Parked the car Thursday evening and would not start Friday morning. Cranked, but did not start. Fuel can be smelled when cranking, so I don't think it's the fuel pump. No spark at the plugs, so I replaced the ignitor. Still no spark. Plugs, wires, rotor were all replaced just 10,000 miles ago. Looked inside cap and no signs of problem there and rotor turns when cranked, so timing belt should be fine. Can you give me an idea of what to check and/or replace now? Tested plug that goes into the rotor and get no voltage with test light. That's what made me think the ignitor, though I'm not sure how to test the ignitor itself. There is power going into the ignitor on I believe 2 of the ports on the plug to it.
Turns out I spoke too soon. Replaced distributor and battery (would not hold a charge, old battery and it's cold and has been cranked MANY times trying to fix this thing). It started several times, then I took it for a 10-minute drive. Got back and it started idling strange with the RPMs fluctuating up and down. Then it died and won't start again. Full tank of gas. I'm not even sure where to start looking now!
Last edited by ej822; 11-16-2009 at 04:31 PM.
I had a 5SFE in my 94 Camry- it did some similar stuff (hard to start, stalling, bouncy RPMs) when the air intake hose was cracked near the throttle body and there was a bunch of carbon build-up after the throttle body.
There's a really good tutorial on cleaning the TB with Sea Foam Deep Creep in the Gen 3/4 Camry section.
The intake hose was cracked and has been for a long time. It has been duct taped. I cleaned it all out with the intake cleaner and it started, but it still doesn't fire up like it used to - right away. It takes 3 or 4 times cranking on it for 5-10 seconds and actually seems harder to start when the engine is warm.
The car has 333,971 miles on it... probably shouldn't complain, but I'd really like it to last a little longer. It's run very well so far and required very little maintenance in those 333K miles - just the usual scheduled maintenance mostly.
If there's anything else you can recommend, I'd appreciate it.
Pull ECU code. Did you use old or new coil?
Intake hose got nothing to do with bad idle. Engine runs without it.
You'll see big rectangular hole at bottom of throttle body after intake is removed. That's for ICV to control idle. Clean it out real good.
I still think you have weak spark. How's your plugs? Plug cable?
Coil was reman. Plugs and wires were replaced just 10K miles ago and still look new. Ignitor has been changed, too.
After cleaning out throttle body, it idles fine, just starting it still takes several attempts. Once started, it's idling smooth, although a little higher RPMs than it used to.
What is it idling at?
Have you ever adjusted the throttle cable and maybe thrown off the idle speed?
Does the ignition rotor fit snug? I got a dodgy one once that wobbled a bit. I don't think I had issues starting, but the engine would miss a little. (EDIT- I did miss one day of work because it had missed just after I left the house, and I couldn't get it started a couple hours later after I let it cool off and fiddled with bits).
If you still have the old one, swap it back. If not, take the new one to where you bought it with a socket set and see if they can't pull another. Test fir them both on (I think) an 11mm socket- it should be snug.
We ended up taking the car to a shop, who said it's the fuel pump... and wanted $650 to change it. Uh, yeah, not putting that kind of cash into a car with 330K miles on it. I'm not sure if it was multiple problems at once (no spark AND no fuel) or if the fuel pump just happened to be bad as well and finally lost enough power to make the difference. In any case, we now have spark, just not enough fuel to run WELL. It's tough to start and at idle will cycle between 600 and 800 rpms every couple of seconds. So, we paid the shop for diagnostics and brought it home, got a fuel pump, and are ready to put it in. AutoZone site says there is an access door under the rear seat cushion to get to the fuel pump. Just hoping someone here can confirm that before we go tearing things apart in there.
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