97 Elantra won't start - update

97 Elantra Came home parked the car, came out the next morning and it wouldn't start. Ok. I have good spark at all cylinders. Wires are recently new. The timing
belt is tight, looks new (less than 20000 miles on it, no broken teeth, etc). Yet, this car will crank and crank, and almost catch but will not run. The fuel pump seems to be running, I can hear it if I jump the fuel pump test lead in the engine compartment. Pulled the outlet side off the fuel filter, drained it with a syphon, cranked the engine and it filled back up right away. Checked the fuel for water, no luck there. My OBD reader returns: PO442 PO 455 (both evap cannister issues) P 1513 P1553 (both idle speed actuator issues). Don't think these wwould cause it to not start. The CEL has always been on - cracked gas tank pressue issue. Hyundai repaired it once, but it recurred. Definitely think there is no fuel reaching th ecylinders. Question is what the simplest way to test for this?
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First, check your idle actuator. If it's stuck closed, you may not have enough air to start the engine. You could depress the gas pedal to see if the car starts. If so, presume the actuator (or its control) is the problem. Since you've got open circuit codes for both the close and the open side if the actuator, check for power in the wire powering the actuator and check the actuator resistance.
How did you verify the fuel is not reaching the cylinders? I'd be looking to verify injector pulse and proper fuel pressure. You'll need a noid lamp (plugs into the injector connector) to verify injector pulse and a fuel pressure gauge and adaptor to properly check fuel pressure. The fact that you have spark suggests you'll probably have injector pulse.
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Haven't. If I let the car sit over night, it will start and run for 5-8 seconds the first time I try it, after that it will 'almost' catch, but will just not start - almost as if there's water in the fuel.
I'd like to eliminate the fuel filter and then the fuel pump. I think if I get fuel pumping ahead of the filter, I can eliminate both - just need a convenient spot to open up the fule line.

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Without seeing anything else - this is a classic symptom of a clogged fuel filter. Put a fuel pressure gauge on the car and see what you're getting up at the injectors. That will get you pointed in the right direction.
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Changed the fuel filter yesterday, no change. Am definitely getting decent pressure at the fuel filter, so I think we can eliminate the fuel pump. And I have decent spark.
Haven't verified that the injectors have pulse, but they should get signal from the ECU, no. And the car will run for 5-7 seconds, but only in the morning. Wires are fairly new, don't see any arcing. Going to try a new set of plugs first and then .... Thinking crank position sensor, maybe. If you have spark and fuel, then the timing is suspect.

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Crank position sensor won't give you the symptoms you're describing. Running for 5-7 seconds only in the morning does not point to a Crank sensor. I don't know what the fuel pressure needs to be for an Elantra but checking it with a gauge has become a standard procedure for fuel injected engines. Any engine codes?
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Like Mike says, you need to verify actual pressure. I don't have the spec in front of me, but I expect it'll be in the neighborhood of 35-50 psi.
At this point, it's a reasonable guess that you indeed have a fuel pressure issue. That would explain why the car shuts back off-- it has pressure from when it was last run, and once that is used up, it won't run anymore.
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