Geo Problem

I have a '91 Geo Prism LSI 4 cylyander that was very sturdy and reliable. Last winter a friend of mine borrowed it and was warming it up before going to work when it just died. No spark. It had been sluggish at startup for some time. We have replaced the plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, the distibutor, and the ECM. It started once and ran for about 45 seconds once the distributor was replaced but now still has no spark. HELP! I’m not ready to give up on this car.

Check the ignition coil.

The ignition coil is inside the new distributor.

Are there the proper voltages at the coil?

I’ll have that checked. My mechanic has a book for that.

He said the voltage was good. He has checked that.

Have you checked the most obvious, and that being timing belt?

Timing belt is not the problem. It turns the motor over fine but there is no spark when the engine turns over. I forgot to add that the motor ran for about 45 seconds after replacing the distributor, we replaced it with ANOTHER distributor AND an ECM. Still no spark.

Put a timing light on check timing, that will also let you know if there is spark. Car should still flash timing light while cranking. Perhaps bad timing, distrbitor put in 180 deg off or something like plug wires bad or connected incorrectly, Was 45 seconds run and start right after you replaced the distributor?

The solution is in a series of questions to which you find answers. First Q: How does an ignition and spark system usually operate? That is, what works, to make something else work, to make something else work? Once you figure out how it should operate (produce timed sparks), you now go on to find out why it doesn’t. Got it?

I have come to respect you very much, Hoping the OP does also.

You did not say that you checked the timing belt. If the distributor connects to the camshaft and the camshaft isn’t turning, you may not get a spark. Does the rotor turn while cranking?

The distributor on this engine is most probably driven by the timing belt. Autozone should have the free manual on their website. Also check the negative ground.

There have been numerous Technical Service Bulletins about all of the electrical connectors, in the engine compartment, as being problematic. Sometimes, some of the pins inside the wiring connector aren’t making good connections. Often, say the bulletins, the connections electrical contact can be made better by simply by disconnecting, and reconnecting, the electrical connectors. Disconnect, and reconnect, ALL of the wire connectors in the engine compartment-----especially, those having to do with engine management, and causing spark production.