No start issue: crank but no spark- replaced ignition coil

hello yourmechanic, I have a starting problem with my old JETTA Mk3- it cranks but wont start. I checked for spark at the end of the sparkplug wire and i don't have spark, so i replaced ignition coil and i still have no spark. could it be the starter? or could it be the crankshaft sensor?
thank you in advance for your feedback,
regards,
Bill
My car has a manual transmission.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
The starter will not have any impact on the engine’s ability to produce spark. There are a number of issues that may cause an ignition system to not produce spark.

A bad crankshaft position (CKP) sensor (on engines that do not have a distributor), or broken, loose or corroded wires from the sensor to the PCM.
A bad ignition module (on engines that have a distributor or use an ignition module separate from the PCM)
A bad pickup inside the distributor (on engines that have a distributor), a stripped distributor drive gear (common problem with plastic distributor drive gears), broken, loose or corroded wires from the pickup to the ignition module or PCM.
A bad ignition coil (on engines that have a distributor and a single coil)
A bad rotor or distributor cap (cracks or carbon tracks that are allowing the spark to short to ground)
A faulty ignition switch.

Any of the above issues may contribute to a lack of spark problem and should be looked at by a qualified mechanic such as one from YourMechanic. I would suggest having one of our professionals come to your location to diagnose and inspect your spark problem.

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If the ignition coil does not have spark, it`s time to check its wires. Use a test light to check the continuity on the signal wire and power wire on the ignition coil. If both wires are functional but the coil fails to produce spark, the ignition coil or the ignition control module is bad.
A faulty ignition coil can also lead to a no-start condition. For vehicles that use a single ignition coil as the source of spark for all of the cylinders, a faulty coil will affect the operation of the entire engine.
A Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor

The crankshaft position sensor monitors the position and rotational speeds of the crankshaft. Without the crank sensor, the engine control module (ECM) wouldn`t know when to fire the fuel injectors and ignite the spark plugs.

The starter will not have any impact on the engine`s ability to produce spark. There are a number of issues that may cause an ignition system to not produce spark. A bad crankshaft position (CKP) sensor (on engines that do not have a distributor), or broken, loose or corroded wires from the sensor to the PCM.
A failed crankshaft positioning sensor can cause your engine tp have no spark. In most modern ICE engines they all use electronic ignition and engine management systems. Theses systems depend on the signal sent from the crankshaft position sensor to determine what cylinder is coming up on top dead center (TDC).
A Bad Crankshaft Position (CKP) Sensor

If the crankshaft position sensor has failed completely, it will not send a signal to the (ECU) at all. Then, the computer won`t send any fuel to the injectors. This will leave you unable to start the car.

If the ignition relay shorts, burns out, or otherwise fails while the engine is operating it will cut off power to the fuel pump and ignition system. This will cause the vehicle to immediately stall due to fuel and spark being cut off.
If no spark appears, check for broken wires, shorts, grounds or a defective stop switch. Once you have confirmed that the stop switch is working, reconnect the spark plug lead.
Car Will Not Start: Over time, as the camshaft position sensor fails, the signal it sends to the engine control module weakens. When the engine no longer receives the signal, you will not be able to start your car. Engine Misfires: A failing camshaft position sensor can cause your engine to misfire.
Crank sensors can fail due to excessive heat, faulty wiring harnesses, and sensor movement.
The O2 sensor will not cause the no start. The no start can be caused by the fuel pump or the ignition system. You should check the engine for spark and fuel pressure, when it is not turning on to help narrow the problem down.
your car fails to start: the engine`s computer uses the map sensor to gauge atmospheric pressure before the engine is started. a false reading could cause too much or too little fuel to be delivered to the engine. both conditions could keep it from firing up.
As a camshaft position sensor weakens, so does the data it transmits to the ECM. Eventually the data signal becomes so weak the ECM switches off fuel and spark delivery, and your engine will not start.
Fundamentally, the engine ECU controls the injection of the fuel and, in petrol engines, the timing of the spark to ignite it. It determines the position of the engine`s internals using a Crankshaft Position Sensor so that the injectors and ignition system are activated at precisely the correct time.
If your ignition coil is working properly, when your friend cranks the engine, you should see a bright blue spark jump across the spark plug gap. This spark will be clearly visible in the daylight. If you don`t see a blue spark, your ignition coil is probably malfunctioning and needs replacement.
If your ignition coil is working properly, when your friend cranks the engine, you should see a bright blue spark jump across the spark plug gap. This spark will be clearly visible in the daylight. If you don`t see a blue spark, your ignition coil is probably malfunctioning and needs replacement.
Hard Starts and Stalling

If an ignition coil is malfunctioning and not delivering the required voltage to the spark plugs, you will find it hard to start the engine. If your vehicle stalls when you stop and even shut off completely, it could be a bad ignition coil sending irregular sparks to the spark plugs.

If you suspect the coil is dead, you can also remove the coil, plug it back in, and use an ignition spark tester like OEM 25069 to determine if the coil is firing. You can also use a multimeter to test resistance.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

No start issue: crank but no spark- replaced ignition coil
ANSWER : The starter will not have any impact on the engine’s ability to produce spark. There are a number of issues that may cause an ignition system to not produce spark.

