View Full Version : 98 catera will crank but not start

04-02-11, 05:26 PM
I few weeks ago I bought a catera for $650. It has about 212,000 miles on it. The guy had paid another guy to replace the timing belt, when the guy figured out he needed the special tool. The guy took the money he was paid and was never heard from again.

I got the car, found the special tool online to rent for a month and got the timing down correct. After fixing a couple of other problems the car still would not start up. I checked the spark plugs and they were pretty much foulded out. I replaced the plugs and it seemed that the car wanted to start. It started for a few seconds then I turned it off to replace all of the intake that I took off.

Now the plugs are new and the timing is good, but it will not start up and run. I pulled the #1 plug and it smelled flooded out. Another mechanic told me that it is probably the fuel pump not putting out enough pressure. I do not have a gauge to check the pressure.

While trying to crank the engine, if I give it some gas it seems to want to start but does not.

Need some help to try and figure this one out please !!!

04-03-11, 08:42 PM

I have been reading through the forums and figured I would try and change the CPS. Got it for $45 at autozone. changed it with no problem( thanks to the forum).

Now the car trys to start more. What I mean is that it sounds like it wants to start but will not stay running. And, I get the occasional back fire through the intake. Not all of the time, just some of the time. But the back firing was even before the CPS was changed. I tried hitting the fuel tank method and that is when it started to almost start.

Almost thinking that it is time for the fuel pump? any suggestions or comments?

04-05-11, 06:43 AM
I'm not too sure if the same problem I had with my 00 but it sounds the same.
On my 00 it wanted to start and it turned of for a few seconds(milliseconds) and then it died. Replaced too many things to remember then finally shelled out a few hundred buck and took it to a mechanic and it turned out that the chip in my key was fried. Got a new key and programed and it was good as new.
Also, just a few months ago my car was doing the same thing but I left the ignition open without turning it on for a few minutes to reset everything and it worked.
Hope this helps, Josh.:thumbsup:

04-08-11, 01:14 AM
Do you have a check engine light? Have you checked the MAF Sensor? Are all the vacuum lines solid? Do you have spark to each wire (ruling out the coil pack). Just check all the simple things first, then start digging into the hard things. (Have you checked cylinder compression?) Look out for the pesky PCV System. The Catera's do not use a simple little valve. The PCV "Canister" as I call it, sits aft of the Passenger side head. Inside of it is a little rubber flapper check valve. I just replaced mine and it (amongst other things) helped greatly. You will know if it is not working because you will see a bunch of "goo" collecting around the Oil Filler inlet..But then again, if you cannot get it started, you will not see it yet. Keep me posted. I have become intimate with this car..and let me tell you..IT HAS BEEN WORTH IT! I love mine now! Smooth as silk! Hang in there. Be patient.

04-09-11, 08:49 PM
Thanks for all the help everyone !!

I had some spare time and decided to start at the beginning of the threads, Yep I went to thread 221 and worked my way back with every problem that sounded like mine. After replacing the Cam Pos Sensor and the Crank PS i went to Autozone and rented a compression tester and OBD II code reader.. No codes at all !!! But also no compression in 1,3,2 and 6 cyl....damn why did I not check this before...oh yeah cause when I installed the timing belt I thought #1 cyl had compression....so now I am taking the heads off( I already have one off) and 2 valves are bent in each cylinder one is the intake the other is the exhaust..

Looked online and Autozone for the parts..

Head Bolts $32 a set of 8
Head Gasket set $188
Water pump( While I am in there) $50

Head Bolts set of 8 $45
Head Gasket Set (Victor set) $150
Water Pump $30
Valve set (all 24) $100

So if any knows where I can get a better deal on these parts please let me know...in the mean time I am getting intamate with my 98 Catera. I really do love getting into the engine work, But damn does it have to be this much of a pain to get to everything??

I am or will make it work !!!

05-08-11, 10:47 PM
Ok due to work, gotta make money to live, it has taken a month but I have the Catera together. The valve job ran my $350. To my time and re-installed everything. Fixed what I needed to and at the very first turn of the key the car started just fine.

I just need help on the whole head bolt issue. I checked over to make sure no leaks and it seems that I have a slight coolant leak. The oil is not milky YET !!! but when I pull the oil fill cap it is a little milky there. I went by the book doing the whole 90 - 90 - 90 - 15 degree turn of the bolts, but does anyone know of an actual number to torque to ?? the whole torque 90 degrees 3 times then 15 degrees is crappy....I guess I will pull the plugs and check to see if it is just one head or two...

If anyone can shed some light on this for me it would be great !!!

05-09-11, 06:46 PM
elbrown4183 !!!

Ok, we have the engine back together and it runs great !!! we were checking for leaks and found no leaks but found some milky white substance inside the filler tube for the oil. can you give me more info of where this rubber valve is at ?