s or P0335s allowed,  those are all catastrophic fails. Correct those first.  My CEL page covers this, better.

We can assume the engines ok, as it does always start later and run ok.?  (unless the crank bolt is loose or the cam timing belt was  never changed at 60k miles (intervals)  snapped or slipped off time..)
Open the oil filler  and look while cranking, does the cam spin, no , snapped timing belt.  If handy?  this trick (test) finds 2 major cam faults. (see acid test,too)
We now know, it's one of 2 things,  loss of spark or loss of fuel or too much fuel.
Spark and Fuel ! The tests are easy.
How you find it , depends on your tool sets, or skills. I carry a new fresh spark plug, in all my cars, to do a spark test. #1 is it good? if bad, prior to 1996 we can check spark directly at the coil.  I alway check all cylinders and the coil for spark. (a full picture ,wins this war)
I will show you how to find it, with simple cheap tools.
U.S.A. centric for sure.  If you HAVE OBD2 tools (96+)  the problem can be easier to find, in some cases.

The timeless practice of the Otto Cycle engine.  1: Engine good, 2 Spark good,  3:fueling good , always applies. 1920s to present.  No matter what.

If stranded, check spark, check to see if test fuel works. (I carry instant test fuel in a can and spare new spark plug gapped to 0.028", in all old cars)  Use W.O.T cranking to clear floods. Wide open Throttle = WOT.
If it runs on test fuel see this page.



Section 1:   ( Do not look for fuel, if there is no spark , there will not be any fueling with dead spark. ECU has  hard coded logic to stop fueling, if spark is gone!) "No crash and burn , like on TV"

The CEL lamp is on, key on, and the Tachometer swings up scale as I crank, GOOD!  (ECU not totally dead , CEL glows)
The Tacho moving, means the CMP is firing , the ECU sees it and the ECU is generating spark to the coils primary. no code 41/42 either.

Ok, I have good spark, and on all 4,  and the dizzy is not loose...   If car is dead in your drive way , checking timing is now #1 , spark is great, but timing wins.
Look at the spark plugs, remove one or all, and take a gander and them,  are the tips White/cream or are they black and wet.
Wet (sniff sniff) with gas or dry as a bone.?  (dry is lost fuel injection) When motors don't start,  the spark plugs must be wet,  if not the ECU cuts fuel and will be dry.
If spark is good, and no code 41s, the cranking must make the spark wet, or there is no Injection. On any 8v TBI you can just look and see it inject or not. so easy to do.

If wet?, the engine flooded.  To find a flood read this.
Regardless , I check spark and use test fuel if only, I do have spark, at all 4 cylinders. (if missing check at the COIL)
First put a fresh new spark plug on each spark wire in turn and make sure each wire has spark , as I crank.
If I have no spark. I then try test fuel. if the motor is not flooded.
If the test fuel tests on a non flooded engine with good spark , great , but if it  fails to start you need to check ignition timing .  (at this moment, you have been towed home)
if Ignition timing was bad, the timing belt slipped,( I'll assume the Dizzy base clamp bolt is not loose) Do not attempt to correct bad IGN timing now, fix the timing belt. do the sneak-a-peak test now.
If ignition timing is good, then I look for fuel pressure loss or dead injectors.
If  the motor is flooded and spark is good, I then invoke super secret unflood mode.  I hold the throttle down to max wide  open throttle (WOT) and crank , this cuts fuel injection only when cranking.
The above will cover all hot restart fails.

SECTION 2:  (intermittent spark?)
Next, is my how to discover, why the loss of fuel or spark happened, by setting a trap.
You are doing this because you problem  cured itself, before you could complete section 1.
You have 2 choices ,wait for this to happen again, or lay a trap.

