Figuring out why an engine starts and stops immediately is either going to be a very easy problem to find or it will send you in circles trying to find it. I typically do not see many situations that fall between. With today’s electronics it can be a very difficult problem to find without using a computer scan tool. But, I am not saying that you shouldn’t try to find out what is wrong.
As I have mentioned it previous articles “you should go back to the basics.” You have one of two problems, spark or fuel. It’s really easy to figure out which one you are having the issue with. First spray some starter fluid or some brake cleaner into the intake and have someone start the engine. Watch here for details. If the engine fires and can run with the spray and stops when you quit spraying then you have a fuel issue. If you remove a spark plug and test the spark and there is none then you have a spark issue. Watch here for details on testing spark.
Most of the time when a car has a problem with starting, running, and immediately cutting off, then the issue is not normally spark. If you are having a fuel issue then consider changing your fuel filter. But first, look at how many miles you have and how long since you filter has been changed. Fuel is filtered much better than it used to be, so mileage recommendations may very from mechanic to mechanic, but your fuel filter should be changed every at least every 60,000 miles. I am not saying run out and put a fuel filter in your car and it will be fixed though.
You need to test and back probe the fuel issue, such as testing for fuel pressure. There are very simple tests that can be done by someone who has almost no mechanical knowledge to rectify the fuel issue. When I say “simple” I mean simple. You can diagnose things easier than you know. All you need is good information and a willingness to fix your own car. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel about driving your car when you are not scared of it breaking down.