Friends car won't start


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Been talking to a friend and I guess her car died.  2002 Saturn.  Not sure the exact model.  Didnt ask.   Anyway, she was driving and the car made a boom noise from the back and a little white smoke out of the tail pipe.  CEL came on as well.  So she turned around and headed home since she was only a couple miles away.  Car died now and will not start.   Car tries to turn over but never does.  She recently had the timing belt replaced along with the water pump, coil pack, and some spark plugs. 

 

Anyway, I just do basic stuff on cars so thought I would start a convo here if anyone had ideas.

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Is it getting fuel?

 

Is it getting spark??

 

 

Hard to tell, hook up a code reader and see what it says.

 

 

I could guess quite a few things ranging from sensors to a hole in a piston.

 

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3 minutes ago, sc302 said:

Is it getting fuel?

 

Is it getting spark??

 

 

Hard to tell, hook up a code reader and see what it says.

 

 

I could guess quite a few things ranging from sensors to a hole in the piston.

Not sure.  Just broke down an hour or so ago so she has to get her car towed.    Wouldnt a hole in the piston produce more smoke?

 

2 minutes ago, xendrome said:

Well not the timing belt or water pump most likely. I'm betting a coil pack/spark plug issue, spark plug could have blown out of the fitting...

She is hoping it is something like that since she cannot afford a new car or major car repairs a the moment.  Place she gets her car service at warrantys their work and it has only been a couple weeks since the work has been done.

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Maybe. A cracked block would produce a lot of smoke. But it could be a lot of things.

 

A broken crank wouldn't necessarily produce any smoke and the car wouldn't start.

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Trying to get more info but she is calling around to get her car  towed at the moment.  But she said a little white smoke came out the back, not much.   And trying to get info if the engine temp went up.   But that  could take a few.

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She got her car towed last night.  She didnt have any more info to go on and  didnt notice if the car was overheating or not.  So shall see what the shop says.

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5 minutes ago, techbeck said:

Engine for a 2002 Saturn sl is around 1k. Not sure the labor costs. 

Get used engine which is cheaper than the brand new engine.   You can get used engine from classified or junkyard.

 

If you know any friends who are mechanic, then they can do it for her for small fee or free..   all she pays for the engine.

 

If not, then she would pay for engine and labor at the shop.  most likely around $2000 (probably more).  New engine would be more than that depends on which type such as 4 cylinder, V6, etc.

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Bad engine confirmed.  Oil starvation.  I guess she didnt notice she had an oil leak and the oil light didnt come on in the car.  So she found a place that has an engine, 10k miles, for 1600 installed.

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  • 1 month later...

When it rains it pours....

 

So friend was driving her can and she lost power.  Car stopped accelerating.  So pulled over and when she stopped, the car died.  She tried to start the car and it makes a little sounds like it wants to start, but does not.  Oil is good but she said she smelled antifreeze.  Car to hot to check the levels right now so it is being towed to the shop.  Car didnt over heat or anything and radio/lights are working.

 

Any ideas on this one?

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alternator. Happened to me, smelled antifreeze, pulled over to take a photo, went to pull out onto road, car died, wouldn't start.. and when I got it to turn over it was saying overheat, but I knew that wasn't true. 

Had alternator replaced and issues went away.

 

I know, it may sound unrelated or just ridiculous, but at least get it looked at.

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3 minutes ago, wakjak said:

alternator. Happened to me, smelled antifreeze, pulled over to take a photo, went to pull out onto road, car died, wouldn't start.. and when I got it to turn over it was saying overheat, but I knew that wasn't true. 

Had alternator replaced and issues went away.

Hope that is all it is.  Simple/cheap fix if so.

 

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Not enough juice in battery. Antifreeze smell could be related to engine replace. Could even be leaking somewhere. 

 

A weak battery would cause car not to start and die. It may be enough to run radio and accessories but it does take quite a bit more power to turn the engine over/start it. 

 

Could be the alternator not charging the battery which caused the weak battery issue, but the end result is weak battery either due to age (4-5 years is average car battery life) or due to alternator (they may endure the life of the car or you may replace 4 before the car is done, hard to determine). 

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Just now, sc302 said:

Not enough juice in battery. Antifreeze smell could be related to engine replace. Could even be leaking somewhere. 

 

A weak battery would cause car not to start. It may be enough to run radio and accessories but it does take quite a bit more power to turn the engine over/start it. 

She had her radiator replaced a few days ago and had to add some yesterday.  So I was telling her  could be a hose or something for that.

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3 hours ago, xendrome said:

Water pump probably gave out and then broke the accessory belt.

New water pump and belt.  And the car didnt overheat.

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sigh....some people should not own cars.....

 

So a week or so ago, her drive belt snaps while she was driving.  Instead of actually pulling over and calling someone, she drove the car home even though it was overheating.  Hey, she was only a couple miles from home.  Well, that ######ed her engine (the one she just got placed) and now she needs yet another engine for her car.  Luckily the engine is under warranty and the mechanic gave the place a bunch of BS so the engine shouldnt cost anything.

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