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Need to see if you have spark at the spark plugs. Then check fuel pressure at the engine. Do you hear the fuel pump run a few seconds when turn the key on (without cranking)? If you don't hear ir running, could be pump, relay, fuse.
You've already eliminated the spark plug & wireset, distributor cap & rotor. Sounds like your car needs a tune-up, specifically, the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve, and/of the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve.
Components checked/replaced during a tune-up are: air filter motor oil motor oil filter breather filter fuel filter(s) fuel strainer PCV valve EGR valve spark plugs spark plug wires ECM or distributor cap & rotor cabin air filter transmission oil filter transmission oil engine coolant check all vacuum hoses and lines
Troubleshooting the no-start condition - from the 1990 Mitsu Mighty Max Repair Manual:
Priority Action Part Type -- Cause 1 Inspect Battery -- Battery Discharged or Faulty. 2 Inspect Battery Cable -- Corroded, Broken, Shorted or Poorly Connected Battery Cable. 3 Inspect Distributor Cap -- Distributor Cap Cracked or Burned. 3 Inspect Fuel Filter -- Clogged or Dirty Fuel Filter. 5 Inspect Ignition Coil -- Faulty Ignition Coil. 6 Inspect Wireset -- Worn, Damaged or Faulty Spark Plug Wire(s). 7 Inspect Spark Plug -- Incorrectly Gapped or Fouled Spark Plug(s). 8 Inspect Starter -- Starter Motor Faulty. 9 Inspect Fuel Pump -- Low Fuel Pressure. 10 Inspect Solenoid Switch -- Faulty Starter Solenoid Switch. 11 Inspect Fuel Pump Relay -- Faulty Fuel Pump Relay. 12 Inspect Fuel Injector Pressure Regulator -- Faulty Fuel Injector Pressure Regulator. 13 Inspect Ignition Switch -- Improperly Connected or Faulty Ignition Switch. 14 Inspect Starter Drive -- Faulty Starter Drive. 15 Inspect Fuel Injector -- Dirty or Worn Fuel Injectors. 16 Inspect Fuel Pump Strainer -- Clogged or Dirty Fuel Pump Strainerat. 17 Inspect Engine Control Computer -- Incorrect Operating Information Being Delivered and Sent From The EEC. 18 Inspect Fuel Tank -- Fuel Tank Empty. 19 Inspect Carburetor -- Carburetor Flooded or Faulty Choke. 20 Inspect Distributor -- Worn, Loose, or Incorrectly Installed Distributor.
You need to find out if the fuel is reaching the cylinders and if the spark plugs are firing. Pull the spark plug wire off one plug. Insert a phillips head screwdriver into the end of the spark plug wire and ground it against a metal engine part. Try to start the car while observing the screwdriver. There should be a spark jumping from the screwdriver to the engine. If there is no spark, you will need to do further troubleshooting to find out why. Now, remove the spark plug that the wire cam from and check it for wet fuel. If the engine is getting fuel the plug will be wet with gasoline. If the plug is dry, Then either your fuel pump is not working or the fuel filter is plugged up. Let me know what you find and I will help you with further troubleshooting.
Things to check Plugs; Remove the spark plugs and read them, they should all have a dry tip and be clean from any carbon, oil or fuel. Usually if burning fuel properly they will have a brown or whitish looking tint from burned carbon.
If any of the plugs look wet or black or dirty looking different from the others the problem is with that cylinder, change all the plugs and see if that helps, the next lease expensive thing is replacing the plug wires.If your fouling plugs ask your parts store for 1 number hotter plug ( heat range)
Plug Wires; Open the hood at night with the engine running and see if you find any blue looking arcing around or in the wires, if so replace the wires.
Fuel Injectors If all above looks good your fuel injectors might be dirty or one might not be working. You could try an injector cleaner mixed in with your gas
A rough idle comes from one or more cylinders not firing as hard as the others or not at all, there are so many causes for this so you have to troubleshoot with the lease expensive fix first.
Another thing is water in the gas, you can pour plain ole rubbing alcohol in your gas tank if you suspect water in your gas. alcohol mixes with the water and makes it burn instead of mis firing.
Valves One more thing that can cause rough idle is your valves, this requires a compression check on each cylinder. If one cylinder has less compression than the rest remove the compression tester and squirt some engine oil in the cylinder then re test, if the compression increases it is bad rings or a bad cylinder bore, if not it is a valve problem.
Oil seals around the piston increasing the compression temporarily while testing but makes no difference in testing if the valves are leaking.
Good Luck,... troubleshooting and patience, or a good mechanic is the solution if you are working with neither
There is three commong solutions to check first before you proceed to the general troubleshooting.
1. Do you have gas in the tank ( it is silly questions )
2. Do your fuel pump delivers fuel to the engine. Perform fuel pressure check.
3. Do you have spark. Check your spark plugs, wires and coils for damage. Perform spark plug test.
You can pull a plug wire end from a plug and either put a spare plug in the end, or remove one of your plugs from the engine. Just lay the plug onto the engine... don't hold it... ha
Have someone turn the engine over and observe for spark at the end of the plug.
This will at least determine if you're getting spark. Good luck!
Yes, figure out if your not getting fuel pressure of spark. You may have a Igniton mode out if no spark. you may have a fuel pump out or the fuse or relay died.. Or you may have a ECM fuse that blew. You could have a wire somewhere for any of these systems broken.