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skymama

Issues with starting a car

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PhDs from MIT



Pffft. Greatly overrated.



That may be. I'm not in a postion to evaluate. Where did you get your PhF? What field?

I'm really not trying to start a pissing contes. Your responce just seemed much more negative than constructive.
Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossilbe before they were done.
Louis D Brandeis

Where are we going and why are we in this basket?

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PhDs from MIT



Pffft. Greatly overrated.



That may be. I'm not in a postion to evaluate. Where did you get your PhF? What field?

I'm really not trying to start a pissing contes. Your responce just seemed much more negative than constructive.



Sigh. It was a joke.

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Wow...you all are awesome to give me so many answers! :)
First, I'm not offended by the "woman" comment. I know my description was as clear as mud. While Nick had told me he was having trouble with starting it, I only heard it that one time and I haven't heard what it sounds like once it's running.

As for the battery check, it was done at Sears so it was as comprehensive as however they check it. That was also about a month ago, so it's possible something could have changed.

Nick will be busy running with his pack this weekend (do 18 year old boys ever sit still?:S), so I don't think we'll be checking out the car. I think our mechanic will be back on Monday, so I'll give him a call and let you all know his diagnosis.

Edit: My husband said that it turns over without catching, if that makes it any clearer!

She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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Issues with starting a car? Well that's easy...

Insert appropriate keyinto ignition... turn to limit... let go of keys.:P

Some people refrain from beating a dead horse. Personally, I find a myriad of entertainment value when beating it until it becomes a horse-smoothie.

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Edit: My husband said that it turns over without catching, if that makes it any clearer!



To me, that would rule out problems with battery/starter/alternator.

And it would cause me to suspect a problem ignition system or fuel system.
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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Edit: My husband said that it turns over without catching, if that makes it any clearer!



To me, that would rule out problems with battery/starter/alternator.

And it would cause me to suspect a problem ignition system or fuel system.



To me that might point to the starter/flywheel. If it turns over without catching, he could be refering to the starter not catching the flywheel.
"I may be a dirty pirate hooker...but I'm not about to go stand on the corner." iluvtofly
DPH -7, TDS 578, Muff 5153, SCR 14890
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Suck, squeeze, pop and blow...

the 4 requirements to make an engine run. Suck in air and fuel, squeeze it together with compression, some form of ignition and exhaust

check the fuel line... there should be a relief valve. If there's pressure in it, it'll spray a little fuel if you tap it. For air, just make sure the air filiter is clean and there's no cats living in the airbox hosing. If it's carborated, make sure the carborator is free, clear and moves easily.

For compression, it's a little more difficult. You'd need a compression tester. Garages will have them but I don't know if they'll charge you for a compression test.

You've been talking about spark plugs, so I can safely assume it's not a deisel and therefore doesn't use glow plugs. Take each spark plug out by itself with the other 5 installed and plugged in. The one that is removed, leave it connected to the spark plug wire. Using a pair of insulated pliers to hold the spark plug on the spark plug wire so you don't get bitten, touch the spark plug to the engine block. You should see a spark crossing the gap on the spark plug. Repeat for each one.

For Exhaust, you should be able to feel and smell it at the rear of the vehicle. (Ok, I said smell, not huff Andrea!):P as long as air is getting out of the back, you're good. Just make sure no one jammed a potato up there, or your neighbor's cat fluffy mcpoopsikins didn't climb up there lookin' for a meal and get stuck.

All this I've shared is what's needed to make it run, not run great. There are a lot more details that are needed for that, but this should get ya started and give you a jingle you can remember to help remember ya in the future.

Some people refrain from beating a dead horse. Personally, I find a myriad of entertainment value when beating it until it becomes a horse-smoothie.

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So, here's the news...this is second-hand info, so I'm sure I have some of the specifics wrong, but I did my best in remembering without seeing the quote.

There's a leak in the cooling system.

The check engine light was on and ignored by Nick. (He swears that it's been on since we bought the car. Not so sure about that!) The diagnostic machine is showing there is a cylinder #2 misfire. The spark plug was sitting in fluid.

The gasket around the cylinder head is blown.

There may be more, but all told the quote is $1500 to fix everything. We only paid $2000 for the car to begin with, so we won't be making those repairs. The mechanic told us he wouldn't drive the car in that condition because the cylinder (?) could blow.

At least high school is over so I won't have to tote him back and forth to school and his activities. If he wants to go to a friend's house, he can beg for a ride or wait for an available car until we can find a new car for him. The lad will be getting less help with college now...that'll teach him to not ignore the check engine light! :S

She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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Im surprised that you didnt get a bent connecting rod if the spark plug was sitting in coolant. (Connecting rod is what connects the piston head to the crank)

Blown head gasket isnt the worst thing ever, just get the intake manifold and block checked for cracks to make sure that you wont have it again, and get the gasket replaced.
"I may be a dirty pirate hooker...but I'm not about to go stand on the corner." iluvtofly
DPH -7, TDS 578, Muff 5153, SCR 14890
I'm an asshole, and I approve this message

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Besides the battery (which was checked) what are the main reasons why one would have trouble getting a car to start? My son has started having trouble with his car, a '98 Taurus. It sounds like it's trying to turn over, then it does a little chug and stops. It will do that on a few trys but when he lets the engine sit a minute or so, it will finally start.

Thoughts? I'm trying not to put a lot of money in this car since it is such a clunker, I'm just not ready to get him a new one yet so I'm hoping this is something cheap.




When hot-wiring a car, he needs to keep the hot wires together until the starter gains appropriate momentum.
Y yo, pa' vivir con miedo, prefiero morir sonriendo, con el recuerdo vivo".
- Ruben Blades, "Adan Garcia"

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Well,,, Me too!!! Like I said, it's really difficult to properly diagnose a problem via long distance. I don't recall anyone in this thread guessing that.
Refuse to Lose!!!
Failure is NOT an option!
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Nashvilleskydiving.org

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Like I said, it's really difficult to properly diagnose a problem via long distance.



