Dan Ferrell writes about do-it-yourself car maintenance and repair. He has certifications in automation and control technology. When your engine cranks but won't start or run, it could mean your engine is having trouble producing a spark, getting fuel, or creating compression. The most common causes are in the ignition for example, a bad ignition coil or fuel system for example, a clogged fuel filter. However, the source may also be a mechanical fault for example, a leaking valveor faulty components in other systems.
What "crank-no-start" doesn't generally mean is a problem with the starter. If the engine cranks normally, you don't have a starting problem. If it isn't cranking right the engine rotates slowly or doesn't rotate, or you hear weird noises or nothing when you try to start the enginecheck this other practical guide to troubleshooting the starting system. Whatever you do, avoid cranking the engine repeatedly with the hope that the engine will fire up.
You may drain your battery of power and damage the starter motor in the process. Instead, try to use the charge left in your battery to locate the fault.
This guide will first give you six quick things you can check, and then three systems to troubleshoot—the spark, the fuel, the compression—using some simple and quick diagnostics. Then, for more help, you'll see a list of components in related systems that can be associated with a no-start condition.
To operate efficiently, an internal combustion gasoline engine needs a good spark, the right amount of fuel, and good compression a healthy mechanical condition. The lack of any of these three things will prevent your engine from starting. So, the next three sections will list series of steps to help you find out whether your engine is lacking adequate spark, is not getting enough fuel, or has too low compression.
First you want to check that a good spark is reaching the cylinders. You can do this test without a spark tester, but it's better to use one, because a weak spark as well as a missing spark can prevent your engine from starting. If you don't see a spark, repeat the test.
This time, adjust the spark tester to 30KV. If still you don't see a spark, repeat the test and set the tester to 10KV. If this time you see a spark or no spark, you have a problem in the ignition system. Consult your vehicle repair manual for your particular model for further diagnosis. Depending on your particular model, you may have a problem with an ignition coil, distributor, ignition module, igniter, or some other related component.
Other Checks You Should Do:. After checking for spark, you need to check that the engine is getting fuel. Some models, like many Ford vehicles, have a fuel pump switch inertia switchthat automatically cuts power to the fuel pump when involved in an accident. If your engine refused to start after an accident or after a vehicle struck yours in a parking lot, check for an inertia switch. The switch helps prevent your car catching on fire if an accident occurs.
Check your car owner's manual or vehicle repair manual to locate the switch. You can pop the button back in manually.If the engine is not turning over it is not cranking If it will not crank there will be no spark, the engine must be turning over in order to generate a spark. Crank - no spark, no fire. This will be a failure of the ignition control module or crank position sensor most likely, if it has a coil separate from the ignition module it may have failed, the spark plug wire may also have failed.
Older engines used either a magneto based or distributor point and coil based system but most ATV's have electronic ignition which consists of a crank position sensor, controlling circuitry, a coil usually integrated in the EI module and plug wire.
Why does every one over think things??? So your through ing parts at it now??? Ok, well is it getting fuel??? Need three things to start and run.
Verify the three and try again. Update: it is a cc 4wheeler just got my son for christmas he. Answer Save. How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer. GaryM Lv 5. Valuable discussion, just what I was looking for. Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.When taking on a no spark condition one needs to be patient and have an open mind.
Becoming fixated on specific components is a good way to not find the true problem. Knowing what to look for when troubleshooting ignition systems can allow proper decisions to be made. First, We know your engine cranks but will not start. Before doing any testing always start with a fully charged battery. In extreme cases the PCM may have failed. In some cases, a PCM problem will cause the vehicle not to run at all. If there are problems with how the PCM performs these functions, the vehicle may not run.
First of all, look for any broken, loose or corroded wires from the sensor to the PCM. The crankshaft position CKP sensor monitors the position or rotational speed of the crankshaft. This will leave you unable to start the car. Ignition modules are solid state switching devices that typically use a component like a transistor to switch the current flow through the primary winding of an ignition coil on and off.
In that way, an ignition module works a lot like mechanical points. However, ignition modules are not able to do the job alone.
An ignition module requires some type of external input in order to activate. If your vehicle stalls unexpectedly during operation and will not start again, it is likely because of loose or corroded electrical connections in the ignition module. In this case, check the switch, clean oxidized terminals, and replace broken wires if necessary. Another problem is damage by overheating. Electronic ignition pickups are a component found on traditional electronic distributor ignition systems.
