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98 Sebring, no spark

  #1  
Old 12-10-2008, 10:15 AM
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Default 98 Sebring, no spark

I've had this sebring for quite a while, love the car, but alas, i know very little about computer controlled systems.
I was heading home one night, the car hadn't warmed up, and while waiting for a red light the car stalled and would not restart. I figured it was gas line freeze, had the car towed home, and warmed up everything, but still got nothing.
I have since checked for fuel at the front fuel rail and out of the injectors themselves, and everything seems to be working fine on that end. I have also removed the dist. to check resistances in the coil. Secondary resistances are perfect, primary however is way out (about 10x spec according to haynes manual). I know that the coil is bad, and unfortunatly on this car that involves replacement of the entire dist. however, out of entertainment i checked for +12v at the coil lead and i have nothing.
I am wondering if there is a fuseable link somewhere in the harness (again, im used to older cars, i dont even know if they still use these anymore) or if there is possibly something else that went wrong when the coil went bad.
I am assuming that most everything in the controls/relays are good, as from what ive noticed just about everything in the ignition system is tied directly into the fuel system as well, and i would assume that i would have no fuel if that was the case.
Any help would be appriciated, i dont feel like getting this towed to a shop.
Thanks!
Chris
 
  #2  
Old 12-10-2008, 02:03 PM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

The power to the ignition and fuel injectors is supplied through a relay called the "ASD" relay or "Auto Shut Down" This will come on for a moment when you first turn the key, but will quickly turn off if there is no signal at the cam and crank sensors. That should explain your no 12v at the coil that's perfectly normal if the engine's not running or cranking.

 
  #3  
Old 12-10-2008, 04:04 PM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

This could be a number of things. My 93 Concorde died at a light one day and wouldn't re-start, turned out to be the timing belt. The good news is that if the belt breaks at low speed, it's less likely to cause major internal damage.
If it's a broken belt, you'll get no spark because the camshaft position sensor won't detect rotation.
Before you assume anything further,borrow or buy an OBD II code reader. See if it's throwing some error codes. If you are serious about fixing a modern computer-controlled engine, you'll need a code reader just like you need a set of socket wrenches.
 
  #4  
Old 12-10-2008, 04:08 PM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

to answer the first one i just checked voltage at the coil lead while cranking the engine. the only thing i got was dead 0 (off from the ambient voltage of -.012 or so before). when cranking it never went into the positive range. although the change from ambient to dead 0 would disprove my theory that there is line problems somewhere. also went to check continuity between the coil lead and the pins on the ECU from the harness that the lead goes into... somehow it jumps from the single lead to 5 pins... now im even more confused. of course the haynes manual has every diagram except the one that i need...
for the second one, yes, i need to pick up an OBD II scanner for several reasons, alas, they are pricey ...
just need to throw a small block in this and settle all the problems at once
 
  #5  
Old 12-10-2008, 04:21 PM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

I was able to find a scanner on eBay for around $50 or so. It's also a great place tolook for a real shop manual for your car. Haynes is very good but they try to cover too much with the result that some things are just brushed over.

Good luck!
 
  #6  
Old 12-17-2008, 10:11 AM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

Personally, I don't think buying a code reader is worth it. You didn't say that your check engine light is on that means there are no codes. Why don't you try swapping your ASD relay with a new one or with a non-essential one from your car to see if it helps? I had an intermittent crank-no-start on my 97 that I tracked down to a bad ASD relay.

You may want to invest $26 in an alldatadiy.com subscription or just buy a factory service manual on eBay. Either one will give you access to all of the factory wiring diagrams. If you suspect shorting in the harness, look it over well for chafing, burning or critter damage.

As for the code reader thing if you do want to buy something, spend extra and get a tool that will show you all of the sensor values, etc. (Don't be tricked by the advertising and appearance of the tool, make sure it shows sensor values and preferably manufacturer specific values.) That is very useful for diagnosis because you can read things like sensor values and whether the computer is commanding the ASD relay on, etc. that can save a lot of time finding something that is out of wack rather than trying to cut into harnesses with a multimeter.
 
  #7  
Old 12-17-2008, 09:28 PM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

awaiting a dealer manual as we speak (auction ends in like 2 days). did some more research and found that i can test the ASD relay by bypassing it and feeding the +12v straight from the batt into the coil. if it runs, chances are its the relay. Something to check out tomorrow...
I still miss the days of an ignition system consisting of only coil wires, a relay, and plug wires... *sigh

thanks for all the help so far guys, it is appriciated (even if i dont show it too well in my unhappiness with a malfunctioning car)
 
  #8  
Old 12-17-2008, 10:29 PM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

Have you run a compression test? If your timing belt is broken, your compression will be totally messed up due to open valves. That's good old fashioned low-tech.
 
  #9  
Old 12-18-2008, 09:53 AM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

ORIGINAL: FuddMcDee

awaiting a dealer manual as we speak (auction ends in like 2 days). did some more research and found that i can test the ASD relay by bypassing it and feeding the +12v straight from the batt into the coil. if it runs, chances are its the relay. Something to check out tomorrow...
I still miss the days of an ignition system consisting of only coil wires, a relay, and plug wires... *sigh

thanks for all the help so far guys, it is appriciated (even if i dont show it too well in my unhappiness with a malfunctioning car)
If you want to do that, you should jump the relay at the power distribution sensor the ASD relay provides power to more than just ignition (fuel injectors).
 
  #10  
Old 12-18-2008, 10:01 AM
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Default RE: 98 Sebring, no spark

ORIGINAL: dcotter0579

Have you run a compression test? If your timing belt is broken, your compression will be totally messed up due to open valves. That's good old fashioned low-tech.
This is a good point. Since a diagnosis often begins with a "code" and a check engine light, people often get lost in figuring out what's going on with the computer instead of checking the engine's mechanical integrity. Here's a case where the computer will shut off the fire and fuel if the mechanical system that deals with the "air" is not intact.

I've seen a guy on the boards get so caught up with a misfire and O2 sensor code that he replaced the wires, plugs, O2 sensor, injector and PCM before figuring out that the car had a bad head gasket something anold-fashionedcompression test would have told him right away.
 

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