+1 And i thought i was good at decoding the wifes ,i dont know what im talking about, but let me describe it to you, words.:DB|
Nothing opens like a Deere!

You ignorant fool! Checks are for workers!

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So, here's the news...this is second-hand info, so I'm sure I have some of the specifics wrong, but I did my best in remembering without seeing the quote.

There's a leak in the cooling system.

The check engine light was on and ignored by Nick. (He swears that it's been on since we bought the car. Not so sure about that!) The diagnostic machine is showing there is a cylinder #2 misfire. The spark plug was sitting in fluid.

The gasket around the cylinder head is blown.

There may be more, but all told the quote is $1500 to fix everything. We only paid $2000 for the car to begin with, so we won't be making those repairs. The mechanic told us he wouldn't drive the car in that condition because the cylinder (?) could blow.

At least high school is over so I won't have to tote him back and forth to school and his activities. If he wants to go to a friend's house, he can beg for a ride or wait for an available car until we can find a new car for him. The lad will be getting less help with college now...that'll teach him to not ignore the check engine light! :S



Typical coolant system leaks are the hoses or radiator. Those are easy to replace.
You can get cheap radiators from 'U-Pull-it' places. Holes in radiators can be fixed, but it is usually easier & cheaper to go find a used one and swap it out.

I'm not following your explanation. Are you saying there was coolant fluid on the spark plug of #2?

Head gasket replacement is something I've done before and is not a $1500 job, more like a couple hundred bucks.
I think maybe the rings on #2 are shot and need to be replaced. That could run up the bill.

If you are going to trash the car, you can sell it to people that buy non-working cars for more than a recycle/junk yard. Place an ad with 'AS-IS' not running right.

If you decide to junk it, can I have the radiator (for free?)? I'm working on a project that needs radiators as prototype heat exchangers.

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I will add that a Cylinder head replacement, does not have to be a $1500 job, and just a head gasket and getting the existing head milled and just a basic valve job certainly ain't $1500...
Refuse to Lose!!!
Failure is NOT an option!
1800skyrideripoff.com
Nashvilleskydiving.org

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Are you saying there was coolant fluid on the spark plug of #2?



Yes, and fluid in the cylinder, I don't know what type of fluid.

We're going to try and use the car on a trade-in where they give you $3000 for any car you bring in. We spent last night reading Consumer Reports and crunching numbers and I found I'm pre-qualified for a loan with USAA at 5.24%, which seems to be a pretty good rate right now. The guys are going to the Hyundai lot today and starting there. But, if we can't use it as a trade-in for some reason, the radiator is yours!
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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Head gasket replacement is something I've done before and is not a $1500 job, more like a couple hundred bucks.
I think maybe the rings on #2 are shot and need to be replaced. That could run up the bill.



I have been working on cars for 15 years and I also do side work here and there for family and friends. I would laugh at you if you said you would give me a "couple hundred bucks."

It is likely that all the coolant and gaskets you need to do the job are going to be 2x's that much.

for a standard 4 cyl engine "as a side job" the absolute cheapest I would do it is $500, and that is just the labor.

Andrea, a blown headgasket could cause the symptoms you are having. I see it quite often.

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for a standard 4 cyl engine "as a side job" the absolute cheapest I would do it is $500, and that is just the labor.



Our mechanic said the reason why the quote was so high is because he has to remove so much of the engine to be able to get to the spot of the repair.
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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for a standard 4 cyl engine "as a side job" the absolute cheapest I would do it is $500, and that is just the labor.



Our mechanic said the reason why the quote was so high is because he has to remove so much of the engine to be able to get to the spot of the repair.



he is correct. you have to remove just about everything you see under the hood that is connected to the engine. depending on the car it could be more or less than that.

if it was run through our shop it would probably be about the same price.

what kind of car and year model is it, I will look up the labor and part prices for you.

edit: ok I see it is a ford tarus. but there are 5 engines in this car. if you could tell me if it is a v6 or a v8 I could give you a good estimate of what most shops should charge.

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We're going to try and use the car on a trade-in where they give you $3000 for any car you bring in.



Make sure that you NOT mention the trade until after you have selected a car, and agreed on a purchase price. This prevents the dealership from playing 'games' with the price of the car and the amount of the trade.

Also, read the fine print on the $3000 trade-in deal. There's ususally an age limit to what they will give you the $3k for, and if it's 10 years you're out of luck. Even if that is the case, do mention the trade until the purchase price is set, but dont' expect much for a barely running 98 Taurus, maybe $200 or $300.

If the car does not qualify for the $3k trade-in, I'd advertise it locally as a 'mechanics special' for $500 or so. A guy with some tools and a day or so could end up with a running car for under $1000.

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Head gasket replacement is something I've done before and is not a $1500 job, more like a couple hundred bucks.
I think maybe the rings on #2 are shot and need to be replaced. That could run up the bill.



I have been working on cars for 15 years and I also do side work here and there for family and friends. I would laugh at you if you said you would give me a "couple hundred bucks."

It is likely that all the coolant and gaskets you need to do the job are going to be 2x's that much.

for a standard 4 cyl engine "as a side job" the absolute cheapest I would do it is $500, and that is just the labor.

Andrea, a blown headgasket could cause the symptoms you are having. I see it quite often.



If it was just the head gasket and check the head for cracks and straightness, I'd do it for $400 parts and labor, BUT, I'm not in Fla.
Refuse to Lose!!!
Failure is NOT an option!
1800skyrideripoff.com
Nashvilleskydiving.org

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