You need 2 tools ,one is any electronic ignition "Strobe" lamp  and 1 remote reading fuel pressure gauge if strobe passes the tests. The strobe is $15 tool and the gage is $60.
One can check spark at all 4 spark plugs (G16_, and see it strobes, steady on each one.  or at the coil , pre 1996 cars.
For harder cases?  (I'd never do this , until after  a tune up)
I strap the strobe light to my car body and then duct tape the power switch ON
I find a way to get my strobe , in view of  the windshield; me looking out.  (can be hard to do, but I  have a modified strobe that can be passed out the grill of the car. (tiny connectors added) (A cheap Harbor Fright strobe , is expendable at $20)
My strobe has added connectors, that allow me to pass the cable through ANY firewall or body panel or grill.   
Coil over Plugs. (4 or 6 ignition coils) called COPS.
COPS take careful magnetic coupling, to view , so it flashes consistently.  (coil over plugs is COP'S)  (HINT,  my strobe can even pick up injector signals ,not all can)  The ECU will report bad cops with P030x (x = cylinder)
Some cars with COPS have no timing adjust at all ! RTM read the FSM its all there.., but Suzuki does up to 2004,  at the CMP, (open hood, see CMP see slots. bingo) CMP is Cam angle sensor.
The strobe does not prove good intensity at all, it only proves, engine is timed correctly.

The Tests: (traps) Keep in mind a good scan tool can see failures too, you can drive and log PID data as you drive. 1996+) P030x/ 340s, 355s popping up? are they? 
I drive until the failure happens.
If the strobe lamp  acts up (misfires)or dies at motor death ,we have found spark died.  BRAVO , you are getting close!  (think of ways to improvise) The lamp must flash consistent or that is misfire.
Always check spark first, because the ECU, software (brains, code instructions,logic?) kills injection with the loss of spark. (a fire safety feature)


Spark died: ( do drive with a scan tool connected and logging enabled, or if Pre 96' year,  drive with the CEL flashing code 12s all day)
Crank motor and check the status of the CMP or CAS using the scan tool or DTC CEL flashes ( new  OBD2 or old OBD1) [ new are CAS]
Drive car and log the action of all  sensors if car is 1996 or newer, at the death point.  Look at PENDINGS carefully. DTC ? 103s , 300s ?  340,  is  RPM strange and bouncing.??
The 1.8L Sport is infamous ( as is 2.0 Vitara and larger) for a bad CAS. "in English, the cam angle sensor at rear of cam shaft"
( and HOT soak fail is top of list)  Suzuki charges over  $500 for this part. ( find a used or a  rebuilt CAS) The CAS sits behind the LEFT CAM shaft.  (rockauto.com)  I think Cardone 1 ,rebuilds them here, in USA.

If you have a CAS (cam angle sender)  then suspect it of HOT SOAK FAILURE.  Log the CAS signals via the scan tool(RPM will vary strangely and odd false P030x)
If the old Distributor CMP is flaky; the cranking DTC 41 or 42 will be thrown , and possible while  cranking for 10seconds, on dead motor.  (key off , clears these, so be careful not to miss the failed codes.)
Keep in mind that old 95 and older KICKS you can drive for weeks, with the diagnostics jumper in place  ,so if it starts flashing 41/42 , you now caught the fail.
Drive with CEL flashing code 12 for days on end.  Harmless but annoying.
Never drive with timing freeze jumper in place. ever. on any year Suzuki. (or risk CAT burn up)
You can drive with a good scan tool and log data for a week.  You sure can.  My Palmer software , can log any PID or group. On any old laptop (USB opted) or Android phone .  I run ScanXL on an old XP Dell Lap top.
On 1996 and newer you can use OBD2 scan logging to see this.

Fuel Pressure drop outs?
If  spark is good,connect  a remote reading fuel pressure gauge and lay it on the passenger seat. (mine is electric, just 2 wires) I have an electric  sender attached to the fuel filter test port. ( a banjo fitting there)
Drive until the failure happens and note the fuel pressure. Less than 30 PSI is suspected.  (my guess less than 10psi) 60 psi is clogged filter or FP regulator stuck closed (bad)
If you lost  fuel pressure, the answer is here.

