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Why wont my engine start?

The engine cranks but there is no spark. I have replaced the plugs, wires, points, cap, rotor, coil, and battery. I don't know what else it could be. please help.

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  • 351 Answers

You must have no power getting to the coil, make sure you put the + wire on the + terminal of the coil, try running a power wire direct from the battery to the coil to see if you get spark at the plugs when you turn the engine over but make sure you put the power wire on the + terminal. my only other suggestion is to check the points with a multi-meter before you install them as the contact tips on the points may have a coating on them which is stopping the power crossing over, also make sure the point gap has been set properly,

Posted on May 09, 2014

Testimonial: "well I ran a wire from the + side of the coil to the battery and the wire started to melt and ideas?"

  • Frank Davis
    Frank Davis May 20, 2014

    i mean any ideas?

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Posted on Aug 13, 2011

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2 Answers

1949fordrepairhelp


Old school!

Check the points for being clean and flat. One side has a trough and the other side has a spike. Clean them so they are flat. Check the points gap with feeler gauges. Check you have power at the ignition coil. With power to the coil, when you disconnect the earth, you should get a spark at the plug. Check the plug gap about 25 thou. Check the rotor inside the distributor cap, it may be missing and you need one. The brass outer contact can be cleaned on the wall of the tyres (those were the days). Also check that the spring loaded contact in the CENTRE of the distributor cap goes up and down. Finally check that the distributor cap doesn't have any cracks. Watch the cap and leads in the dark whilst cranking and looks for sparks tracking to earth. Good luck. Let us know how you get on by making COMMENT under my name.

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If theres no spark from the spark plugs then you would have to replace them?

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94 Acura Integra wont Start


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Mar 09, 2013 | 1994 Acura Integra

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No spark


First does the rotor turn when cranking engine?? possible timing chain is out or stripped gear..are you sure it has no spark??did you verify this with a high output spark tester ? did you spray starting fluid in the tbi unit ?

Mar 23, 2012 | 2000 Chevrolet Astro

1 Answer

Replaced bad fuel pump, installed new relay and fuel filter, engine turns over but is not firing on..... positive the fuel pump is pumping gas and checked to see if gas was going thru fuel filter. Tried...


Hi, Ok you have confirmed that it's not a fuel problem. You need to check for spark. Pull the coil wire off of the coil(secondary lead-looks like a spark plug wire) Have some one crank it over and listen for a popping sound. IF yes, spark is at the coil, that means all ignition sensors are working. Next check for spark at ends of wires after cap. IF no replace cap and rotor. IF yes remove a couple spark plugs and check for fouling(wet, fuel etc...) IF yes replace or clean plugs and retest for starting. IF no spark is present at coil you need to scan computer and watch for rpm signal. IF no rpm signal, replace crankshaft sensor with OEM delco part. BIGGEST problem with these engines is Cap and Rotor burn out.

May 23, 2011 | 2002 Chevrolet Blazer

5 Answers

Truck wont crank. we have put new distributor cap, rotor button, coil pack, plugs, wires, and fuel pump. we also checked our firing order.


you said you repl dist cap that means you don't have a crank sensor you have electronic ing module. remove your elec ing module have it tested most auto parts stores could test your module, or check your coil at the neg terminal. should have power. if not you lost your primary volt from your batt.your secondary power is coming from your electronic ing module from the module to the pos terminal on the coil, when the eng cranks,from the coil to the dist cap , from the dist cap center to the rotor then out to the plugs,this all happen pervided the timing belt or timing chain is ok. the cumbustion chainber needs 3 things , thats fuel, air, and spark.

Apr 17, 2011 | 1996 Chevrolet K1500

1 Answer

I replaced the spark plugs, gaped at .35, replaced wiring, took each wire and replaced from the one I replace so the firing order should be correct, replaced the cap and rotor. The had been running before...


If the engine is balking or kicking back while you are cranking it over, chances are you may still have gotten the wires on the cap wrong. You may have the correct order but started in the wrong spot.
Take a drinking straw and put it into the #1 plug hole (don't let it fall in) and rotate the engine by hand 'till the timing mark on the front pulley lines up with the "0" on the timing scale and the straw is at it's highest position. Look at the rotor. it should be pointing roughly at the R/F headlight. Mark the position with a crayon etc on the outside of the housing and replace the cap. That is the #1 plug wire position...the remainder of the wires are installed in the same direction the rotor turns...153624 or 18436572 (if 8cyl). If the rotor points 180 degrees away from where I said, turn the engine one more revolution.

