I recently replaced the head gasket on my Honda Accord. The cylinder head was tested at a machine shop and they also replaced the valve seals.
I didn't do any work to the cylinders, except use degreaser to clean off the piston heads.
I got the engine put back together, but was unable to get it to start.
I took the car into Pep Boys for an Engine Diagnostic.
They said that they tested the battery, spark plugs and fuel.
The mechanic noticed that the top cover for the timing belt was off and jumped to the conclusion that the reason the car wouldn't start was because the timing was off and were going to charge me $700 to replace the timing belt. I explained to the mechanic the work that I had done and that I had removed the top cover and just hadn't replaced it yet. Still he said that the timing must be the problem but he couldn't tell for sure without removing the lower cover and charging me a lot of money.
As an aside, I feel that I received very poor service especially for the amount of money ($100) this engine diagnostic cost and won't be returning there for auto service. The clerk was rude to me and I overheard them call my car a piece of $#!*. It probably is, but still they shouldn't have said so with me standing right there. I'm pretty sure the mechanic was wrong about the timing being off. You can check the timing without removing the lower cover using the sights on the lower cover and the markings on the crankshaft pulley. The mechanic made me second guess myself. I rechecked the timing marks and they all lined up and even removed the lower cover and checked the marks on the timing belt drive pulley and balance belt drive pulley even though they're all connected with the same key to the crankshaft. I removed and replaced the timing belt following the manual and it still wouldn't start.
What are some other things I can check assuming I can trust the mechanic to have tested the basics like the spark plugs firing and the engine getting fuel?
I adjusted the valve clearances and the valves are opening at the correct camshaft positions.
I think I'll do a compression test, just to make sure even though the compression was good before this service and the cylinder head was tested at the machine shop.
I could replace the Crankshaft position/TDC sensors, even though I just put new ones in. I have gone through the experience of buying a new faulty camshaft position sensor before for a different car.
The only other thing I can think of is to test the ignition timing with a timing light. Ignition timing could be off since I removed and replaced the distributor.