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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am unable to get my spectra to start, it is a 2003 by the way. I got the car about 2 weeks ago from a dealer, it has 107,xxx miles on it and was running great. I took it in for an oil change since I had a free one ( I usually do all my own maintenance work) and when I got it back, I noticed it began to run terribly between 30-50 mph, almost like it was misfiring. It also idled a little rough when at stop signs. I checked the oil the next day and it was way beyond full on the dipstick, probably about an inch past the "F" mark on the stick. So I drained that and refilled myself to the correct amount.

I figured the rough idle and misfire was from too much oil in the car? The CEL was also flashing after I drove the car once the correct amount of oil was in it.

So anyway, to my problem now. I changed the spark plugs and put in new wires/boots, and I go to start the car, but it does not start. It cranks for a few seconds like normal, then stops for about 2 seconds, and continues to crank, stops for 2 seconds, etc. It is cranking strong, and all 4 plugs were making spark when I had them out and watched them with my wife cranking the car.

Any ideas why it isn't starting now? I'm stumped. I thought it could need new coil packs, but I don't want to just throw out $130 on two if the car is making spark right now.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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Ryan...
I got your pm and am answering here as this could help others in the future.
The cranking/wait/cranking/wait problem is not from the ECM/ECU. The crank (enable starter) mode is a purely electrical condition and not controlled by any microcontroller.
I would be looking at the STARTER RELAYand the MAIN relay. Look for loss of voltage at the time the "pause" is taking place. It almost sounds like the battery is weak and the relays are dropping out when the voltage drops down.

How old is the timing belt? The should be replaced EVERY 5yrs or 60k miles.. an old belt could loose teeth throwing off the timing and also damaging the valves and pistons..
They can cause the car to run (poorly) if only off by a few teeth and cause the engine to stop running completely if more than a few teeth off.
This is an "interference" type engine and a bad or broken timing belt can do a lot of damage..Look up "interference engine timing belt" on google for more info...
The TPS (throttle position sensor) or the IAC (idle air control) valve can cause flashing CELs as well as plug misfires...
You need to confirm that the fuel pump is being turned on and that there is fuel pressure on the injector rails also...

The no start condition (engine running) may be a result of cam or crank sensor problems (the ECM will NOT turn on the fuel relay and may not fire the injectors either if either signal is missing or out of time with the other sensor....

I have looked up, generated a "word" document, and posted it on my Google Drive (cloud) with the schematics for your car...Here's the link...
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-YuNuTyh57XMzNBZGlZNWRlTlk/edit
Hope this helps...
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Dave! I will be looking at these things as soon as I'm home from work in the morning. I will post whatever I find wrong with it (hopefully no one else has to experience this problem).
 
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