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96 corolla wont start.

12075 Views 19 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  zythr
story: i was driving the car on the highway and there was half tank fuel left. before this the car drove FINE. no check engine light. it was losing power so i pulled over and the car manage to stay on but has a shake like if one spark plug wire is disconnected. @ WOT it would not respond but half way it accelerate very slowly and work it's way into WOT. so we tow the car back home. after numberous attempt to start the car this time it doesnt start at all.

CAMSHAFT POSITION SENSOR: rope it to autozone for a free engine scan and it says camshaft position sensor. i bought and replace it for 80 bucks. still no change.

: i pop open the DIAGNOS box in the engine bay and put a paperclip in the +B and Fp and key to RUN the fuel pump would constantly stay on. i would attempt to crank it over and still no result so i knew the fuel pump is not the problem.

: i pull the plug off the 4th spark plug and put the booth end toward a nut on the valve cover to check for spark. i see arching making contact to the valve cover bolt while my friend crank it over so i know i got spark.

air+fuel+spark= RUNS but thats not the case with this corolla.


i want to also mention that there was no overheat issue with the car so this definitely not an blown headgasket issue. one thing odd about this corolla was a few days ago i check the oil and it was bone dry. didnt move the car at all and did a complete oil change. i put 5 qt of oil inside and then check the oil and i was about 1 qt above the line maybe?? does overfill oil prevent car from starting? unlikely...

AIR FILTER is clean.

FUEL FILTER: i took a look down the brake booster and the fuel filter looks BRAND NEW. it's shiny black along with a clean white tab behind it to mount the screw. this car was pass down to me from my aunt so she probably had the fuel filter replaced.

engine will turn over, but wont start.
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TIMING BELT:pulled the valve cover and the timing belt cover and the timing belt look to be in great condition. they have their teeth around the camshaft.

is it possible that the distributor could lack the proper amount of power for the sparkplug? it would stumble to start but doesnt.
it could have jumped timing, check that the timing marks all align and that you have compression.
Check the timing belt and the timing of the distributor
It could certainly be the timing, or even a fuel filter that looks good but is clogged internally, but I'm not ready to give up on the cam position sensor circuitry. What code did Autozone read? As you probably know, the cam position sensor coordinates the timing of the fuel system, and a failure in that circuit will cause the symptoms you've described. If the code was P0340 it means the CIRCUIT has malfunctioned, but not necessarily the sensor itself. If you haven't done so already, you might do a search on the specific code that Autozone pulled for you, and look for tips on the circuit involved.
autozone used a very expensive scan tools (249.99 to be exact). i plug it under the dash (yes this is an obd2 96 corolla) and it spell it all out "CAMSHAFT SENSOR POSITION" . i didnt bother to write the code down. the original camshaft sensor position that was installed on the car does not look beat up or physically damage. i figure it probably was internal. i didnt wanna rope it back again to autozone for a second scan so i try the TE1 + E1 method and it doesnt flash at all . just solid.

Timing belt jump? i want to mention that i dont drive this car like i stole it so is it possible the timing belt jump? i'll take a look anyways since im out of ideas.

ground point looks secure. im going to clean them and reinstall i doubt it'll be the issue but doesnt hurt to try.
okay guys i think we got something here....

Timing belt DOES seem off. i dont know exactly what im looking at but i can tell something is wrong with the timing belt. here's what i found.

i did a little research and log on autozone for repair info. it wasnt 100% helpful for me but it gave me some understanding how things suppose to be. i remove the front right wheel and splash shield to access the pulley. i found a small groove shape like a V on the crankshaft pulley. with a 17MM socket i was able to turn the pulley to what i believe is DTC (dead top center) using the plastic tab that's attach to the timing belt cover. i set the crankshaft pulley groove on 0.

now i went to look at the camshaft pulley and notice the K is at it's 9'clock and the A is around 4-5 clock. im ASSUMING the K is suppose to be at 12 clock??
i need to be sure on this before i pull it out and park it on the K.

picture is with the crankshaft pulley groove at 0 (on the timing cover tab)
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i waited hours for a reply to this thread for any help but no luck so far so i went ahead and adjust the K to dead top center. gave it a start and the only thing that happen was everything kept spinning the speed of the starter. like if the sparkplug were all pulled out. i didnt want to go the long way and put a jack under the motor and all that hell of works so i pulled sparkplug number 1 out and slide an extension down the cylinder and spin the camshaft till cylinder 1 was TDC. i had no idea if it was going to be on the fuel/air stroke or the power stroke but figure that's not as important except that the crankshaft position sensor might sent off the wrong reading so i went on by luck. here's what i did.

position the 1st cylinder to TDC using the extension down the cylinder by removing the sparkplug.

