If anyone has some advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it.
The car started to have trouble starting. It would take several times cranking it and pushing the gas pedal to get it going. This happened intermittently over a few days, then the car would rarely start. 9 times out of 10 now it cranks but does not start, and if it starts, it typically dies immediately.
Last weekend, I replaced the thermostat and coolant temperature sensor, but it did not fix the problem (though the thermostat was clearly stuck open). This weekend, I tried to diagnose the problem without success. I checked for spark, and the spark looked good. I tried to check fuel pressure, but the fuel pressure gauge that I was able to use, didn't seem to work. When I press on the schrader valve fuel comes out (no spray, more like a faucet), but the gauge registered 0 psi. The gauge looked like it might be broken. I hear a hum from the front of the vehicle, near the fuel lines, when the key is in the II position, but no noise from near the gas tank. I replaced the relay with a paper clip, but that did not change the problem.
I've also tried starting the car with the MAF unplugged, but that did not change anything. And I check compression. The compression did not look good, but it didn't seem so low to keep the car from starting (cyl 1: 60psi, cyl 2: 50psi, cyl 3: 70psi, cyl 4: 120 psi, cyl 5: 90psi). I suppose that this indicates some sort of other problem, but that it is not the reason the car won't start. Does that sound right? Or do you think that maybe the low compression is preventing the car from starting?
Is it safe to assume that the fuel pump is probably the main problem? Are there any other possibilities?
What other problems could the car have that might cause the low compression? I thought perhaps it was the head gasket, but there is no oil in the coolant, and I drained the oil and did not see any coolant in the oil. Any suggestions?
Other info: I changed the timing belt and water pump about 3 months ago. I'm pretty sure the PCV system needs work, but I haven't done it yet (oil underneath spark plug cover). The oil dipstick looks nasty (foamy), which I thought might also indicate a head gasket, but the oil came out clean, so I assume it is condensation. The car has about 160000 miles. Just charged the battery today.