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My Accent won't start

I have a 2004 Hyundai Accent with 35000 miles. You’ll notice that’s not a lot of miles. Recently, I took him on a road trip, and about 100 miles out, I lost acceleration completely, pulled over, and the engine chugged briefly before turning off and refusing to turn back on. By the time I had him towed back to my mechanic, he had started, and no one could figure out the problem. Eventually, I picked the car up again, spent a day driving normally, and then after a short. local drive, he refused to start. My mechanic replaced the crank sensor, had no more problems, gave it back to me. Four days later, the engine turned off after being on for less than a minute.

Again, this car has not seen an absurd amount of wear and tear, it doesn’t make sense for it to be the fuel pump, and the only thing Hyundai Support could come up with is the crank sensor. It’s not the battery, because the engine will turn over, it just won’t catch. Whhhyyyyy is my car refusing to work.

Several pieces of test equipment must be attached to the car and monitored when it stalls. Are you leaving the car with the shop with instructions to operate it until it fails?

Has the CEL (Check Engine Lamp) come on? If not does it turn on when you first turn the key on?

When was the last time the oil was changed? How about the plugs and wires and air filter? I would expect that most of the things that can cause problems like yours will also trigger a CEL, but not always.

If you have a CEL, then take it to your local auto parts store and they may read the code(s) for you for free. Get the real codes like [P1234] and post them back here.

If not then as Rod suggested, you need a mechanic that knows how to not only fix the car, but to determine what to fix.  

Good Luck

Bummer. Okay. The oil was changed very recently, no CEL, and the filters, plugs, wires have all been checked (allegedly). My mechanic had it for a week and a half without having an issue, so he gave it back to me, but you’re right, it might be time to find a new guy.

If it always refuses to start after stalling out then you can at least narrow down the possibilities.

Get a can of starting fluid and a spark tester from and auto parts store. The next time it stalls and won’t fire back up, spray some starting fluid into the intake. If that gets it to fire up - even if briefly - then you’re having a fuel supply problem. If not, go to the spark tester and see if you have spark.

This will cut the problem in half.

If you’re not sure how to do either one of these things ask your mechanic to show you.

Don’t assume that a fuel pump can’t fail after 6-7 years and 35K miles. There’s also no need to assume that a fuel problem would be with the pump itself - a failing relay or some damaged wiring might do the same.

So, end of the story is, I broke down and took it to the dealer. They read the error codes (the codes that my other mechanic claimed were mysteriously missing), and I have a bad auto-positioning sensor and a bad overhead cam sensor. $400 later, I’m good to go.