A couple of nights ago, my son parked in our driveway on a hill. His fuel was on the low side and we couldn’t get it to start when moved to level ground after filling the tank. His fuel filter was filthy so we changed that as well as the fuel pump. It still wouldn’t turn over. He’s since burnt out the starter and we replaced it. We still can’t get it to turn over and start the engine. Any thoughts?? It had been running normal prior to that night.
You are describing an engine that is turning over but not starting. The starter motor turns over the engine - that is, rotates the crankshaft, making the pistons go up and down, the valves open and close, etc.
When you turn the key to Run ( not all the way to Start) the fuel pump should run for a few seconds. You many hear it. Does it run? Each you turn the key to Off and back to Run, it should run briefly. Doing this “key dance” can bring fuel and fuel pressure up to the engine. If the fuel pump is not running, the engine will not run, even though it can turn over until the starter motor breaks.
If the fuel pump does not run, it could be problem with the fuel pump relay, sometimes called the main relay, which is usually in the dashboard under the instrument cluster.
If the fuel pump is running and the key dance doesn’t suffice, the problem may be in the ignition system.
We’ve primed the engine by turning the key to the on position. The fuel pump motor comes on, and we get fuel at the fuel injector header. While checking the fuel pump relay, we can feel 3 distinct clicks so we’re not sure it’s the fuel pump relay. We’re about to get a fuel pressure gauge from the auto store to check that. And now in the process of checking spark plugs. Are we missing anything?
Yes, you are missing something, have you checked for spark? Have you confirmed that the timing belt is intact and moving when the starter is cranked ? Have you done a compression test?
Diagnosis should come before parts.
The fuel pump and PCM both run through a dual relay. There are 3 or 4 fuses involved in this so you might consider checking ALL of the fuses before going too deep into buying parts.
The PCM side of the relay could cause a lack of spark.
Word of advice. A starter motor should never be kept cranking until it burns out. I assume by “can’t get it to turn over” that you mean it cranks but won’t start. Your post needs to be clarified a bit. There’s a difference because won’t turn over should mean the starter motor will not crank the engine.