Engine won't start but turns over. 4 cyl with 8 spark plugs all eight produce no spark while cranking.

I have an 1989 ford ranger xlt 2wd 4 cyl. During the crazy cold spell here in northern Kentucky it wouldn't start and I attributed it to a bad battery(which was bad). I have changed the battery and the temperatures have returned to their normal 30 - 40 F range but the truck still won't start.

Things I have checked:

  1. I checked to see if the timing was good. No problems there.
  2. Crank sensor/Harmonic balancer. Everything checked out. assumption was wrong
  3. All not-inline fuses. Both panels in the cab and under the hood.
  4. Tested the ignition control module.(bench tested)
  5. Fuel system(inertial switch , pump, starting fluid...)

I have not went through and checked all of the inline fuses for continuity. Does anyone have any leads on what may be causing this and possibly a fix?

  • Don't know how cold it got but have you considered a frozen fuel line? Do you have spark?
    – mikes
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 0:39
  • @mikes The temperatures came up to about low 40's over the last couple days. The temperatures were down around -10 F when I had the trouble, but I think it has had time to thaw out. No spark either side. Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 15:19
  • 1
    How did you test the control module?
    – mikes
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 23:33
  • @mikes ... Check #4 above. Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 0:20
  • Not did you, but how did you, there are some testing issues with certain aftermarket modules and specific scanners.
    – mikes
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


Bad crank sensor

Well, it turns out that the 2nd bullet on my list of things not wrong was incorrect. I had "assumed" that the crank sensor was fine because I had just put a new one in not 3 months ago with a brand new harmonic balancer. Plus it looked perfect as far as a visual inspection. No odd wear or corrosion just a little soot built up on the magnets.

Without much else to go on, I pulled the crank sensor and swapped it out for a new one since it was under warranty. It fired right up yesterday and seems to be running fine.

  • I also just found out they have a bench tester for crank sensors at autozone. Wouldn't have thought they would. Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 12:32

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