My Chevy Spark 1.2 L 2012 model overheated and blew the head gasket. I replaced the gasket and spark plugs. The engine is turning, but it won't start. Plugs do get petrol. Engine sounds like sewing machine when turning. Any suggestions.

  • What do you mean it sounds like a sewing machine? Does it sound differently when it cranks? Could you describe it better? Mar 9, 2016 at 10:01
  • It sounds different than when it turn without petrol for instance. Sounds more like a electric motor. If you take the oil cap of you can see the timing chain turning. Don't know if compression is missing. Not very familiar with all the sensors and new tech.
    – Koos
    Mar 9, 2016 at 10:43
  • What do you mean "without petrol"? As in, with the fuel line cut off? And what do you mean by "plugs do get petrol" in your original post? Does it feel like it's catching ignition but doesn't start, does it simply keep turning without catching, does it turn and suddenly stop? Mar 9, 2016 at 10:57
  • The engine just turn. If you are stuck without petrol, your engine turn but doesn't start. My car sounds different like something is missing.I was wandering if it maybe compression.When I took out the plugs it was wet and you could smell the fuel. When turning the engine for a while you can also smell fuel and you can hear the fuel pump when turning the key. I am not sure if there is spark, but the sound of the engine pussle me.
    – Koos
    Mar 9, 2016 at 11:23
  • You can check if you have spark by removing the spark plug wires and seeing if they are arcing, though it does sound like you have a compression problem. Mar 9, 2016 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you're lacking compression - I think the sound you're trying to describe is the engine turning much faster than it should be, which would be hte case if there was no resistance. Have you checked that the timing is correct? When you replaced the gasket, did you get the head skimmed? Have you checked the correct torque values for the head bolts?

  • I did set the timing because it was initially out. Will recheck the timing. The torque values which I received with the gasket was relatively low. 20 NM.Will check if I can get proper Torque settings and re-torque.
    – Koos
    Mar 9, 2016 at 11:44
  • How far out was the timing initially? If it was only a little bit different it won't have done any damage, but if it was a very long way out it could have done. 20NM sounds way too low for head bolts - usually it's something like "torque all the bolts to to X, then to Y, then another quarter-turn" - doing it in stages ensures that the whole thing is done evenly.
    – Nick C
    Mar 9, 2016 at 11:51
  • One cam was out by 3 teeth and the other out by 2 in the opposite direction with the crank on TDC. I start feeling my biggest problem might be the torque settings. Glad you feel the same. Will definitely retorque
    – Koos
    Mar 9, 2016 at 12:12
  • You should check compression if you tried cranking with timing off. Mar 9, 2016 at 12:21
  • Thanks for your inputs. Gave me something to work on. Much appreciated
    – Koos
    Mar 9, 2016 at 12:50

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