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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I bought a 2002 Corolla CE 1.8L, 3 speed, 168,000 miles that didn't run in hopes of repairing it. I picked it up from the guys "mechanic" and he said it needed an injector and the valves are burnt. Everything looked good otherwise. Oil was a little dirty but no contaminants, no water in the oil, no fuel smell. The coolant looked good. The engine compartment was fairly clean and looked unmolested. The car will start right up and then immediately stall out. I've looked at multiple postings on various forums and haven't found anything quite like this. The closest thing I saw was a "Toyota start then stall", but it would run if the accelerator was floored. This is not the case. If I start with no pedal, it will start and run for about 1 second just fine, then stall. If I press on the pedal after start, it will stall immediately. The next attempt right after that will start right up and will run for 2 to 3 seconds then stall, so I'm leaning toward a fuel issue but the fuel pressure before the injectors is ~45 psi. When it starts and runs, the pressure will drop only about one pound to 44 psi. The injector nozzles are clean and the resistance is within spec for each injector. It will run like crap on starting fluid.

I really don't want to keep throwing parts at it and I'm confident that it's something simple; I just can't figure it out. There are no codes showing unless I disconnect something (sensor) to test it, then that particular code will pop up (IAC, TPS, MAF, etc.). All of those are testing normal according to the book. I first had a MAF code and IAT code when I brought it home so I just replaced that with a new aftermarket one. Still no luck. When I put the old one back in, no new code popped up so I assume that the guy before me tried replacing it already. I picked up a used ECU from the junk yard but that didn't do anything either. I'm getting spark at all four coils, the spark plugs are clean (fairly new) and the gap is correct. I tried repairing all of this before addressing the valve issue because it would start right up and sound good. But since I still wasn't having any success, I ended up pulling the head and replacing one valve that had a small piece missing at the sealing surface. I thought maybe the ECU was either trying to adjust the valves or cutting fuel/spark to compensate for a misfire? I have it all back together now and the problem is still there. Each cylinder has ~125 psi compression now but the symptoms appear to be exactly the same as before.

Has anyone ever experienced something like this before or have an idea of where to go from here? Even though the various sensors appear to be okay, is it likely to be faulty and still pass resistance tests? I was thinking the IAC valve might be the culprit but holding down the accelerator should bypass that problem, according to other posts.
 

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Common reasons for this to happen:
Mass Airflow Sensor: The mass airflow sensor measures how much air is entering the engine and relays this information to the vehicle’s computer so that the right amount of fuel can be delivered from the fuel injectors. When a sensor begins to fail, the vehicle’s computer may generate an error code to indicate that something has gone wrong. An issue with the mass airflow sensor may manifest itself when a car starts and then stalls soon after starting.

Fuel Pump Relay: The fuel pump relay functions much like a fuse for an electric fuel pump. The fuel pump relay engages as the vehicle is started and starts the fuel pump. While the vehicle is running, the fuel pump relay turns off and the fuel pump is powered by the oil pressure sending unit. If the vehicle’s computer is unable to keep the fuel pump relay running throughout the starting process, the vehicle may start and quit immediately after starting.

Ignition Coil: Your vehicle’s ignition coil takes the low voltage of the battery and provides the thousands of volts needed to create a spark in the spark plugs. When an ignition coil begins to fail, it may struggle to provide consistent spark to the plugs, causing the engine to stall after starting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks THEWISEONE. I've tried replacing the MAF with a new one, I made sure the ground and supply voltage is there and when I unplug the MAF and try to start it the CEL will come on for the MAF. All of this led to no change.

Regarding the fuel pump relay: the system maintains fuel pressure before, during and after the start/stall event and I can hear the pump running. Would the relay cause the ECU to stop triggering the injectors, so that there would still be fuel pressure in the line and just not making it into the cylinder? I didn't mention in the original post but I've replaced the fuel pump once (used) and the fuel pressure regulator (used) three times, the in-tank filter is clear and there is about a quarter tank of gas in the car. I've also removed the fuel rail and made sure that the remaining line from the test port and the injectors is free of obstruction.

