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#1 Old 02-06-2007, 02:46 PM
ibd
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91 Previa Starting problem

Hi to all here,

I have a 1991 Previa with 275k miles


Always runs “excellent” and very strong

About a month ago it started to have a little difficulty when first started.
What I mean is, if I would start driving right of, like usual, it would act as if it was a little cold and the choke did not come on, or running on 3 plugs (normally 4) but barely noticeable.
I only had to let it “warm up” for about 15 seconds till I could hear that it was smooth again.
As the time went by it got worst and after starting I had to wait now about 30 seconds, but if I would start driving it would act as I now had only 2 sparkplugs and was a little rough, but when “ready” it would run “excellent” again and would not give me any problems for the rest of the day.
This only happens, (looks like) after a long period of “non driving”

This only happens in the morning or should I say after not driving for a long time as I live in Southern California, so I’m not sure it is “cold” related.

A couple times so far it took more then one start to get it started (but it always start right up even with the warm up time)

This morning, I had to hit the starter so many times that my battery died and I am stuck here.
I can ear it wanting to start (like not getting fuel; like it would have only one spark plug left ???) I’m not a mechanic, so I’m trying to describe the events that leaded to this morning as clear as possible.

I would appreciate any input on this.
Thanks

Last edited by ibd; 02-06-2007 at 02:59 PM.
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#2 Old 02-06-2007, 08:21 PM
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The engine has a cold start injector that supplies additional fuel when the coolant is cold. It should cut out once the coolant reaches 86F. The injector could not be turning off or on. Thus you might have full choke or no choke, sort of speak. Are your air temps cold enough where you are requiring a “choke” when starting?

Other issues could be a failing pressure regulator. I think this is controlled by a vacuum system. Fuel pump issue, plugged fuel injectors.

The key here is the problem getting worse over time after cold starts, but going away at least until now once the engine has warmed up. This would indicate a sensor might be going bad. Or some other item starting to fail, but running OK once the engine is warm.

Did you check for ignition spark when cranking. If spark is good, then look at fuel issues. If you can get the plugs out, see if the engine is getting fuel when cranked. A Chilton book might help. Most ot these items can be tested but you will need to know how and where to look to find them.
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#3 Old 02-06-2007, 11:24 PM
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Toyomoho, really appreciate your reply.

I guess last month it was cold enough for a choke to come on, but today at 7am ???
I guess it was lower then 86F and if it does require that 86F then…

What is getting me is, in the past (since it started) it only took about 15 seconds to go away! (Not really time enough for the engine to warm up???)

Not that should matter, but I only drive about twice a week and last time was over a week ago and I now recall that it was running very rough (barely) but only for a very short time and then perfect.
The “cold” (even if just below 86 is pretty strong here)

I went to Autozone and got some starting fluid.
Tomorrow morning I will try to start with it. I will also pay attention of the temperature but prediction is HI 67F.
If it starts with the fluid is that going to help on trouble shooting it?

I was asking questions to those guys there and they told me that the Previa don’t have a choke. Is that right?
They also say that I need to change the spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, and bunch of stuff, but from what I can tell, this vehicle runs good, and I mean very good. It is hard to believe it’s only a 4 cyl.
I think those guys are in the Zone alright, but in a different “Zone”


Anyway, thanks again and we’ll see tomorrow!
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#4 Old 02-07-2007, 01:56 AM
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I used the word choke as a reference only. As in some car owner are more familiar with engine using carburetors and understanding how a choke works.

The engine has a cold start injector, very similar to a fuel injector. When the coolant temp is low the injector will inject fuel into the intake manifold to richen up the mixture.

I think this setup may use some kind of timer triggered by engine temp. The timer appears to located above the engine coolant intake but the photo is not very good.

Did you check for ignition spark when cranking? This will help reduce the troubleshooting area.

Might be the fuel pressure requlator, you should see something at the end of the fuel pressure rail. It has a vacuum hose attached.

See if the engine fires or attempts to the starting fluid.


