02 mustang starting problems...


New Member
Jan 5, 2020
hey everyone, this is my first post on stang net i would like to thank everyone ahead of time for taking the time to read my post and get back to me... so let’s get started:

I was on my way home from college in the city and on the expressway my 02 mustang GT severely overheated so I pulled over to the side of the road and noticed white smoke pouring out of my radiator cap.. I pulled the cap off (yes now I know very very stupid idea, I am a beginner with no smarts for this stuff) coolant went everywhere, thank god im not hurt. I called a tow and got it towed to my place to get a deeper look at it not knowing anything. My car from this point on would only turn over and needs a jump to idle. First I replaced my battery, and negative battery terminal, then it started and was very shaky. Upon closer inspection I checked the oil dip stick and I found that i milkshakey oil mixed with coolant. Like I said I am a beginner with this stuff; but I was very eager to learn on my new car that I love so I thought I would do a headgasket repair myself.

Fast forward 2 months to present and I have put the following parts newly on It:

head gaskets, valve cover gaskets, coil packs, spark plugs

I think that’s all of them, here’s my problem; now after trying a few different ideas to get the engine idling it still won’t fire for some reason. I used starter fluid to rule out fuel related issues, I exchanged for a new battery again so it’s getting enough power...

That leaves me to believe it’s some sort of spark issue or maybe im missing a sensor of some sort..?

some of my coil packs weren’t screwed down all the way to tightness and I also didn’t put dielectric grease inbetween the boot and the plug itself so I’m going to fix that today and try and go from there.

What kind of tests could I do to troubleshoot this spark issue? If timing was a culprit wouldn’t I be able to hear it being off? Before this car I was never a “car guy”, but wow after driving this mustang I really am getting into it, please help me!!!
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SN Certified Technician
Aug 14, 2009
Houston Texas
Follow the crank with no start check list. Pay special attention to:
  • What the theft light is supposed to do
  • What the check engine light is supposed to do.
  • Does the Tach move/jump even a little bit during cranking?
Have you confirmed key on power at each COP? Best to use a test light that will "load" the circuit.

Did you remember to re-install the crank trigger wheel? Don't laugh. On my last 4.6 timing chain job I did exactly that. Lucky for me I remembered before everything "set up".

I wouldn't rely on being able to "hear it" IF a motor is mistimed. Best to perform a compression test.

1996+ Crank with no start check list