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Dodge Stratus Died, Won't Restart

Q. My name is Nathan, and I have a 2000 Dodge Stratus, with a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine. My wife was driving the car when she heard it ticking, lost power on acceleration, and started smoking all at the same time. Then after about a hundred feet of that it died and wouldn't start. It will turn over all day long until the battery dies but doesn't even try to fire.

Dodge Stratus Died, Won't Restart

I noticed, when I got the car home, that the knock sensor had melted in half. I replaced it then checked the ignition coil as specified in my Haynes manual, it checked out all right, and then I replaced spark plugs and checked out spark plug wires, which were also fine. Then I proceeded, this weekend, to pull off and check my timing belt, which is okay also.

During all this I noticed that the plugs were wet when I pulled them out. Also sprayed some starting fluid into the throttle body and it just seemed to backfire through the throttle body after 10 seconds of cranking or so. I'm at a lose, any feed back would be great. Also it builds pressure in the injector bar, but I don't have a gauge to check and have been having trouble finding one that goes up to 50 psi or so.

Also checked computer codes and am not getting any fault codes.

Thanks a lot,


This does not sound good at all. I think she may have blown the head gasket. The first thing you need to do is check the compression, this will tell the story for sure. You can get an idea if you take the radiator cap off and crank the engine. If coolant bubbles and spurts out, then the head gasket is gone for sure.

I don't know why you would have a problem finding a fuel pressure gauge that reads over 50 psi. Every fuel pressure gauge I have ever seen goes up to, at least, 100 psi.

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