The only way I have to check the coils is to use a spark tester. When I turn it over, there is spark but again, I don't know if the ECU is cutting power to the coils and causing the engine to stall. I just did a test on the injectors in which I unplugged all of the injectors and removed all of the spark plugs, then turned the key on and supplied voltage to each injector one at a time from the battery. Only #2 cylinder had the intake valve open so that I could see the fuel vapor in that cylinder but I could hear the nozzle spraying for each injector as voltage was applied. After I reinstalled everything, I tried starting it and it took a second but when it did finally start, it ran for ~4 seconds. The longest I've had it running yet. I was thinking that this is because of all of the fuel I sprayed from manually firing the injectors during the test.
 

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Does this car have a vacuum leak?

Little confused from the post. You threw some starter fluid at it and it ran more then normal before it stalled? Or was it the same deal?

You left the MAF unplugged and gave it a go to see if it would catch?

Do you have a inspection camera or something of the like to check down in the cylinders?

If the exhaust valves are burnt its probably running lean. too much air or not enough fuel.
 

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Justanswer.com has good info the 1ZZ-FE engine control, heading is relays c/opn, efi controls.

During run time the crank/camshaft sensors signals to the ECU are needed to keep the fuel pump on and the injectors/coils firing.
During start time i believe there are a few seconds that the engine will run without the crank/cam signals.
Not 100%, some else, Hardtop I'm sure would have the answer.
 

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This fix comes from the Honda Civic forum

FOUND MY SOLUTION!!!

I had some help from a fellow 7thgen member and he told me to start the car and hold the revs at 3k until the car warmed up. It took about 5 mins for the temperature needle to jump to normal. Car stalled after I let go. THEN when i cranked the car again afterwards, the engine turned over like a boss and it idled at 700 rpm. This procedure was to help your ECU "relearn" idle according to the Haynes manual after you disconnect your battery.... and it did it for me.

Now my car idles better than ever (actually sits at 700rpm instead of my old 1000 rpm). Once I have time ima still clean out all the stuff like IACV, EGR, PCV blah blah and do a complete tune up. Things get scary sometimes and I'm happy I have the forums for help. Stealership would've charged me unnecessarily to change some random **** so Thanks everyone that helped me out!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does this car have a vacuum leak?

Little confused from the post. You threw some starter fluid at it and it ran more then normal before it stalled? Or was it the same deal?

You left the MAF unplugged and gave it a go to see if it would catch?

Do you have a inspection camera or something of the like to check down in the cylinders?

If the exhaust valves are burnt its probably running lean. too much air or not enough fuel.
Thanks 336Racer. I'm not sure if it has a vacuum leak or not but I've inspect all of the lines I can see and they are in pretty good condition. Nothing is old or cracked and I don't see anything hanging loose. Everything appears tight. I tried some starting fluid just to see. I removed the rubber intake right before the throttle plate and sprayed some starting fluid, started it and then sprayed some more after it starts. It will start normally and run for about 1 to 2 seconds then begin to stall. If I spray more it will continue to run but very poorly and start to shudder, spit and sputter.

When I unplug the MAF to check for source voltage and ground at the connector with the key on, the MAF CEL will set and then I would need to clear the code.

I don't have an inspection camera but I've actually had the head completely off. The pistons and cylinder walls are fine. No scoring or damage. I replaced a valve as I mentioned in the initial post but I was troubleshooting the problem before doing that and now that I have it back together, it is doing the exact same thing. No change to the symptoms at all. All the cylinders are holding compression and it runs perfectly fine for 1 to 2 seconds before stalling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Justanswer.com has good info the 1ZZ-FE engine control, heading is relays c/opn, efi controls.