They are located inside the distributor and function as the trigger for the ignition system to produce spark. The pickup coil monitors the rotation of the distributor and triggers the ignition system. Also, At the optimal moment to produce the best timed spark for best engine performance.
As the ignition pickup essentially functions as the activation switch for the entire ignition system, when it fails, it can greatly affect the operation of the vehicle. Consequently, An old or failing ignition pickup may cut out signal intermittently, which may cause the engine to stall.
The engine may suddenly just shut off, almost as if the key had been turned off. Depending on the nature of the issue, sometimes the vehicle can be restarted and driven.
atv cranks but no spark?
Consequently this problem will only get worse and completely fail. The ignition coil is the unit that takes your relatively weak battery power and turns it into a powerful spark. As a result, This occurs after the ignition coil or module gets too hot. Furthermore, it could correct itself after the engine module cools. In some cases, a bad ignition coil will result in the vehicle not starting it all.
Often the distributor cap is suspect. The internal and external surface of the cap should be clean. No erosion should be on the surface and the firing points should be free of rust or corrosion.
Also, Confirm the rotor is in good working order. Consequently, It could short out the coil voltage and cause a faulty connection inside the terminal of the distributor cap. The result is a misfire in the spark plugs. Look for any cracks or carbon trace in the cap.
My Engine Cranks but Won't Start
If the ASD is having any problems that interfere with its ability to supply power to the injectors, coils, or whatever other circuits it may feed, then those components may not function properly and problems may arise. A car with a failing or faulty ASD relay may stall immediately after starting, or randomly while operating.Battery first, check that. Put a multimeter on it and hit the starter and watch the voltage drop.
Make sure all your connections are good from your pulsing coil stator usually to cdi to coil. Hook up jumper cables to another battery without the car engine running and see what happens. If it now starts and runs, your battery is run down.1987 Kawasaki Bayou KLF300, Troubleshooting a No Spark ATV!
It could be run down because the stator is shot, but don't automatically assume that's the problem and beware of three word answers. The battery could be old, the plates could be sulphated, a cell could have gone bad or if it hasn't been run in a while, the accumulated slight but normal discharge could have sapped the battery over time. What you describe is a symptom of low voltage. The starter pulls the voltage way down but as soon as you let up on the starter, the now saturated coil has enough voltage to spark.
I've seen that many times over the years. The new spark plug advice isn't all that bad because even though they look ok, plugs build up resistance with time and require more voltage to jump the gap. Also, eroded electrodes widen the gap which also requires more voltage. Try decreasing the plug gap down to maybe. If so, you know that's the problem.
Why does one and all over think of issues??? So your through ing factors at it now??? Dak B. Answer Save. If it checks out good, then. Source s : My kawasaki klt does this low battery or a bad conenction. How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer. Naarden Sportbike Store. Mark S Lv 6. Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.At Cyclepedia. What should I do? Users get fixated on these items and jump to the conclusion they must be responsible for their problem because these items are easy to see and replace.
This is the opposite of the strategy needed to fix a no spark condition. Becoming fixated on specific components is a good way to not find the true problem. An under charged battery can result is slow cranking speed that will not be optimum for the ignition system.
Check the condition of the main and ignition fuses. Make sure the switches in the ignition system are connected and are in the correct position for ignition system operation.
When checking for spark, fit a new spark plug into the plug cap and ground this new plug to the engine. Leave the old plug in the head for proper compression.
Crank the engine and observe the spark plug for spark. If there is spark examine and replace the old spark plug as necessary. If the engine is a multi cylinder make sure the spark plug caps and wires are installed to the correct cylinders — check the ignition timing if necessary.
It is time to start troubleshooting and testing the ignition system now that the no spark condition has been confirmed. It is important to check the connectors and wiring as your work through the system. There may be a loose connector or faulty connector wiring that is disrupting the circuit.
Check for corrosion and poor fitment between male and female wiring terminals. Check grounds for solid connections. Use the wiring diagrams to aid in wiring inspection. Any ground wire should have continuity to a ground. Part 2 of dealing with no spark ignition system problems will go further into detail on component inspection. No spark issues are common, frustrating problems. Remember to be patient and inspect the full system not just the main components.
Part 1 of ignition system no spark troubleshooting focused on the general electrical problems that often result in no spark conditions.
