Car wont start!!!

  • Hi all, i'm new to this and the mx3 world. i love my mx3 but having problems with it! bought it last year and its always been a great runner. started first time, never failed me!
    anyway, i had the car up and changed the timing, alternator and power steering belts. lined up the timing with the markings on the engine and cog, etc! it was starting first time whilst still up as i was doing other little bits and pieces. one day, during the cold snap, my dad started the car and left it running. he then heard a few clicking/ticking noise and then the engine cut.
    i have changed spark plugs, charged the battery, tried it with jump leads but nothing. the engine sounds like it wants to start but it wont catch/fire. i can smell petrol so i think its not a fuel problem.
    sorry its so long winded!
    can anyone help!

  • Take the cover off the timing belt and make sure its all tight underneath
    If not theres ya problem, it could be the tensioner has gone and thrown the timing out and if it rattled badly when it died it could be the valves are knackered now and it will not start as the valves will not shut to get compression, if you have a compression tester bang that on all 3 front cyclinders and aim for about 150psi.

    If it did not sound like metal clattering together then it may have died to do with fuel

    If it wont start and you have fuel + spark then its a sensor but try the other 2 first

    to test spark take out a spark plug put it back onto the HT lead then put the threaded part of the plug onto any bare metal on the engine and get someone to turn the engine over while you hold the lead and watch it spark
    WARNING its quite dangerous just do not touch the metal work or you may get a shock and only hold the rubber part on the HT lead
    If no spark its going to be with the distributer

    Make sure the fuel pump is working, you may be able to smell it but the filter might be clogged or its not pumping enough.

    if they are still ok get it put on a machine or build your own following the basic here

    The other common problem with MX3's is the induction system becomes brittle and breaks especially if you have done the air filter recently, check the pipe from the air filter box to the throttle body for cracks and breaks.
    If there is a sizable hole the car will not run, if its cracked and getting worse it would have been a bit lumpy when hot.

  • i think its the timing belt!
    thanks for your help!
    just pulled the cover away and theres markings on my belt now so i'll have to strip it completely tomorrow and have a proper look.
    i guess i'll have to change the belt too now! :(
    what a pain
    gotta get a distributor cap too for it as the carbons run right down!
    what else can go wrong???
    thanks again!


  • i'm hoping its nothing to do with the valves! a hydraulic rocker is about £100 so thats me skint for a while!!! well wait and see what happens… :(

  • I know the head set for these are around the £120 mark, if it is damaged, it maybe worth just investing money in another MX and swap engines over then rebuild the other engine as you can afford it and then MOT resell the donor when its done and that way you get your money back, or just buy an MX6, 323 ZXi or ford probe and bang a bigger engine in :wink:

    I found a few this week for spares this one maybe worth it for £250

  • theres a couple in the local scrappy so i'll have to get down there once i have assessed the damage. was really looking forward to getting it back on the road! its a stock but really fun to drive!

  • iirc is the klde v6 a non interference engine….

  • i think the v6 engines are a compromise between the 2 types. not sure though!

  • just googled it and it says the 1.8 v6 engine is a non interference engine. which, hopefully is good news.

  • @74185fc76a=kaiserno.12:

    just googled it and it says the 1.8 v6 engine is a non interference engine. which, hopefully is good news.

    as i said non interference, i was being pedantic offence
    check all the timimg again if still no luck you may need to lookin the direction of the factory ALARM…

  • thats an idea!!!
    do you think, that cos the battery died in the car, taking out charging it, it may have had an effect on the immobiliser???

  • One answer ..YES.. quite possible..

  • but why did it cut the engine when it was running??? doesnt make sense?
    also, how would i sort the immobiliser? any ideas please???

  • thanks for all your help guys.
    i finally got round to taking off the timing belt cover to find that one of the tensioners was loose (my fault). this caused the belt to to get stuck behind one of the cogs.
    so, new timing belt (£28!) now, just have to fit it when the weather gets slightly warmer!!!
    what i've learnt from this is…
    thanks again

  • thats good news.

  • Havent finished it yet.
    Had to get a new hydraulic ram for it as well. i wanna start it without the cover, alternator belt and power steering belt. should it still start? i am charging the battery as we speak and gonna try it later. dont wanna get my hopes up again. but i wanna try it without the belts. am i being stupid???
    thanks for all your help so far guys!

  • right, i put the alternator belt on without the casing for the timing belt. nothing else for that matter. just the alternator belt and its tensioner. it starts now… but dies after a second.
    it wont stay on. is this cos nothing else is on?
    makes a little metallic rattling noise, but could be cos the tensioner isnt on securely.

  • attached the alternator to the car, barely, and it lives! so i'm really happy with this! gonna put it all together properly tomorrow and then its finally finished. well, touch wood!
    thank for all your support and help through this!
    if anything else goes wrong tomorrow i'l post again!

  • kaiserno.12… if its not to much trouble fella can you add your location into your profile please so as to make fellow members aware of where you are..


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