No Start 1: Checking For Spark
To find out if the ignition system is the cause of the cranks but does not start condition of your car or mini-van, you'll need to make sure each cyliner is being fed spark.
So, my recommendation to you is to check for spark at all of the spark plug wires with a spark tester. Now, when I test for spark, I also test for fuel pressure with a fuel pressure gauge. It's not that I'm trying to see if I'm missing both fuel and spark (as mentioned before, usually one of them will be missing from the mix), it's just my way of speeding up the troubleshooting process.
Testing the ignition system on your Chrysler 2.0L, 2.4L equipped vehicle isn't hard or difficult. I've written a tutorial that'll show you in a step-by-step manner and you can find it here: How To Test The Coil Pack (Chrysler 2.0L, 2.4L) (at: easyautodiagnostics.com).
Remember, the idea behind checking for spark is to see if all of the 4 engine cylinders are getting spark. Here are the most common causes of a no spark result:
CASE 1: Spark was present in all of the cylinders. This result tells you three very important things: 1.) the crank sensor is good, 2.) the ignition coil pack is getting power, and 3.) the ignition coil coil packs are good (the ignition coil pack is made up of 2 individual ignition coils). You don't have to spend any time testing them or any money replacing them.
Your next step is to verify fuel pressure. Go to: No Start 2: Checking Fuel.
CASE 2: Spark was NOT present in all of the cylinders. This usually tells you that the ignition coil pack is bad (or missing power) or the crank sensor is bad. It's usually one or the other, I have never seen both go out at the same time.
Now, with no spark in any of the engine cylinders, this what I would suggest:
- Test the crankshaft position sensor using the following tutorial I've written:
- Test the ignition control module using the following tutorial I've written:
- How To Test The Coil Pack (Chrysler 2.0L, 2.4L) (at: easyautodiagnostics.com).
No Start 2: Checking For Fuel
Fuel pumps fail all of the time and if it has failed in your 2.0L/2.4L equipped Chrysler car or mini-van, you'll have a bonafide cranks but does not start condition on your hands.
The absolute best way to test the fuel pump is with a fuel pressure gauge, since your 2.0L/2.4L Chrysler car or mini-van comes equipped with a Schrader Valve to make it convenient to attach a fuel pressure test gauge to it. If you don't have a fuel pressure test gauge, you can buy one online or rent one at your local auto parts store (like AutoZone or O'Reilly Auto Parts).
If you need to test the fuel pump, to see if it's the cause of the no-start condition on your specific vehicle, you can check out the following tutorial: How To Test The Fuel Pump (Chrysler 2.0L, 2.4L).
When testing the fuel pump (with a fuel pressure gauge), you'll usually see one of two results:
CASE 1: Fuel pressure is at specification. Not only does this result tell you that the fuel pump is OK but that the following components, that supply the fuel pump with power, are OK too:
- Fuel pump fuse.
- Fuel pump relay.
And so, there's no need to spend time testing them or money replacing them.
CASE 2: Fuel pressure is not present. This usually means that the fuel pump has failed, but not always. I would recommend testing/checking the following before condemning the fuel pump:
- After verifying that no fuel pressure exists, check that the fuel pump is getting power by tapping into the power circuit that feeds the pump with 12 Volts with a multimeter.
- Once you're tapped in, have a helper crank the engine while you observe your multimeter in Volts DC mode. If voltage is present (12 Volts), then you have confirmed that the fuel pump fuse and fuel pump relay are working perfectly.
- Confirming power to the fuel pump (with a multimeter) also verifies that the fuel pump has failed and needs to be replaced.
- If no voltage is present, as your helper cranks the engine, then the cause of no-fuel condition is due to either a bad fuse, fuel pump relay.
No Start 3: Checking Engine Mechanical Condition
The engine in your vehicle could be bad and the source of the cranks but does not start condition. The way to find out if the engine is the cause of the no-start is to do a compression test.
Here are some more specifics:
- When performing an engine compression test, what you're looking for is an average compression reading of NO LESS THAN 90 PSI across all or the majority of the engine cylinders.
- If you have one or just two readings that are under 90 PSI your Chrysler 2.0L, 2.4L equipped vehicle will still start and run, albeit with a misfire condition.
- I've written a ‘how to do a compression test’ article/tutorial that you may find useful. You can find it here: How To Test The Engine Compression (Chrysler 2.0L, 2.4L).