Let me tell you the story of my engine issues, right from the start - it goes back a few years. In short, it had a bouncy idle, and occasionally cut out whilst driving, and now it cranks but wont start.
About a year ago it developed a bouncy idle, the revs would sit at normal and when warm and I stop at lights it started bouncing up slightly only a few hundred but very noticable with my exhaust as it sounds like I'm revving the engine. This went on for a while and one day it randomly cut out whilst driving (round a corner no less which is "interesting" at speed and loss of power steering).
I pulled over, had a little look around the engine bay - nothing abnormal there. I read the codes and it said Cam sensor. I put it on my list and went on my way, driving for months with no more issues. I then left the country for 6 months or so, came back did a gradual overhaul of the brakes over a few months so it had been sat for nearly a year but was being run around once a week by my dad. One day he was unable to start it, looked around and found a split intake boot, taped it up and started up just fine (probably unrelated). I swapped out the intake boot and all was well again. (possible unrelated)
Before I got her back on the road i swapped out the cam position sensor. Not knowing the unwritten rule about using genuine sensors, I bought a Meyle one, a brand I trust. The bouncy idle was still there and the error code has not cleared. If anything had gotten worse and more frequent. The car started cutting out whilst driving and would usually start up again. It didn't seem to cough or splutter, just died. This continued a while until then it wouldn't start after cutting out.
At this point I got a jump start from a friendly guy (because I was blocking his way) and up it started. I drove round the corner 10 metres and it cuts out again and wouldn't start. After a bit of trying it started so I suspected the battery and let it run for 15mins before attempting to limp home - I manged it. I ordered myself a new Bosch S4 as I knew the battery which came with my car was crap and underpowered (it would drain if I had interior lights on whilst doing some work for too long) and I often had to take it off and charge it. I didn't get round the fitting the battery but had it in my boot - off doing my errands and it would cut out again. I jumped the car off my new battery and it would start up. Off I go again... repeating this several times.
A few days later I try to start it and it wouldn't so decide i'd better get that battery in, once in it was starting just fine again. It took me so long as I was in the middle of a house move. Anyway I assumed the non start issues were solved and down to the flat battery and thought no more of it. I was lead to believe I just need to sort the bouncy idle issue which I believed to be the cause of the random cut outs. But sadly the problem persisted, I drove to my parents and when I came to leave it wouldn't start. Thankfully this was the best place to break down.
I tried and tried and it just cranked, then rarely it would start and cut out after a second. At this point I did my research and was pointed in the direction of the crank sensor. I ordered one (again non genuine) and popped it in, all optimistic but sadly no start. After the crank sensor I was unable to get it started at all, not even for a second. The car has been sat ever since. Interestingly after swapping the crank sensor, the cam error has disappeared, however it seems the random cut outs seemed to happen in anger after I swapped the cam sensor.
I'm mystified as to the whole battery jump starting getting me back up and running again then. It worked then, but not anymore, that really confused me.
- Bad aftermarket cam/crank sensors (don't want to throw £200 worth of genuine sensors at it though without reasonable proof it will fix it)
- I've read a bad/wet DME can cause problems but have not checked (I will do tomorrow since the car was stood for so long it's plausible)
As it stands now, the car cranks but never starts. The fuel pump primes and I had a fuel filter to be fitted so took the opportunity to check the fuel was getting pumped through at the same it. It was but I've not checked if it reaches the engine bay, just at the filter. I checked for sparks and there are non which leads me to suspect the crank sensor. Could the whole jump starting and recent cam sensor swap just be unfortunate coincidences that happened at the same time as a failing crank sensor...
Thanks for taking the time to read my long story. The car has been off the road for such a long time now and I'm driving a £250 Ford Ka (please help).
I'd really appreciate some advice or thoughts on where to go from here. I'm going back to the car tomorrow with a code reader, a spare cam sensor and going to swap that out, and check the DME, any other suggestions?