98 Dodge Neon 2.0L SOHC 4 cylinder

My Neon needed a water pump. At 204K miles the timing belt should be replaced also. The pump and belt were replaced. The motor started and the car drove about 1000ft. and stopped. There was no more spark. The car was checked to make sure that the timing belt is on correctly. The cam points to top dead center when the #1 cylinder is at peak and the crankshaft is at top dead center. Both marks align. When the key is turned the starter tries to turn but the engine does not spark. Electricity goes to the coil pack. Do you have any thoughts?

Is the cam turning when the engine is cranking? Is there a check engine light on? Have you checked for a code? Could be the camshaft position sensor located on the end of the cam if the cam is turning.

I’d check the crankshaft position sensor first. It may have been damaged during the timing belt replacement or just have died of old age. Without this sensor’s input, the computer will not “see” the engine as cranking and there will be no spark or injector pulses. Also make sure the fuel pump is running.

I’m not sure about your Neon, but a lot of Chrysler products will run without the camshaft sensor in the circuit–as a fail safe the computer treats the system like multiport fuel injection without firing the injectors sequentially. So mileage will be worse and drivability might be weird, but it would probably still start, albeit after a longer than normal crank, as the ECU would need to use the crankshaft sensor alone to determine where TDC is. keith does make a point though since the cam sensor is right there and it would be easy to foul that up during a timing belt replacement. If this sensor was damaged or disconnected, there would definitely be a stored trouble code. If it’s the crank sensor, not necessarily.

Unfortunately since it started and ran, albeit briefly, it sounds to me like something went awry with the belt replacement and the belt jumped. Does the engine sound “normal” when you crank it?