During run time the crank/camshaft sensors signals to the ECU are needed to keep the fuel pump on and the injectors/coils firing.
During start time i believe there are a few seconds that the engine will run without the crank/cam signals.
Not 100%, some else, Hardtop I'm sure would have the answer.
Thanks cj1. I tested the camshaft and crankshaft sensors and the resistance levels are in spec. Would the ECU set a code if one of the sensors was the cause?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This fix comes from the Honda Civic forum

FOUND MY SOLUTION!!!

I had some help from a fellow 7thgen member and he told me to start the car and hold the revs at 3k until the car warmed up. It took about 5 mins for the temperature needle to jump to normal. Car stalled after I let go. THEN when i cranked the car again afterwards, the engine turned over like a boss and it idled at 700 rpm. This procedure was to help your ECU "relearn" idle according to the Haynes manual after you disconnect your battery.... and it did it for me.

Now my car idles better than ever (actually sits at 700rpm instead of my old 1000 rpm). Once I have time ima still clean out all the stuff like IACV, EGR, PCV blah blah and do a complete tune up. Things get scary sometimes and I'm happy I have the forums for help. Stealership would've charged me unnecessarily to change some random **** so Thanks everyone that helped me out!!
The problem is that opening the throttle does not help. In my initial post:
"This is not the case. If I start with no pedal, it will start and run for about 1 second just fine, then stall. If I press on the pedal after start, it will stall immediately. The next attempt right after that will start right up and will run for 2 to 3 seconds then stall, so I'm leaning toward a fuel issue".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Clean the IAC
Thanks funman1. I inspected the IAC per the Haynes book and it appears to work. I removed the valve assembly and with the key off, the valve was mostly closed. With the key on engine off, the valve is mostly open. Applying voltage to the coil with cause the valve to move so I don't believe it is stuck. Everything I've read says that if there's a problem with the IAC, I should be able to start and run with the throttle wide open. This is not the case with mine. Also, the only time I've had the IAC code show up is when I had it disconnected during testing.

Could a bad IAC cause the ECU to stop sending signals to the injectors or coils and stall without throwing a code?
 

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The IAC actually flutters REALLY quickly, it's NOT just an open or closed thing but yeah, full WOT should still stay running.
If you unplug the MAF and run it what does it do?
Can you keep the vehicle running on starting fluid at all?
 

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So you haven't actually started it without the MAF hooked up. If it triggers the CEL so be it. Since your diagnosing you should still be looking for codes as you do things. Also i've notice on my 98 it sets soft faults in the ECM mostly, so if the fault causing part starts working again and no fault is current it'll reset the CEL and make it a history fault.

Anyway any way are you just pinning the throttle wide open? Have you buttered it like your trying to start a dirt bike?


If you cant get the motor to stay running for more then 30 seconds at all no matter what you do, I wouldn't suspect the ICV at this time.


Why did you only replace one valve?


I've never seen ICV's act as you are saying. Car manufactures try to make things as simple as possible to do all the tasks they require. It doesn't seem that way but thats because the market demands these new SUV's to have set warmers, coolers, massagers, fridges, etc.

Something like this is to hard to just guess at over the internet without having the car in front of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The IAC actually flutters REALLY quickly, it's NOT just an open or closed thing but yeah, full WOT should still stay running.
If you unplug the MAF and run it what does it do?
Can you keep the vehicle running on starting fluid at all?
When I unplug the MAF and try to start it, it will start and then stall like always except now there are two active codes P0100 and P0110. I have only tried the starting fluid a couple of times and it will continue to run but I stopped spraying after 10 to 15 seconds. I didn't know if it would do any damage or not but it seems to keep running on it. I wouldn't keep the spray on all of the time though. I would just spray when it seemed like it was going to stall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So you haven't actually started it without the MAF hooked up. If it triggers the CEL so be it. Since your diagnosing you should still be looking for codes as you do things. Also i've notice on my 98 it sets soft faults in the ECM mostly, so if the fault causing part starts working again and no fault is current it'll reset the CEL and make it a history fault.