I will see if I can find more info.
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#5 Old 02-07-2007, 07:05 PM
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toyomoho,

Well I got bad news!
The distance from the front to the engine was just to long for the starting fluid.
But, below the driver seat there is an opening there and a second engine oil container ??? (witch was empty)
The oil container level on the front of the van is full, and the oil engine gauge showed ½
From the "secondary" oil container to the air hose going to the engine there is a small hose that I used to blow the starting fluid, but it barely made a difference.
I am at the same point but with just a little difference. I had a full battery today and it wanted to start so bad but no cigar. It sounded like it was starving for gas.
I have more info on this ==> HERE
Thanks

Last edited by ibd; 02-07-2007 at 07:27 PM.
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#6 Old 02-08-2007, 01:29 AM
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Did the AutoZone people check for any trouble codes? The fuel and ignition system do have trouble codes for specific items.

Things that can cause an engine not start are lack of ignition or fuel system problems.

Did you check for ignition spark yet? Check for spark at the plugs.

If spark, then check the fuel system problem. You can pull out the plugs and see if fuel is being sprayed into the cylinders (or smell). You can also put a little fuel into each cylinder, put the plugs in and see if trys to start.

That looks like the EGR valve in the photo. The vacuum line running from the top of the valve goes to the EGR vacuum modulator, another smaller similar valve. The modulator controls or modulates the EGR valve. I don’t think a defective EGR system would prevent the car from starting. It can cause rough idle if stuck open (should be closed at idle).

You can test to see if the fuel pump works, by bypassing the cars safety relay. This allows pump operation when the engine is on or cranking but not when the engine is off and ignition switch on. This car should have a diagnostic electrical plug located under the drivers seat. The plug is bolted to the cars frame and located a few inches from the center of the emergency brake. You can jump the relay by connecting the FP and B+ terminals with a wire jumper then turn the ignition switch on. Listen for the full pump working.

You can test to see if the injectors are working by placing your finger onto them and feeling for a pulse (the solenoid working) as the engine cranks.

The fuel pressure regulator is one in of the fuel rail that the injectors are attached to. It looks like another can with a vacuum hose running out the top. The valve is bolted to the front of the rail. The regulator maintains fuel pressure by bypassing fuel back to the tank. If you get the pump going, you can pinch the fuel return line, the fuel pressure should increase. You might be able to hear something different from the pump as you do this.

There is also an IAC valve the controls engine idle. It bypasses a little air into the engine. This valve can fail or more common crudded up and cause idle problems. People spray a cleaner into it such as Seafoam. But even with this valve not working the engine should at least start and run a little bit.

The wire harness running in the direction of the EGR appears to be for the cold start injection valve timer system. I wonder though given you high air temps if a non-working injector (failed in the off position) would cause the car not to start. I would just run rough at cold temps.

As such I would concentrate of lack of spark or fuel. The other possibility is wiring problems, loose wire, etc.

If the car runs OK, it is not an air filter, etc Something has failed, the engine is most likely not getting fuel or spark.
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#7 Old 04-07-2007, 08:20 PM
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You can get spark on a simple turn key test which can be misleading. I think your coil could be on it's way out. A car can start on a faulty coil then die. It will act up in moist or rainy weather. Take the coil out and look at it. If it has white spots on it then change it.

Good luck friend,

Rick Cato
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#8 Old 08-20-2008, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibd View Post
Hi to all here,

I have a 1991 Previa with 275k miles


Always runs “excellent” and very strong

About a month ago it started to have a little difficulty when first started.
What I mean is, if I would start driving right of, like usual, it would act as if it was a little cold and the choke did not come on, or running on 3 plugs (normally 4) but barely noticeable.
I only had to let it “warm up” for about 15 seconds till I could hear that it was smooth again.
As the time went by it got worst and after starting I had to wait now about 30 seconds, but if I would start driving it would act as I now had only 2 sparkplugs and was a little rough, but when “ready” it would run “excellent” again and would not give me any problems for the rest of the day.
This only happens, (looks like) after a long period of “non driving”

This only happens in the morning or should I say after not driving for a long time as I live in Southern California, so I’m not sure it is “cold” related.

A couple times so far it took more then one start to get it started (but it always start right up even with the warm up time)

This morning, I had to hit the starter so many times that my battery died and I am stuck here.
I can ear it wanting to start (like not getting fuel; like it would have only one spark plug left ???) I’m not a mechanic, so I’m trying to describe the events that leaded to this morning as clear as possible.

