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Engine Flooded After Releasing Brake Too Early

305 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  dddd
I got in the car the other day and pressed the push start button.
However I let go of the brake too early and the engine stopped.

After several retries, it wouldn't restart, however it sounded like it wanted to. It would pop off a little and then the starter would stop.
I did this a while until I needed to hook up a battery charger.
Eventually after trying on and off all day, it did struggle to actually start and then idle back to normal.
I took it for a drive and warmed it up, parked and restarted with no problem; and no problems a week later with normal driving.

I never had a check engine light and I checked fuses cause my initial instinct was a fuel pump or fuse.

I later figured it was a flooded engine due to the occasional pop trying to start.

Do you think this is what the issue was? Perhaps the car thought it started and kept pumping fuel into the cylinder?
Then every subsequent start dumped attempt put more fuel into it?
I never found a fuel pump relay to unplug...

Also was annoyed I couldnt sit and just keep cranking a key to keep turning the engine. Is there a way to just keep cranking the engine when it is needed?

Thank you!
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How many miles are on the spark plugs?

Mileage is only a rough determinate of spark plug wear and performance, but a tendency to wet-foul easily upon starting a cold engine is a most-common symptom of spark plugs having excessive (worn) gap and/or contamination of the porcelain surface.

In other words, it should be near-impossible to "flood" one of these engines when the plugs and coils are in good condition.
 

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I believe you can unplug the crank position sensor which will let you crank it without fuel.
You can also hold the throttle to the floor while cranking. This puts it in what is commonly know as “clear flood mode” Basically the injectors do not pulse until the engine fires. A lot easier than disconnecting the crank sensor.
 

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You can also hold the throttle to the floor while cranking. This puts it in what is commonly know as “clear flood mode” Basically the injectors do not pulse until the engine fires. A lot easier than disconnecting the crank sensor.
Toyota doesn't have clear flood mode. This is mostly an American car thing but a good idea that others should copy. Comes in handy if you want to build up oil pressure before starting the engine.
 

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I've experienced no-start conditions when a battery was still able to crank an engine over, but was not delivering enough voltage to make the spark plugs to fire reliably.

I once scored a Harley at a really great mid-winter price because the jumper cables to my truck battery wouldn't quite deliver the needed voltage for the bike to start, so I lowered my bid by a LOT since the seller was clearly not in the mood to have me diagnose the situation.

In this case, the need to re-start a second time might have been the straw that broke an old battery's back so to speak, the voltage just wasn't there for the second try on what was probably a very cold morning(?).

So how old is the battery?

And what model/year/engine are we dealing with here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the great comments.
I have a 2012 Camry XLE 2.5L with 52,000 miles.

I've owned the car for 3 months or so. I honestly don't know the date of the battery right now, I can check this tomorrow.
What lifespan would you expect for spark plugs?

I haven't had any issues since this occurred.
 
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