Feb 28, 2011 | Jeep Cherokee Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have a Mazda astina 323 94 model it cranks but won't start doesn't seem to be any spark from the leads I have recently changed the leads , Im guessing it's the coil and distributor cap please help


1 remove the cable from the coil to the distributor.
check this agains earth, when you turn the engine over.

if spark, suspect rotor arm is not setting spark to each spark plug lead.
open distributor and clean the rotor arm with a cloth or wire wool
not sand paper as this will take off too much and cause a problem

2 check inside distributor for moisture. spray inside with WD40 or equiventy water repelent.

3 if not spark at coil open distriutor cap and with ignition on, open and close points in distributor with a screw driver and check coil again against earth again if you get sparh, problem is points not opening and closing.

4 turn over engine with distributor cover removed to see if rotor arm is moving if not then cam drive to distributor is defective. this controls points and rotor arm.

if rotor arm turning and spark at points but no spark at coil suspect Low tension wiring or coil needs replacement.

i hope this was helpful

Dec 12, 2010 | Mazda 323 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

1986 dodge power ram, im seventeen and dont know to much about Chrysler but it wont start replaced the battery and alternator still wont start. its not getting any spark and it is still getting gas i can...


Hi, Hope I can help you.
I do not know how you have checked for spark, but lets start from the beginning.
Lets start with an ignition systems check.
1. I want you to remove the high voltage coil wire. ( That's the wire in the center of the distributor cap.) Using a good pair of insulated pliers. I want you to hold it about 1/4 inch from a good engine ground. Now you will need a bit of help from a partner. Get them to turn the key and crank the engine. You should see a bright blue and well defined spark. Ok, If you have spark I want you to slowly move the coil wire away from the engine ground. As you do this I want you to pay attention to the coil tower. (The coil tower is where the other end of the coil wire is attached.) What your looking for is arcing and sparking at the coil tower. If this happens then you need to replace the coil with a new one. If this does not happen then your coil is working fine, and we will have to move on.
Note if you do not get spark from the coil wire replace the coil.

2. Ok if you have spark now we have find out if the spark is making it to the spark plugs. How are we going to do this? By checking the rotor, distributor cap, spark plug wires and spark plugs.First lets remove the distributor cap. This will allow use to inspected the rotor and the distributor cap. What your looking for is, cracks, carbon tracks and wear at the tip of the rotor. On the distributor ,look inside the cap for cracks, carbon tracks and wear on the terminals. If you find any of this replace the distributor cap and rotor. ( Note if you have any doubt of the condition of the rotor or the cap replace them.) Next lets check your spark plug wires. Lets pull off one of the spark plug wires from the spark plug side. Now inspect the wire connection for a white crusty powder. If you find crust replace your wires. Now you should check all of them the same way, but if even one has corrosion replace them all. You are going to have to inspect the wire its self . Going down the whole length of the wire. Holes cracks burn Marks and other damage. Once again if you find any damage replace them all.
I hope this will help you and good luck to all the read this FixYa

Oct 25, 2010 | 1986 Dodge Ramcharger

1 Answer

My nissan


If you have a 12 volt test light put the point on the positive lead to
the coil and the ground lead to a good ground ( Negitive side of battery ). Then turn the key on. If the test light comes on then you have power to the coil. With power to the coil confirmed have someone crank the engine and put the test light on the negitive side of the coil. The light should flash at a rapid steady rate. If not then your pickup in the distributor may be bad. If no power to coil with key on or when cranking you may have a bad ignition switch.
Another way to test for spark is to remove the coil wire from the dist cap and hold the end close to a ground ( 1/4 inch away) and
have some one crank the engine. If you get a good spark but no
spark to the spark plugs you may have a cracked dist cap or a bad rotor. If no spark at coil wire use a wire in place of the coil wire to check for spark. You may have a bad coil wire. Good luck. Neil W.

Dec 24, 2008 | 1983 Nissan Pulsar

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