View Full Version : No spark or fuel

2012.07.08, 16:22 PM
I was driving along and my engine stalls without any warning. I tried to turn it back over and wouldn't fire. So I got it towed home and been diagnosing ever since.

I first checked for both spark and fuel. The fuel pump isn't coming on and I'm not getting any spark. So I checked all the fuses and tested the fuel pump relay and everything checked out good. Next step I did was jump the fuel pump at the relay box to verify it works and it does. I have a buddy with a spare ABA sitting around some I grabbed a few parts. I tested his ECU to make sure that wasn't the issue. Next I did a resistance test on the crank positioning sensor and found it's out of tolerance. I picked up a new one and tested the tolerance before installing, everything checked via Bentley specs so I installed it and still no start. Next I used the buddies distributor since the cam/hall sensor in located there. Swapped it out and still nothing. I also tested his coil pack on my car just for giggles and nothing.

I'm at a loss now on what to try. Currently I just have the freeware of vag-com and a cheap ebay OBD-II to USB cable. So I can only read the fault codes.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.08, 16:50 PM
Do you have any fault codes?
What kind of car are you working on?

2012.07.08, 19:15 PM
It's a 89 mk2 with a aba

16725/P0341/000833 - Camshaft Position Sensor (G40): Implausible Signal

16705/P0321/000801 - Engine Speed Sensor (G28): Implausible Signal
(of course the engine wasn't running when I scanned)

17908 - P1500 - Fuel Pump Relay Circ. Electrical Malfunction
(fuse was just fine)

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.08, 19:50 PM
FPR is likely not the issue. What year is the swap from? If its OBD1 then the crank pos sensor code is normal. Does the car have CE2?

2012.07.08, 20:03 PM
FPR is likely not the issue. What year is the swap from? If its OBD1 then the crank pos sensor code is normal. Does the car have CE2?

I believe the motor is a 97-98. Everything is CE2 now and believe a ABA harness was used.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.08, 21:23 PM
We need to determine if the swap is OBD1. Although the engine itself might be an OBD2, we really need to know for certain if the management is OBD2. A pic of the throttle body will help immensely. The crank pos code is key here as on an ODB1 car, it will give this code and that is normal. On an OBD2 car, this code is not normal.

2012.07.08, 21:34 PM
What part of the throttle body do you need to see? It's flipped because I have a mk4 intake mani on it. I'm like 90% sure it's OBDII.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.08, 22:10 PM
A general pic of it would help. i dont need a macro shot. Hell, you could take a pic of the entire engine bay and I could know ;)

2012.07.08, 22:19 PM
Well I know the only pic I have wont work.. That's why I asked.


2012.07.09, 10:27 AM
Crank Sensor gets my vote.

2012.07.09, 11:25 AM
Crank Sensor gets my vote.
I've already replaced it with a new one.

2012.07.09, 11:48 AM
I've already replaced it with a new one.

2012.07.09, 11:49 AM
Its a OBD 2

2012.07.09, 11:57 AM
my next guess would be ignition switch, but im no expert, I'll leave that to Chris.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.09, 17:54 PM
Yarr, methinks the Pirate is on to something! If he be wrong, walk the plank!

er, yes, you could have a bad crank pos sensor (even if its new) or a bad ign switch. Make sure when cranking it that the idiot lights on the dash are illuminated. If they are not, you may need to wiggle it a bit and then hopefully started. Also, you can do an easy test of the ECU and the crank pos sensor by cranking it and see if the tach needle slightly rises. This will tell you that the tach signal from the ECU is working and hence the crank pos sensor is doing its job.

2012.07.10, 11:40 AM
Well I did do a tolerance test on the CPS before I installed it. I don't think the ecu controls the tach, the car doesn't have a rev limiter and the tech gets its signal directly from the coil from my understanding. Ill still give it a shot though. I might try the ignition switch next, but seems odd it would just shut right off like that if that's the issue. I only have one other key on my key ring, so its not like I had a ton of keys swinging around when it stalled on me. Also the idiot lights do come on.

I had a buddy suggest testing the load reduction relay.

