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  #1  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:32 PM
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Default Engine won't start after serpentine belt broke

I have a 1997 2.8 V6 and the serpentine belt (ac, alt, ps) shredded while going down the road at 40mph. Everything just shut down. I had the car towed home and replaced the belt, but now the car won't start -- it just cranks over. I can smell fuel (and there's 3/4 tank), so I'd assume an electrical/computer problem. I unhooked the battery for about 5 minutes to clear any "shutdown" codes that may have been in the computer, but it still won't start.

I've checked all the idlers and they rotate freely with no play and I've pried back the timing belt covers to inspect that belt and it looks fine as well with no cracking, etc.

Any reason it shouldn't start? Why did it just shut down when the belt broke? Most cars will run on battery power for awhile...

Help!!!
  #2  
Old 07-28-2009, 11:44 PM
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what does it do when you try to start it?
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2009, 12:44 AM
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Default It just cranks...

It just cranks over and never seems to want to fire. Not even a sputter. It's like the ignition isn't firing.
  #4  
Old 07-29-2009, 01:20 AM
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did it mess up a lot of cables or anything when it came loose? The 2.8 v6 which is what i have is an interference engine if im not mistaken. if it is the serpentine belt coming loose will tare up the engine and cause damage to a number of components and probably be costly.
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2009, 02:08 AM
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This was the outer accessory drive belt -- NOT the timing belt.

I looked around and found no loose wires or damage in the belt path, but it sure shredded... The only thing I really see electrical that could have been damaged (but doesn't appear to be) is a thin 2 or 3 wire harness going to what looks like a temp sensor on the driver's side down low on the radiator. There just isn't much up front other than the fans.
  #6  
Old 07-29-2009, 04:32 PM
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Update: if I let the car sit for several hours and try to crank it over, it will sputter for about a second and then it just keeps cranking with no signs of ignition.

Any thoughts on a seperate ignition system problem that coincidentally occured at the same time or may have been caused by the alternator shutting down? Like maybe a power surge taking out the ignition module? Any thought on how to test the ignition system since there is a shield around the end of the plug wire? (I usually put a nail or screw in the plug wire and see if it arcs to the block when I crank it over for a quick test...)

I wish I could swap out some ignition parts like the module, coils, etc., but at nearly $300 for the coils and about the same for the module... BTW, anyone know where the module is physically located?
  #7  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:24 PM
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follow the plug wires, one end is the spark plug, one end are the coil packs. they are no different then regular plug wires and you can test them the same way.
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2009, 02:29 AM
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Well, I just did a quick and dirty test -- I pulled #4 plug and it was wet with gasoline and when the engine cranked over there was spark, albeit a weak looking one. The more I crank it over,the more I smell gas, so I know the fuel pump is working. I can't vouch for all the injectors or plugs firing, but it's something. The ignition module is probably good.

I will attempt to pull codes tomorrow if I can borrow a scan tool and I'll do a compression test to make sure the valves aren't bent to heck. Beyond that, I'm not sure what else I can do (checking cam timing is a bit out of my depth and it appears I have to pull the whole front end apart to do so). Can you even see a timing mark to check ignition timing?
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:50 AM
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have you pulled off the timing cover and checked that the belt is ok? there is a timing mark on the head that should be pretty easy to see, but the one on the crank pully might not be that easy to get to. the only reason you would have bent a valve would be if the timing belt snapped or it jumped a few teeth.

how many miles are on the plugs? did they look worn? gapped properly?
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:19 PM
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Well, thinking it may be flooded, I pulled all the plugs and blew out the bores with my air compressor. Plugs all looked good, evenly gapped, and no fouling or electrode degradation. Unfortunately, I pulled a bonehead move and broke the electrode off of one of the plug wires on the coil end.

The engine started and ran for about 4-5 seconds before shutting down again. It sounded like a diesel VW Rabbit, although I don't know if that's because it's now misfiring on #5 or because of valve interference.

It won't restart again. The local auto parts stores won't loan a code scanner and I really don't want to buy one for $70-200 to use one time. Anyone in the Elk Grove, CA area that has one? Is there a way to manually pull codes (GM cars you can short two pins and it flashes out the codes with the CEL)?
  #11  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:32 PM
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i'd buy a scanner then return it. keep the receipt. walmart is really good with returns but i don't know if they sell scanners. you could get a cheap one from ebay - though i've never used them. or they also sell the USB cables on ebay and you can get the software for free.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:34 PM
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no there's no manual ways like the GM. you don't have an autozone by you? they have those loaner tools. i think you should fix the wires or buy new ones. there's a DIY on how to fix your wires but idk you broke yours so it may or may not work. it definitely sounds like an ignition issue since you are getting plenty of fuel. it could also be a crank sensor.
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:54 PM
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Autozone and Kragen won't loan code readers -- they will only sell them. Walmart doesn't seem to have any on their website. I'll try the wrecking yards for the plug wires, but at this point I am hesitant to spend any more money on the car if it's a paperweight. I see a $200 tow bill and a $1000+ repair bill in my near future on a car that wholesales out for $2400 running. Its a nice car, but I'm not that sentimental -- especially when I'm broke.
  #14  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:29 PM
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a code reader (vagcom) will tell you whats wrong in minutes. without one though, its pretty much hit or miss as to a diagnosis. if you have a laptop go on ebay and type in "OBD code reader" and buy one for $20. then go to ross-tech.com and download a free version of vagcom. hook it all up and you can scan codes and read basic settings.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:01 PM
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What's your battery voltage? You no doubt lost some battery juice when you lost your belt so it may not be fully charged
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2009, 11:17 PM
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Battery is good -- replaced about 3 months ago and is on a charger in between cranking fests.
  #17  
Old 07-30-2009, 11:35 PM
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You really need to look around again for messed up wiring. If that belt shredded as you say, it went everywhere potentiality taking out anything. I really dont see the acc. belt causing a jump in timing.. unless it really was the other way around.
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2009, 09:48 AM
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Last time my 98 sounded like a diesel it was because the timing belt tensioner had broken and the belt was flopping. Unless you have done a TB change and put in the new TB tensioner style, I would take off the belt cover and take a look.

I also agree with the other posts about rechecking ALL wiring.

You might also want to look into a new coolant temp sensor - if that goes bad it can flood the engine and keep the car from starting.
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  #19  
Old 07-31-2009, 10:35 AM
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well I've been thru bent valves and endless diagnosis, the answer came with compression test....it's cheap and easy and you will know instantly whether to spend time/money or not on other tests...make sure you got all the spark plugs out and depress gas pedal while testing...good luck...junk yard (car-part.com) or ebay/craigslist for used head(s)...
  #20  
Old 07-31-2009, 12:42 PM
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for a compression test, you want to only remove one spark plug at a time. leave the others in. you want it as close to normal operating conditions as possible. you dont drive the car with all the plugs removed do you?

if the engine is cold your numbers may be slightly off. if you get low compression in any of them, put half a tablespoon of WD40 or seafoam or any light oil in the cylinder and try again. if it goes up that means its your rings not the valves/head.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:42 PM
 
 
 
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a8, adding, audi, belt, broke, damage, drive, exhaust, loosen, powers, serpentine, serpinteen, start, timing, wont


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