Fuel Pump  died: (assumes spark is good) Warning, some pumps only pump cranking and running, engine. (1989/90 and All SPORT 1.8L)  1991  (1991+ G16 pumps only, for 3 seconds, key on)
Check the power feed to the pump carefully.12v not 10v, no 8v.  sorry.
You can rig a remote volt meter to  the pump and monitor it too. while driving,  for  sure!
If 12 v power is dropping out, find out why? ,examine all  connections to this pump. Find this voltage drop with a DMM volt meter,  warning 2, some pumps go bad and draw 10amps current (not spec 4amp) and overloads the weak Suzuki power feed wires.
Use and Ammeter, to measure the current.  (a pro uses a scope can can see bad brushes in the pump motor, or shorted armature windings, clear as day) All pumps have noise, a symmetrical hash, what you look for is bad current spikes, the sure sign of a dying pump)
The fuel pressure wrong, can be lots of things, besides just the pump.
Some pumps short so bad , it keeps crashing the ECU, (voltage drops below 9v) relays click like mad.....
If power is good, the pump is bad.

The last major component failure is the MAF or MAP.
The 16v MAF if it dies while driving? ,will force the ECU to use MAF mimic mode, this is a limphome mode.  The fuel mixture will go rich and may foul the spark plugs.  (you can start the engine with the MAF unplugged, and the mimic mode goes way rich)
The 8 valve car MAP rarely goes bad (cept the hoses  to it)  and it too goes to mimic mode (limphome ) and the same results , black wet spark plugs and horrible MPG (mileage bad, wasted fuel).  I say one bad MAP, it was crushed at engine swap.
Pre 96 cars, the limphome is very bad, very great loss of power and  15 mpg fuel usages.  In 1996, the MPG hit is less, but the engine will be rich, retarded spark and limited RPM.  (only the degree of penalty varies)


TEST FUEL:    (or a can of Start you Bastard) (or like brands, some are called safe start, not just pure ether)
The last trap: (this is Test fuel there are many ways to do this)  (real fuel in a spray bottle (DIY) CRC instant start with oil Protected (a new product)  or Propane gas.
 I show propane because it is safer for you and your engine and is used in my EFI and 02 sensor tests..  All mechs today use this, for that reason.

This trap finds bad fuel (low or loss) injections.  (spark good, fuel pressure good)
Connect up one of these devices by OTC company. Or make one from a propane torch by removing the nozzle end. and adding a hose. "DIY"
Attach it to the EVAP nipple in the intake plenum port( the nipple that sucks full time running all the time, idle and WOT)  (leave EVAP (old) hose dangle, that is ok, for now.)
Then route the hose through  the firewall some way. (this comment is for testing, lean engine ,on the fly so skip this part for no start testing)
For no starts just blast propane into the intake system some way.  (depends on engine type)
Then drive, when the car bogs,(dies) hit the button, (turn the knob) and see if added propane solves the power loss.
If it does fail,  then the Injections are failing some way.

I hope my 3 traps , save you tons of money, labor , grief and endless searching.

The Key is finding out which system is failing.  spark or just fuel or too much fuel.  (3 possibles)

In school, they teach all techs, all ways to force rich and lean. 

Did you know , you can start and engine and keep it running, with no gas tank in the car, or the fuel pump dead as a door nail. ? 
Why would you do that?, well,  as you can see and hear, the engine is good, and so is spark, proving , bad fueling, (logic) The CAT converter on your newer car. is not clogged , either.




Jargon is here. (SAE spec)

Note USA cars are all OBD2 , starting in 1996, some other countries ,2001.  Some countries have never adopted OBD2, and still run OBD1 to this day,  and many (most) JDM cars use ODB1.
Some started in 2006.
Some countries (UK, EU) use their own , kind of modified OBD2 , these standards may not be compatible with USA designed OBD2 scanners and readers.
Some only need and adapter cable to run 0BD2 (a none USA cable)



rev 5 added the 9   steps..  12-12-2012



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