carefully slide the belt OFF the camshaft and wrap it tight on the HIGH line for the a.c

14mm socket to spin the camshaft into position ready for the air/fuel stroke.

slide the timing belt back on the camshaft carefully into a tight fit and install everything back in order.

went into the car and gave it a crank. car starts!! it sound almost like the RPM is reving a bit high but runs very smooth.

as of now i need to do a lil tweakin to get the RPM down right or maybe bring it back one tooth or adjust the throttle body after this rain could stop interruptin me for the 9th time TODAY. :headbang::headbang:
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okay rain stopped. the engine sound like it's idle at 1,500rpm so i figure maybe the intake and some valve might be clogged up so i pulled the brake booster hose off and add some seafoam into the intake. it blew plenty of blue smoke but nuthin too extreme. drove it around the block and pulled up back on the driveway. the idle sound real quiet around 700-800 rpm. job complete. thanks you all for ur input on the timing belt.:chug::respect:
Wow. It's great to hear that you have the confidence to do all that yourself. Do you have any more picture of the engine with the covers off??????

Great to hear you avoided a visit to the mechanices.
Congratulations! I know you have to be pleased that it started!
I sure sent you in the wrong direction with my earlier post, so take this for what it's worth, but you may not need to adjust anything; would the idle settle down after the car has been driven a bit? Several months ago I did a lot of work to our Sienna and when I put everything back together the idle was pretty high RPM, but after a day of driving, it settled down very nicely. If it's running smoothly, I think I'd give it a couple of engine cycles to see if it re-learns its idle.

What the heck caused it to jump time, though, and did you see anything in there that might give a clue as to whether it might happen again?

EDIT: Looks like we were typing at the same time! Sounds like you're done! EXCELLENT!
For the belt to jump time it has to either have missing teeth or tensioned way too loose.

I hope the OP has addressed both of those problems.

Also... the reason tension may have become loose is because the belt is about to fail.

Your gamble.

no i didnt use any manual. i been messing with cars alot so i learn from experience but timing belt was the first time. it wasnt difficult to understand it after learning the power stroke.

a week later the car is back with problem. this time the belt broke on the alternator and the battery light turns on the dash. the temperature didnt climb because it happens on the highway.

NOW my hub was destroy. there's no meat inside the rings. to make things short autozone sell them for 150 so i took a trip to the junkyard and pull one out. i got lucky the starter was removed so i jam a flathead on the flywheel and was able to loosen the screw.

when i took it to the car for replace i didnt want to pull the starter since it was alot of work. so i decided to jam the flathead inside the HUB. stupid...stupid... i completely destroy the crankshaft position sensor which was brand new. so i didnt want to fork over another 90 bucks so i went back to the junkyard and bought another one for free. i installed it and the engine turns on but if i accelerate it the car would shut off immediately. im thinking when i stick a flathead in there i mightve pull the timing off on the crankshaft.

FOUR things that were damage. the crankshaft position sensor, the ring before the hub and the two hose that goes to the valve cover.

the ring behind the hub is a lil bended but i think it doesnt effect the motor. the crankshaft position sensor been replaced with a junkyard one with under 150k miles. the two hoses still remain broken but i play with it and it doesnt have any effect.

what's wrong here?
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just towed the car to autozone at 8:45pm they said we aint fukin scanning your shit at this time. so i told him i give him 100 dollars after he scan it. he fell for it. stupid ass thought i was scare of him. bitch please.

scan code said i got P0300
Definition: Random cylinder misfire condition
probable cause = lean air/fuel ratio fuel pump/faulty MAF/VAF sensor/Large vacuum leak/Ignition system fault

along with P0301 cylinder 1 misfire detected and P0304 cylinder 4 misfire detected.

no i didnt use any manual. i been messing with cars alot so i learn from experience
Soooo, I guess your lack or reading is letting you get VERY experienced by your mistakes.

what's wrong here?
Your approach to "repairs"

Sorry to sound rude but you should not own tools based on what you have written so far.

The best advice is to take it to a mechanic who can fix your car without damaging it more.

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Soooo, I guess your lack or reading is letting you get VERY experienced by your mistakes.

Your approach to "repairs"

Sorry to sound rude but you should not own tools based on what you have written so far.

The best advice is to take it to a mechanic who can fix your car without damaging it more.

to be all honest the car isnt mine at all. i just figure it would be easier to explain the situation on this forum. i own a chevy impala 96 with a lq9 swap in it. i know all about it. but this car is something else with over 200k miles.

thanks for the help. many of you been useless.
to be all honest the car isnt mine at all. I just figure it would be easier to explain the situation on this forum. I own a chevy impala 96 with a lq9 swap in it. I know all about it. But this car is something else with over 200k miles.

Thanks for the help. Many of you been useless.

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