Ok here is the first steps to diagnosis. Always Check for the obvious before doing anything. If you see something unattached or leaking fix it.
#1 Insert the key in and turn to Position two. Dash ON Engine OFF.
Are the lights dim? If YES check battery connections as they may be bad and that combined with another problem killed the X. If No Move onto next step.
#2 Turn the Key and listen to the sound. You indicated that it cranks. Listen to the sound does the cranking sound normal? Fast? Slow? Too fast could indicate low compression. Too slow could indicate a bad solenoid or poor connections to the starter. If it cranks normally then move to step #3
#3 Check for spark. If you have no spark you have no fuel. You can use the screwdriver trick or oscilloscope. W.e method you choose. Be careful doing anything dealing with the ignition system. Do you have a nice crisp spark? If No you could have a bad distributor, a SNAPPED TIMING BELT, a bad PCM or bad ignition module which I think is in the distributor. If Yes to having a good crisp spark then Move to step #4
#4 If you have spark then you need to check for fuel. To ignite the fuel mixture you need well... Fuel, spark and compression. Check the injectors with an oscilliscope. If you cannot do that then check to see if the fuel pump is putting out the appropriate volume AND pressure. If you do not have fuel or have fuel without the appropriate volume or pressure then you have No gas, clogged or leaking fuel line, bad fuel pump, clogged fuel filter, or sticking injectors. I said injectors because you would need more than 1 sticking to keep the X from starting. if you have Fuel then you need to move onto step #5
#5 Check compression with a compression gauge and see what that indicates. If you have no compression then you either had a snapped timing belt which bent valves or you blew the head gasket.
If you have Compression then you probably need to go back through steps 1-4.
My advice is to check for a snapped timing belt first and to check all electrical dealing with the starter. It is the starters job to help the engine Build compression. If it is not turning it over sufficiently enough it may not catch and run.
To check for a snapped timing belt you take the distributor cap off and have a FRIEND or helped crank over the X to see if the rotor button turns. if the rotor button does not turn then it has a snapped timing belt. If it does turn then the Belt is at least in tact. It could have slipped teeth so you cannot necessarily rule it out.
To check spark you can unplug a wire and take a metal screwdriver and put it in the boot. Ground the screwdriver to a known good ground. The manifold works great. make a very tiny gap from the screwdriver to the manifold and watch to see the spark jump from screwdriver to manifold.
These steps where quickly thought up to guide you in some sort of direction. It does not have EVERYTHING listed but i feel other members can fill in the blanks for you.
Most of the time a Bad MAF will let you start the car as it is a fine tuning device but can cause it to run like crap or stall once started from my experience. The problem could also be a bad Camshaft or crankshaft sensor but those are minute possibilities. I would start with the basics.
GL and let us know.
Last edited by ShiftingSkys; 02-27-2013 at 10:04 PM.