2012.07.10, 12:04 PM
if your tach is actually connected directly to the coil then you should see the needle of the tach move up slightly while cranking, if it doesn't then it could be that your ECU is not getting power while cranking Test:Try to jumper the starter with the key in ACC position and have someone watch the tach, if there is still no movement of the tach and you are still able to connect to the ECU via VAG-COM, then the problem is either the Crank Position sensor or a problem with the ECU itself.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.10, 13:01 PM
If it was wired correctly, the tach signal is fed from the ecu and not the tach. That isnt to say that its not possible that someone tapped the coil for a tach signal though. I just double checked the Bentley as I realized I might have been thinking of a MKIV.

Being a VW ignition switch is usually what kills them regardless of how many key you have on the ring.

The load reduction relay suggestion is right out. The load reduction relay only controls the headlights, blower motor and wipers. It has no relation to the ECU or engine electronics.

Of course all of this is under the premise that the swap was done correctly and not hacked into the car.

2012.07.10, 17:41 PM
Well I know he followed the mk2 ABA swap thread. He's done quite a few but this was the first. I just didn't do the wiring myself so I'm not 100% what was done. I know there is a wire going to the coil pack though and if it's pulled the tach doesn't work.

I made a video of me trying to crank it over.. I think it proves that it is sensor related. My battery is about dead from cranking and not running, so I have it hooked up to a battery charger. Well I think once the volts drops enough on the ECU it starts getting some spark and fuel :D

I'm mad I tossed out the receipt for the CPS sensor. I was assuming since the tolerance checked out it'd be good to go. What are you guys thinking it is now?

BTW it's just backfiring here


Rabbit 16v
2012.07.10, 18:51 PM
sounded to me like it almost started. scary question here, but is the cam/crank timing correct?

2012.07.10, 19:29 PM
Everything is dead on. It doesn't do that unless the battery is just about out of juice.. If I have it on the charger on battery for awhile and it has enough cranking amps it will only do what you heard on the first and second cranks. Quite odd really. I start smelling gas as well when it's about dead too.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.10, 20:00 PM
can you take another video after the battery is charged?

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.10, 20:01 PM
Also, have you verified cam/crank timing by both the flywheel AND the crank pulley?

2012.07.10, 21:42 PM
Also, have you verified cam/crank timing by both the flywheel AND the crank pulley?

Everything but the flywheel.. It's a pain to see down in the inspection plate. What about making sure cyl#1 is TDC instead along with the distributor?

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.10, 21:59 PM
I dont exactly understand your question. could you clarify?

2012.07.11, 13:39 PM
I popped my inspection cap and couldn't really see any good detail down there.. I'll poke around more later and see if I can get the part that holds the cap off as well. Otherwise, I was asking if I could just pull the spark plug on cyl #1 and make sure it's top (TDC) in place of using the flywheel mark.

How much easier would this be if I just bought vag-com? I'm kind of swaying towards that idea. Also I wouldn't mind clearing the ECU and starting from a fresh state.

2012.07.11, 21:37 PM
Okay I uploaded some video's to answer some of your questions. I think you can't see the transmission marks in the inspection hole because it's a mk2 trans on a ABA. However I did pull cyl #1's spark plug and the cylinder is at it's very most high point.

Timing is aligned (just so you guys can stop putting that in question)..


Full battery charge


Rabbit 16v
2012.07.11, 22:08 PM
Damn, I almost could not ask for better video. The one thing that would be nice just to confirm is if you could remove the green plastic cover jobbie on the bellhousing to verify the timing mark. I am pretty sure its correct from the position of the bolt head for the flywheel, but it would be nice to see for certain.

on the subject of purchasing the VCDS software, I would say go for it if you have multiple VWAG cars and intend to stick to that line. It is well worth it and in this instance it will help immensely to diagnose. Can your freeware give an ECU part number? We can determine OBD1 or 2 from that. Also, can you take a pic of the fusebox? doesnt need to be detailed, just the front is fine and that will give us an idea if its CE1 or CE2. I suspect if it is CE2 then we can sorta assume that the wiring is not grafted.

2012.07.11, 22:14 PM
The fuse box is CE2 and everything is plugged in nicely in the back of the fuse box. I just wasn't wanting to pick at the plastic cover and get dirt inside (the cap was removed in the video). From my understanding the flywheel mark signifies the #1 cyl being at it top utmost point. I know the car is timed correctly, I can tell nothing slipped from when it died on me. I'm fairly mechanical... I've just never dabbled into electrical much.

This is the info vagcom gave me.

Address 01: Engine Labels: 037-906-259.LBL
Controller: 037 906 259 R
Component: MOTRONIC M5.9 HS V01

2012.07.11, 22:29 PM
BTW thanks for your help so far Rabbit 16v :beer:

I'm having a hunch it's something to do with the CPS at the point. Although I'm not sure how the tach was wired up.

