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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I had the same issue, my first thought: weak battery, and after connecting to a portable jump starter source; all good, drove smoothly for 30 minutes then I placed the battery on trickle charger.
Today despite the battery being charged I could not get the engine to turn over, and last week's trick did not work either (jump start).
I checked the fuel pump, and bled the fuel nozzle on the left side of the engine to establish that fuel is reaching the fuel injector.
Any input will be appreciated otherwise (to save my marriage) the car is going to the junk yard.
 

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Need fuel, spark, compression for an engine to run. Assume the last is good, spray some ether (aerostart) into the air intake while cranking, if nothing happens then no spark or timing out, otherwise fuel. Spark problems - look at CPS, coils, HT leads. Personally, I would suspect the CPS.
Worth an hours fiddling to escape the junk yard.
 
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Reread your message - battery won't turn the engine over? I'd get the battery tested and replace it if dodgy first. Are you getting any messages on the dash? Try jumping it with another vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Reread your message - battery won't turn the engine over? I'd get the battery tested and replace it if dodgy first. Are you getting any messages on the dash? Try jumping it with another vehicle.
I guess I misspoke: engine is turning and turning.... with a lot of oomph.. but not starting.
 

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Pre or post 99? If sync is lost on a Thor (99 or later), it will crank but with no sparks or fuel injectors so won't start. However, if that was the case the dash would be telling you it is immobilised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input, my P38 is a 1996 4.0 SE with 257k miles.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Pre or post 99? If sync is lost on a Thor (99 or later), it will crank but with no sparks or fuel injectors so won't start. However, if that was the case the dash would be telling you it is immobilised.
1996 4.0 SE, with 257k miles.


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Do you get the Check Engine light on with the ignition is position 2? If not, the BeCM and engine ECU are out of sync or the engine ECU is getting no power.
 

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As you have fuel and the engine is turning on the starter, ignition is the likely suspect. Sometimes (old) spark plugs don't fully recover after flooding the engine, that could have happened when the battery was weak. Easy to check and cheap to replace, so why not start there?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you get the Check Engine light on with the ignition is position 2? If not, the BeCM and engine ECU are out of sync or the engine ECU is getting no power.
Yes the check engine light is on when in position 2. Thanks for making me check that specific aspect.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As you have fuel and the engine is turning on the starter, ignition is the likely suspect. Sometimes (old) spark plugs don't fully recover after flooding the engine, that could have happened when the battery was weak. Easy to check and cheap to replace, so why not start there?
I never done a spark plug check/replace job, but there is always a first time: any specifications I need to look for when buying a spark plugs set?


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CPS or fuel pump. Do you hear the fuel pump run for 2 - 3 seconds when you first turn on the ignition? If not, she knows the fuse and relay. Get under the car and give the bottom of the fuel tank a few good whacks. Then turn on the ignition and see if you hear the pump. If still no, then it is new pump time.

If the pump is functioning normally, most likely a CPS. They do expire. I have had 2 go in12 months on one car and the other still on its original.
 
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When the fuel pump failed on my 98 I confirmed this by measuring zero fuel pressure at the connection on the feed line in the engine bay. If a person does not have a fuel pressure gauge I guess you could just see if fuel sqirts out of that connector. Not sure I would trust my ears.
 

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I never done a spark plug check/replace job, but there is always a first time: any specifications I need to look for when buying a spark plugs set?
Replacing the spark plugs isn't hard, you do want to remove the air intake hose for access. Check if the old plugs are blackened/fowled and for the small cost if in doubt replace with NGK BPR6ES, as Richard says.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As you have fuel and the engine is turning on the starter, ignition is the likely suspect. Sometimes (old) spark plugs don't fully recover after flooding the engine, that could have happened when the battery was weak. Easy to check and cheap to replace, so why not start there?
If engine is flooded, would it start with a new set of spark plugs? Or do I need to spray starter fluid as well?


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Starter fluid as well will just flood it even more. Taking the plugs out and spinning it over on the starter will clear any excess fuel anyway.
 

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If the engine was flooded, letting it breath could/should be enough. Best case starting with full throttle (clear flood mode) will do the trick. Better, as Richard says, to take out the plugs and let the engine spin. You can inspect and clean the plugs at the same time. New plugs is the final step, if the old ones do not recover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got a set of new plugs, tried a new plug on three different wires (three most front on the passenger side) to eliminate the possibility of a bad wire: no spark!
Is the coil the problem then? Is there a fuse or relay that need checking/replacement? Will I still get a spark upon cranking if cps is the culprit?


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Assuming GEMS, unlikely to be the coil as there are four coils running eight cylinders on a wasted spark system. Each coil does two plugs so you can follow the wires, and check each coil. The CPS provides the timing, so it tells the ECU when to throw a spark. Personally, I'd replace it as it is a cheap part and they break down over time, although my experience is that it is more likely to be a problem when the engine is hot.
 
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