Using Starting Fluid
I've used the starting fluid test fairly frequently over the years to diagnose engine no-start problems.
Although the test isn't as accurate as the fuel pressure test, the starting fluid test will still point your engine no-start diagnostic in the right direction.
IMPORTANT: To get the most accurate test result from the starting fluid test, you must ensure that all of the spark plug wires are sparking before beginning the test. Test all 6 spark plug wires for spark with a dedicated spark tester if you haven't already done so.
OK, these are the test steps:
Remove the intake air duct from the throttle body.
You don't have to completely remove it, since you'll have to reconnect it in one of the next steps.
Open the throttle manually, and spray starting fluid down the bore.
When you have sprayed a good squirt of starting fluid, quickly reconnect the air duct to the throttle body (you don't have to tighten the hose clamp).
Reconnecting the intake air duct is a very important safety precaution in case you get a back-fire thru' the intake manifold.
Crank the engine once the intake air duct is back on the throttle body.
You'll get one of two results with this test:
1.) The engine will start momentarily and after a few seconds will die or.
2.) The engine will only crank but not start at all.
OK, let's analyze your test result:
CASE 1: The engine started and ran for a few seconds. This result confirms that the engine isn't starting due to a lack of fuel.
I suggest that your next step be to test the fuel pump's fuel pressure with a test gauge. For this test go to: Using A Fuel Pump Pressure Tester To Test The Fuel Pump.
CASE 2: The engine did not start, not even momentarily. This result generally tells you a lack of fuel IS NOT the reason your car is not starting.
Now, remember what I said about this test not being very accurate? Well, I suggest you do one more test and this is to test the fuel pump's fuel pressure with a test gauge. For this test go to: Using A Fuel Pump Pressure Tester To Test The Fuel Pump.
If this info saved the day, buy me a beer!