2012.07.12, 09:11 AM
From your first video it sounds like you are dropping enough voltage to negate the bad sensor output which is causing it to fire towards the end.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.12, 21:26 PM
A quick google search shows that your ecu is likely OBD2. With that in mind, I would lean toward the CPS. Mr. Pirate is on par with his suggestion of low voltage causing anomalies with firing. Its not unheard of that a new part can be faulty. I recently dealt with this on a 2002 EV. It had a brand new sensor from the dealer in it, and it was faulty.

2012.07.13, 17:15 PM
So I'm testing fuses with a test light instead of visual look at them. With the key on the "on" position should I have voltage on the fuel pump fuse?

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.13, 18:16 PM
No. The ECU will give a ground signal to the FPR when it sees an ignition event. It should turn on for 2 seconds after you turn the key from the 'off' position to the 'on' position. This is the only time that the FPR should be energized with the car not running or engine not rotating (starter motor). Some earlier cars will only turn the FP on when it sees input activity from the crank pos sensor.

This is a safetey feature so that if you crash the car, the pump does not continue to cover the car and possibly you in flammable liquids should the engine stop running.

2012.07.13, 19:53 PM
This is another thing I figure I should throw out there. When I did the carpeting I moved the wiring that went to the center console some and the wiring that comes from the back for all the electrical up there. Is there a possibly something from the fuse box came undone in the back to cause this? There are a few things unplugged, although since I didn't do the wiring I have no idea if it's supposed to be all plugged in. Still I don't see how driving along smoothly could cause that. I had carpeting in for about a week or two before this happened.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.13, 22:57 PM
Not likely. I mean I guess its possible that some short might occur going to the fuel pump wiring causing some weird anomaly, but even if the fuel pump is disconnected, it still should generate spark.

2012.07.14, 16:49 PM
Replaced CPS no start.. Think I'll be buying vag-com.

2012.07.15, 16:26 PM
Cleared codes and no start. Would a Bentley give you specs on how to test wiring? What should I be looking for on vag-com?

I also measured if there was any voltage going to the CPS with the key on, which there is.

2012.07.16, 07:26 AM
Know anyone with a Known Good ECU? That would be my next move.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.16, 17:16 PM
After you tried to start it, did any codes come back? Also, in one of the lower measuring blocks (1-4) should be an RPM field. See if you are getting an RPM signal when cranking.

2012.07.22, 16:57 PM
Engine speed sensor code only came back so far. Measuring block #2 has a RPM engine speed, which I'm getting no data when I'm trying to crank. I got my hands on a Bentley and after checking the wiring schematics, I did a resistance test on the CPS sensor plug on the red wire and pin #67 to the ECU harness I'm getting no continuity. However I'm getting it continuity the green wire on the CPS plug to pin #68 to the ECU. It's getting 1.4v which I hear is normal. The black and the green carry the voltage.

I'm doing some other testing with other sensors just because I've never gone to this extent of testing wire and some come up with no continuity :-\ I'd like to think I'm doing this all correctly :confused:

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.23, 09:58 AM
Sounds like you are getting close. Pin 67 being open circuit between the connector and the ecu is the culprit. Have you tried pulling back the boot at the 3 wire connector to see if the wire has broken? Looks like you are going to need to follow that wire until you find the break.

2012.07.23, 10:50 AM
It looks fine in the plug. I tired moving that wire around to get continuity, which didn't help. It just goes into the wire loom to the ecu, no signs of breakage.

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.23, 11:02 AM
1. Do you have continuity between pin 1 at the connector and pin 67 at the ecu?

2. Do you have continuity between pin 2 at the connector and pin 68 at the ecu?

2012.07.23, 11:58 AM
Pin 67 at the ECU has no continuity (red wire at the CPS plug)
Pin 68 does (green wire)

Rabbit 16v
2012.07.23, 13:15 PM
time to hunt down the red wire. it is broken somewhere along the way.

2012.07.23, 17:53 PM
It runs, thanks for the help :beer:


Rabbit 16v
2012.07.23, 18:03 PM
Yay!! I would fix those other two wires as well ;)

2012.07.23, 18:37 PM
chris ****ing wins. every time.

2012.07.24, 01:02 AM
I would fix those other two wires as well ;)