Part 2 will go deeper into testing the specific components of the ignition system. Testing the components will require a multimeter for measuring voltage and ohms of resistance. Place the ignition system in a condition similar to checking for spark when conducting peak voltage testing. There should be spark plugs installed in the cylinder head and known good plugs installed in the spark plug caps.
The spark plugs in the caps should be grounded to the engine. All ignition circuit switches should be placed in run positions. If the peak voltage is out of specification test it at other locations if possible.
For example test the crank position sensor peak voltage at the crank position sensor connector and at the ECM connector. The peak voltage should exceed the minimum specification given in the service manual.
Use resistance testing to inspect the ignition system components if peak voltage testing specifications are not available. Measure the primary resistance between the two terminals of the of the ignition primary coil. Measure the primary resistance between the terminal and a ground if the coil only has one terminal.
Check the secondary coil resistance between the primary ignition coil terminal and the spark plug cap. Check the secondary resistance between the two spark plug caps if the ignition coil has two spark plug wires.Registration is fast and you can even login with social network accounts to sync your profiles and content. My atv broke down 4 months ago and I cranked it every other week and had no problem. Now I got every thing put back together and tried to start it and now I am not getting any fire to the spark plug.
Anyone have any ideas? This might seem silly, but seemingly big problems are sometimes caused by the simplest thing. Disconnect the main electrical connector coming out of the engine, and then check for spark again. This unhooks the kill switch, ATV ignition switch and wiring for those switches. If the spark improves, the problem is within wiring from one of those switches or a switch itself is to blame. Think of your friends and riding partners who have the same or similar quad, you might be able to borrow parts from their machines to diagnose the problem.
I disconnected the electrical connector and still no spark. Is there a way to test the ignition coil? Ignition coils. Measure the resistance between the primary low-tension wire and ground or ground terminal. It should be very low. The primary wire is the small wire going to the CDI box or points. Next measure the secondary high-tension wire and ground. Note that on most bikes these days, the coil mounting bar, that passes through the coil and mounts it to the frame, is the ground for the coil primary and secondary wires.
This should be quite high, like to ohms. If the coil is out side the specs given in the shop manual the coil might be bad. Sometimes, a coil will work OK when cool but fail when it warms up. Let them cool and they work again. Also check your battery itself Exactly what kind of machine is this? Someone may be able to get you more specific testing specs if we know exactly what you have. You need a digital multimeter to check resistance on the stator, you need the same thing to test the coil and all the other tests that Pete suggested.
Also, double check all your wiring for loose or corroded connections. What year and model is this atv? I'm assuming it's a Honda something, sinced you posted it in the Honda forum. You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account. Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.This could aid in the troubleshooting and diagnosis process of an engine cranks but fails to start situation.
To operate efficiently, an internal combustion gasoline engine needs a good spark, the right amount of fuel, and good compression a healthy mechanical condition. So, the lack of any of these three things will prevent your engine from starting. Always start with a visual inspection of the engine. Is a wire loose?
Did a vacuum line fall off? Do not look for a complicated solution to a simple problem. Consequently, it is common to have a problem in one area that impacts three or four others. Consequently, If any of the three are missing your engine will not start.
NOTE: If you have plug wires To do a quick test for spark, remove one spark plug or use an extra spark plug in your tool kit. Attach the spark plug to the spark plug wire, use a jumper cable and attach one end to the spark plug and the other to the negative post of the battery.
Finally, try turning over the starter and see if the spark plug is firing. If the plug does not fire there could be other problems. Spark timing is controlled by the computer in this case. There will either be a coil pack or two or moredepending on the number of cylinders. If your car has either of these, you can check for spark by following these steps:.
Try to start the engineif it starts and then turns off you are not getting fuel from your gas tank to the engine. To do a quick test for no compression do a compression test. If you are doing a compression test you need to have at least lbs of compression for your engine to run. If you have good compression in all but one cylinder it will still run but miss on one cylinder. What will help to find a problem of this type is if you notice when, under what conditions and what helps to get it started.
For example, if you notice that wiggling the ignition key helps to get the car started, it may tell you that the problem is likely with the ignition switch, which is very common. So, as you can see starting issues are not that easy to solve and can be time consuming. Finally, you should consider diagnosing the problem using a logical method to comprehend the reasons why your engine cranks but, fails to start.
So, Your engine turns over but will not start.