I would appreciate any input on this.
Thanks

It looks like I also have the same problem, mine was running excellent until one morning when it hesitated to start but once fired runs smooth again, one week later at first start in the morning the motor crank but quit to start, we had lots of rain that week I was't driving the van.
It could be moisture in the distributer/coil or the fuel pump faulty, I'm not a mechanic and still trying to find answers before spending $$$ at the mechanic shop.
Any help appreciated
Thx

Last edited by parabol; 08-20-2008 at 11:20 AM.
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#9 Old 09-04-2008, 01:28 PM
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I have the same problem and it's the coil

Hi. My toyota previa 92 engine died while at the traffic junction (imagine the stress). No matter what I tried, it won't start. It cranked but it just won't start. I called the road recovery and the guy found out that there is a lot of current going into the coil but no sparks coming out. I replaced the coil and it started fine.
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#10 Old 02-21-2010, 02:47 PM
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I'm having the same problem with a 93 Previa. I'll check the coil.

In regards to: But, below the driver seat there is an opening there and a second engine oil container ??? (witch was empty)
The oil container level on the front of the van is full, and the oil engine gauge showed ½


Below the drivers seat "is" the engine, that is the main crankcase but you won't see it "topped off". You check the oil with the dipstick next to the oil cap. The reservoir in the front of the vehicle is just a supplement. You cannot fill the crankcase from that front reservoir since that will only meter a small amount of oil to the engine. I suggest you get a haynes manual since it sounds like you do not have the vehicle manual. You say "it was empty" Eeek, you've been driving without oil. On that 2L reservoir it should have a warning sticker that says "it will not feed oil to the engine". There are other warnings that say the reservoir under the hood is just to replace spent oil...you change/replace oil under the seat. Good luck.
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#11 Old 04-18-2013, 09:50 PM
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Hi, New here!

Picked up a 95 Previa AWD LE/SC and love it. Last week it wouldent crank on a wet cold morning so I took another car. 2 Days later fired right up no problem.

Now This week I drive it to work perfectly, Sits for 9 hours and I go to leave and dead.


Turns over fine, sputters a little. Will NOT run...

So far:
New plugs, Cables, Cap, Ignition coil. Have good spark at all 4 cylinders.
Checked each cylinder, getting injections pulses and fuel on all four.

Still wont run.

Tried disconnecting the battery for a few minutes to reset anything.

Left plugs out overnight and let all fuel dry out. Had to make sure it was not flooded.

Still nothing.

From everything I know, Compression+Fuel+Spark means it should run?!
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#12 Old 04-19-2013, 06:22 PM
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Update. Got it to run by unplugging MAF. Runs on cylinders 1 and 2. Cylinders 3 plug is unmarked as if its not fireing though it has spark and fuel. Cylinder 4 was charred black.

brand new plugs.
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#13 Old 09-13-2013, 07:57 PM
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Hello everyone. I have a 97 previa that just died! After testing, here is what I know. No spark at 2,3,4. Fuel injectors all working. Fuel pump working. changed crank position sensor, no effect. Changed rotor, no effect. Has new cap , rotor, plugs and wires. Engine was just rebuilt due to leaking headgasket but no rod/valve issues at the time. No bangin noise. Engine cranks fine.

Car was running find but then hesitated, give it gas, moved then acted like not enough fluild, limped off road, then died.

Put in spare coil, no effect.

Any ideas? What could cause no spark at the plugs for 3 cylinders? txs.

Last edited by jactustin; 09-13-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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#14 Old 09-27-2013, 01:52 AM
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Chazz, have you checked the cold start injector? Sometimes even though it is getting fuel, if that system is not working correctly it doesn't want to start. Also, what kind of plugs did you install? Toyota engines do NOT like Bosch plugs, ESPECIALLY the four-prong platinum. I have fixed a LOT of no start problems by intalling Denso plugs. When you disconnected the MAF, you told the computer that the intake air was as cold as it can measure, so it increased fuel. That is still not substitute for the Cold Start system.

Let me know.
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#15 Old 10-01-2013, 09:38 PM
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Previa 97 no start**found problem**

Thought I would update everyone in hopes of helping someone else. After much work, had another mechanic look at the van. Discovered that the rotor was not spinning all the time... Turns out the cam had snapped right behind the timing belt gear.

so it was "moving" the first time it was checked but now no movement.

Replaced the cam, fired right up. Back on the road!
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