A bad crankshaft position (CKP) sensor (on engines that do not have a distributor), or broken, loose or corroded wires from the sensor to the PCM.
A bad ignition module (on engines that have a distributor or use an ignition module separate from the PCM)
A bad pickup inside the distributor (on engines that have a distributor), a stripped distributor drive gear (common problem with plastic distributor drive gears), broken, loose or corroded wires from the pickup to the ignition module or PCM.
A bad ignition coil (on engines that have a distributor and a single coil)
A bad rotor or distributor cap (cracks or carbon tracks that are allowing the spark to short to ground)
A faulty ignition switch.

Any of the above issues may contribute to a lack of spark problem and should be looked at by a qualified mechanic such as one from YourMechanic. I would suggest having one of our professionals come to your location to diagnose and inspect your spark problem.

Crank no start. Not switching signals at the ignition coil.
ANSWER : Hi there. When your friend removed the spark plug while the engine was running and it was not grounded, the lazy spark may have shorted out the module in the distributor or it could have shorted out the coil in the distributor. I recommend replacing the distributor coil and module and the engine should start back up. Then you could test to see where the problems are with the random misfire. I also recommend replacing all the spark plugs to ensure a good solid spark. When you replace the parts, I suggest investing in the OEM specified parts to ensure a good connection and performance. If you need further assistance with your engine misfiring, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Crank but no start. No spark or fuel – all quit at the same time
ANSWER : Hello. If the vehicle began to experience these issues after going through a puddle then it may very well be possible that one of the components may have shorted or malfunctioned due to moisture. First off, keep in mind that the fuel and ignition systems function independently of each other, which means that there may be more than one issue that is cutting off power to each of them.

If there is no spark or fuel, then the first thing I would do is check the vehicle’s fuses and relays, particularly the EFI main and ignition relays. It may be possible that one of these components has failed and is cutting off power to the vehicle’s ignition and fuel systems. If these check out, then it may be possible that the issue is wiring-related, in which case I would carefully examine the engine bay for any worn, frayed, or otherwise potentially faulty wiring. A certified technician from YourMechanic, can come to your car’s location to inspect the car’s starting problem and pinpoint the repairs needed to have this resolved.

Fuel pump engages. Batery good, alternator good volts, jump start helps when wont start. Temp does not matter. Intermittent?
ANSWER : Hello. Thank you for writing in. There are several reasons your vehicle may only start when jump starting. The first and most common is a build up of resistance that is causing you to need a boost of voltage to get the engine started. This may be due to poor battery cables, a bad ground connection, a poor starter solenoid, and a couple of other issues. The first thing you want to do is perform a visual inspection of the starting system. Make sure there is no corrosion build up in the battery cables. You can also check the resistance across these wires and make sure you have a solid connection between components. You then want to make sure the starter solenoid is doing its job. It is responsible for taking the small amount of electricity sent by the ignition and turning it into a huge electrical charge that is strong enough to push over the engine with the help of some gear ratios in its favor. Do some more testing, and stick to the basics before assuming its something seriously complicated.

I have a crank no start issue. I’m not getting any spark
ANSWER : It seems like you have addressed the common culprits that can cause a no spark situation. However another component that is a common failure point in Acura / Honda products of that era is the ignitor. The ignition ignitor is responsible for controlling spark during cranking as well as can advance or retard ignition timing. It is not a component that gets replaced during routine maintenance. It’s one of those replace it when it’s broken components. Although you have replaced the other possible causes, have a certified technician look into the crank / no start condition to verify the exact cause and replace the ignitor if it’s determined to be the cause.

replaced bad coil pack and new coil not sparking car starts but runs rough engine light on blinks sometimes
ANSWER : Hello and thank you for your questions. If your engine was rebuilt about 10 months ago, the question is to determine if the management system has been installed as well. With the symptoms that you are having, it sounds like the coil packs are old and in need of replace. You replaced numbers 1 and 4 and now number 6 is not firing. I recommend replacing number 6, 2, 3, and 5. This will ensure that you have all 6 coil packs that are new.

Just because the coil packs are okay during a test doesn’t mean that they are functioning correctly. Coil packs on Buick vehicles from 1998 – 2005 last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. I also recommend having your fuel injection system flushed. Unless you have new injectors, the old injectors could cause a cylinder to fail, even though it is working correctly. These symptoms can cause the engine to have a rough idle and rough running during conditions. If you need assistance troubleshooting the rough running condition, I recommend having a professional, like one from YourMechanic, inspect the car and move forward with repairs.

Engine light fault. There was a bad spark plug and a failed ignition coil. Replaced both the coil pack or spark plug.
ANSWER : Hi there. If the light is coming on then shutting off and returning on, then if the issue is for the same coil, there could be an issue with the wiring on the coil plug. Check the wiring on the coil plug and see if the wires are split, broken, or burned. If there is nothing wrong with the plug, then the main engine harness has an issue / short and may need replaced. If you need further assistance with your ignition system, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

my grand am will not start it has different kind of spark plugs will that make a no start on the car
ANSWER : Hey there:

Looks like you’re chasing an electrical gremlin here. First, the brand of spark plug may in some cases cause issues with starting. However, beyond brand is making sure it’s the right model and has the correct gap is more critical. The fact that you’re trying to start the car with throttle cleaner is a red flag. This method used to work really well with older, carburetor fueled systems, but with today’s fuel injected systems that are monitored by ECU’s, that typically causes a huge overload of energy, can fry the sensors and put you back to square one.

My advice here is to contact a certified mechanic and have them diagnose the starting problem you’re having, as by trying to fix it, the problems with the Grand Am may have gotten worse unfortunately.