No Power to Fuel Pump after a Head Gasket Job --- DIYer in need of Good Advice

Hey everyone. I have a bit of a tricky problem that I’m hoping is just some small oversight on my part. I’ve got the 2.4 L DHC 97 Stratus, 4 cylinder. I just finished a head gasket job and now I’m getting a crank, no start condition. I noticed I was getting no fuel pressure at the rail and when checking the 4 pin connector to the fuel pump in the trunk, I’m getting 0 volts when cranking. I ordered new fuel pump and ASD relays, though I did the tests in the Haynes manual and the ones I have seem good. All of this stuff was working before I took everything apart. I’ve checked around for obvious electrical connections or ground wires I missed hooking back up, but can’t find anything. l am getting spark, so I think that means my crank and cam sensors are working. I’m stuck on this one. I’m a DIYer, so I know there are folks out there with WAY more knowledge than me. I don’t even know how to proceed with diagnosis on this one. I’d appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.

Look for a forgotten ground cable that used to be attached to either the block or the head. Many times I miss one of those grounds and have similar issues to what you see here. I bet you have a wire with no home…or no ground connection somewhere. Or a plug that isnt locked together/plugged in properly or fully. Look into this ASAP


Besides checking if everything is plugged in, and your grounds are good, have you checked all the fuses and fusible links?

All of the fuses, including mega fuses, which may be outside of the fuse box

I wouldn’t be surprised if you have more than one fuse box, by the way. check in your owner’s manual

Check if you have a fuel safety reset switch, may have popped. Simple things first.

Check if #10 fuse, 10amp has blown in the power distribution center.


You stated that you checked the wiring but the even the best made connections are of no use if power isn’t getting to them. You need to verify where power is getting to and where it isn’t. One of the best tools to have on hand and least expensive to own, if you don’t want to invest in a digital multi-meter, is a test light probe. It is all you need to verify where power is getting to. Getting a meter is even better because of the better testing you can do with it. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for that either. Like others already stated, you are most likely going to find you have a blown fuse or fusible link causing this problem.

Um…in most repair manuals I’ve read, you are instructed to relieve fuel pressure pripr to this repair by pulling a fuse, or tripping the inertial cut-off, then running it until it stumbles and dies.

It would definitely be a “D’Oh!” moment…but is it at all possible that you did this to yourself?!? (I hope you won’t take this the wrong way, BTW. I consider myself pretty smart, and I do stuff like this ALL the time!)

An excellent point


All excellent ideas above. Another I thought of while reading your post is that the computer may not allow the fuel pump to turn on if it thinks the engine isn’t rotating. It’s a safety thing, so if you get in a crash the fuel pump won’t continue to run. So make sure the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors are connected and working.


As the OP stated, the ignition system is providing spark. So the crank sensor isn’t the problem.