I'm getting desperate. I'm on an island. The car is a '92 Dodge Colt.
The import car fixer says my car isn't "foriegn" enough. The other guy
says it's too "foriegn". Here's what it is doing. Not running. It has
spark, compression, fuel pressure, and the timing is correct. The
manual says that if the car runs while starting and then dies when the
key springs back to the ON position then the fuel pump relay is bad.
But there is no relay where the book says to look and none anywhere I
can see. The dealership doesn't list one. He said to bring in the old
one and they would match it up. The car ran fine to work in the
morning and wouldn't start in the evening. The computer said it was a
bad mass air flow sensor. A new one is 400 bucks so my son went to the
wreckers and picked up a couple for twenty bucks. We put one on and
the car started but ran poorly. I was able to drive it about 1/4 mile
before it died. And while driving it would act like it was leaned out
real bad when I floored it. That was yesterday. Today it won't even
try to start. No matter which mass air flow sensor is connected. The
computer only returns the code now that says all is good. Any help
Eric R Snow
If not, are the plugs wet or dry?
If dry, you likely have a fuel problem.
If wet, it ismore likely ignition.
What is the cranking compression, after 3 full turns with all plugs
out and throttle wide open?
How big a gap will the spark jump from the cable end to ground?
That model still has an external coil with a coil wire - try the spark
jump from the coil wire, as you get 4 times as many sparks as you get
at a plug wire. You should get a good 1/2" fat blue spark. If you get
a decent spark at the coil wire, check at the plug wires to make sure
the rotor isn't grounding.
If you don't get a good spark, check the resistance of the coil wire.
You may get spark through it even if you have an open connection (an
extra spark gap) but it won't fire the plugs under compression. If the
wire is OK, try a new coil. Again, if you get one from the scrappy,
you MAY be getting another dud.
The MAF sensor on that car is a Karmen Vortex unit - and it's possible
you got a bad one from the scrappers. Not unheard of for a Mitsu to be
scrapped when one of those goes out, as many people believe they are
not worth spending $400 on in one crack. If you know where there is
another running Colt, see if you can swap yours in and see if the
running car stays running. That's the simplest test I know of for
Another test to see if it is spark or fuel (assuming the plugs are
dry) is to squirt a tablespoon or 2 of fuel into the intake, then open
the throttle and crank. If it fires you know everything except the
fuel system is functioonal.
One other thing to try - it's a long-shot - but you COULD have a
plugged exhaust. Drop the pipe from the manifold (only have to drop it
1/4 inch (6mm)) to release exhaust pressure. If it starts with the
exhaust dropped, the exhaust is plugged. Could be the converter - but
I've also seen muffler baffles shift, plugging the muffler.
Do NOT squirt gas into the intake while cranking!!!!!!!
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