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NA NB

Common It Wont Start After Engine Swap or Install

This is not a replacement for the very thorough No Start Guide, but there are a few common mistakes that happen when the engine is first put into a car...

  • The fuel lines are swapped. The FRONT rubber hose from the fuel rail goes to the REAR hard line. The REAR rubber hose goes to the FRONT hard line.
  • Spark Plugs in wrong firing order. If you tried them 4123 and it doesn't start, try 3214. If it starts, leave them like that or if you know that it is not set to the correct order, you can pull the two plugs on the coil packs and swap them. Then swap the line back to the other order.
  • Pull the engine codes. Make sure the ECU is seeing all of the sensors. There can be codes to read out even if there is not a Check Engine Light.
  • Check the Cam Timing. Part of this is to make sure the cam cogs are on correctly so follow the first 4 steps of this NA Timing Belt Steps
  • No power. Check the fuses. You did hook up the battery, right?
  • Do you have a 1.6 with the moving vane Air Flow Meter? Did take the screws out to remove the connector or did you flip the wire bail. If you removed the screws, you probably broke the straps that lead away from the connector. You can usually take the top plate off (cut the silicone) and resolder them. Be careful in there.
  • Make sure the clean air crossover tube is installed and tightly fastened. (check the accordion section for cracks)
  • Check those grounds! By the dipstick the flex strap on both ends, the white gang connector under the brake booster, on the 1.8 the front passenger side just to the right of the throttle body, on the rear of intake manifold, the PPF under the back of the car below the battery and the ground next to the battery.
  • Is the fuel pump relay installed and working?
  • Does it start and run for 2 seconds? Check that you have 4 pin coil packs on the 94 and 95.
  • PCV valve and hose in place? Check all over for vacuum leaks.


If those don't get it started, I'd suggest following the No Start Guide.