94 Cav won't start

94 Cavalier auto 135000 mi 2.2L 4 cyl --- engine cranks strong - will not fire up. Where do I start looking for problems. Cannot tell if it is lack of fuel or lack of spark, although I suspect electrical.
Any insight appreciated. TIA Bob
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First with 135K miles it may have a spent ignition system. New plugs and wires may be all it needs. Pull a wire and look at the color of the spark. Blue is good and strong, orange is weak. Pull the plugs and see what they look like. Nice and toasty brown is what you are looking for. If they are black, or the electrode is wore down (you can check the gap if you want). Make sure all the cylinders have spark. You may have a bad coil pack if two work and two do not. If they ALL do not spark, then it is probably the ignition module. Most parts stores now have a way to test them if you get it off and bring it to them.
Easier thing to check is to see if you have fuel pressure. First have someone turn the key on (NOT starting the car) and stay near the fuel tank to hear if the pump comes on. You will hear it "whirr"
That will get you started, but by no means every thing that could be causing your problem.....
Eightupman

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Hey thanks. My g/f's car. Her repair guy replaced the wires very recently. Also alternator, probably plugs, and anything else he could unbolt, replace and charge her for. Now he says "I have got to do diagnostics, and that will cost a couple hours labor, etc etc." Duh. He has been doing the guesswork strategy and clearly not looking for a cause. But I will check the individual plugs for spark strength. Will listen for fuel pump noise. I know a little about troubleshooting, but can you tell me where the ignition module is located? Or point me to a web site with some pictures? Also, is it possibly something in the ignition key switch? Or the ignition switch harness or a wire connection under the dash? It seems to be an "all-on or all-off" thing no grey area -- a week ago it started with no warning. Once. I did not mention, I smell no fuel during starting attempts. Is that relevant in an fuel injected engine? Thanks for your help. Bob

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What you are describing can be caused by many things. I do not believe it is the ignition switch because your car cranks, and every thing on the dash/radio is on when in the "run" position ...(I am assuming this) The crank sensor is a likely cause though and not to hard to change

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A 'common' problem on these engines once they have a bunch of miles on them is the crank position sensor. If it doesn't get the pulse from the crank, it won't spark. Course, check for fuel and/or spark first before throwing parts at it.

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Agreed...but I do not think that can be troubleshot easily without a scanner.....gave him the easy stuff first.
Your ignition module is located under the coil packs

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Anybody know if the ignition switch on this generation Cav is incorporated with the Key lock, or is it a separate switch down the column controlled by linkage (like some Corsica's). TIA Bob

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