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Engine just quit

2000 Mercury VIllager. Driving down the street and the engine just quit. Got it over to the side and tried to restart. It was cranking just fine but wouldn’t start. after a bit I let it rest and tried again. It did start and I drove it back home. Service Engine soon light is now on. No battery problems or starter motor issues as it cranks find. It starts but sometimes there is a screaching noise as it kicks in. I can hear the fuel pump when I turn the key. Help is appreciated. Thanks

You need to get the error codes read and post them (the exact codes like “P0123”). Many auto parts chain stores read these for free.

p0340 - Camshaft Position Sensor Malfunction

I took it to Oreilly’s. They took the reading and then when I tried to start the car it wouldn’t start. Same as yesterday. Cranked fine but not gas. I was in a quiet place and couldn’t hear the fuel pump whir. So the guy said to disconnect the battery for a couple minutes and let everything reset. After that it started right up and I got home. Let me know what anybody thinks. Thanks.

Crankshaft position sensor problems are more common, but if a camshaft sensor fails, the almost certainly car won’t run. So your symptom is consistent with the error code, which is a good thing from a diagnostic point of view. Could be the sensor itself, or a bad connection. Me, I’d look at the schematic, inspect all the wiring to the sensor circuit, if all the wiring and connectors look ok and fuse for that circuit is known good, I’d be inclined to just replace the sensor.

There’s of course some possibility this is a problem with the valve train, especially if you car sports variable valve timing. Especially if oil & filter changes haven’t been done on time.

I’ll do that. Reading a little further it says this sensor is in the distributor so you just have to buy a new one. If that’s right then I just had a new distributor put in in April of last year - 2013. So I’ll the place that did it.

Odd. U had new distributor installed last year and didn’t bother to mention that in ur first post. How was van running last yr when u replaced distributor? Did u have drivability issues than?

Time for a new fuel pump, my guess.

Seems to me the distributor needs to be replaced “under warranty”

Many shops warranty their parts and labor for 12 months

just remember your engine need three things to run: spark, fuel, and air
if problem continues after the distributor start checking those systems I usual pull plugs check for spark, then pull air intake, then check fuel spray in that order

I didn’t mention it because I had no idea at the time that it might be a distributor issue. It’s been running fine with no issues. Thanks for all the help to everybody. I’ll work on it today hopefully.

Forgot to come back and update this. It was the Camshaft position sensor and that is inside the distributor on this car. So the mechanics put a new one in for nothing. Thanks


Thanks for the update . . . and congratulations!

You need four things for an engine to run. Air, spark, fuel, and compression.

Without compression an engine won’t run.