Anyway any way are you just pinning the throttle wide open? Have you buttered it like your trying to start a dirt bike?


If you cant get the motor to stay running for more then 30 seconds at all no matter what you do, I wouldn't suspect the ICV at this time.


Why did you only replace one valve?


I've never seen ICV's act as you are saying. Car manufactures try to make things as simple as possible to do all the tasks they require. It doesn't seem that way but thats because the market demands these new SUV's to have set warmers, coolers, massagers, fridges, etc.

Something like this is to hard to just guess at over the internet without having the car in front of you.
The best result is when I try to start it without pressing the throttle. It will start right up then stall. The best way I can describe when I give it throttle after start, is like starting a two stroke and opening the choke before it warms up. It will bog down and die immediately. But when that happens, it stalls and I can immediately start it again (without pedal) and it will run a little longer than before. I'm not sure if that makes sense.

I only replaced one valve because only one valve was damaged. #4 cylinder had no compression before removing the head and it turns out that one of the exhaust valves had a chunk out of it. Everything else looks fairly good. I did notice that cylinders #1 and #2 has a lot of buildup on the backside of the valves, but all of the other valves for all of the cylinders looked like they sealed well enough.

Yeah, I was confident that I could repair the problem on my own but I'm completely stumped, especially with no codes being thrown. I was just hoping someone has had an similar experience and had found a fix.
 

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So if someone shoots starting spray in the box when it starts can they keep it running but shooting small amounts in the air box at a time?
What is your compression across all cylinders now?
 

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When I unplug the MAF and try to start it, it will start and then stall like always except now there are two active codes P0100 and P0110. I have only tried the starting fluid a couple of times and it will continue to run but I stopped spraying after 10 to 15 seconds. I didn't know if it would do any damage or not but it seems to keep running on it. I wouldn't keep the spray on all of the time though. I would just spray when it seemed like it was going to stall.

Starter fluid isn't good for motors. But a couple shots here and there shouldn't kill it. Its like spraying brake cleaner on your oil pan/engine block to clean it off. If there is a problem though it can make it more apparent as in worsen it. Thats whatever in my case. I'd rather know where the problem is then possibly miss it when looking over the car.


Anyway that all makes a fueling issue seem more likely. But the question is why, could it be an electrical gremlin? Knowing how you said you got the car and the mechanic said this and that i'm thinking its a possible electrical issue. Did you test all the fuses? Make sure the battery has good voltage/amps and all. Because what did he say a fuel pump and injectors is what he thinks? But you tested it and got 3.5 bar fuel pressure at the rail consistently?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Starter fluid isn't good for motors. But a couple shots here and there shouldn't kill it. Its like spraying brake cleaner on your oil pan/engine block to clean it off. If there is a problem though it can make it more apparent as in worsen it. Thats whatever in my case. I'd rather know where the problem is then possibly miss it when looking over the car.


Anyway that all makes a fueling issue seem more likely. But the question is why, could it be an electrical gremlin? Knowing how you said you got the car and the mechanic said this and that i'm thinking its a possible electrical issue. Did you test all the fuses? Make sure the battery has good voltage/amps and all. Because what did he say a fuel pump and injectors is what he thinks? But you tested it and got 3.5 bar fuel pressure at the rail consistently?
Yes, I think it is something electrical that is either cutting the injectors or the coils but I'm not very good at diagnosing electrical problems. I think the mechanic said the valve because there was zero compression in #4 (which it did end up having a broken exhaust valve) and I think he said injector because it appears to be a fuel problem.
 

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"I just did a test on the injectors in which I unplugged all of the injectors and removed all of the spark plugs, then turned the key on and supplied voltage to each."

You can do a similar test to see if ECM is turning on injectors. Noid light or test light. Pin #1 of connector is B+, Pin #2 grounded by ECM to trigger injector. If using test light back prob connector. KOEO pin #1 B+ lights test light. Start up/run Pin#2 should flash as ECM triggers.
 
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