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kor-ro-ra?
97 Corolla 1.8L 5spd
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3,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok so latey my car has been having rough starts and now it only starts sometimes. It seems my battery works but when i get a jumpstart it starts up fine. But when i turn my car off, (even letting it run for 30 mins) it wont start again. What could be causing this? Also when the car starts i get a big cloud of smoke then constant smoke as if i was seafoaming the car. TTercel told me that if the exhaust smells "sweet" (and it does) my head gasket is going. Help? DO i ahve more than one problem or this all related. Thanks.

I have a 1992 Camry 3VZ-FE with 345XXXkms.
 

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1,541 Posts
I had a similar problem with the car not starting and after a couple of tries of jumpstarting the car cause it seemed to lose power fast out of nowhere I noticed the thing that clamps on the battery's terminal wasn't really tight. It looked like it was tight but it wasn't so had that fix. Don't know about the smoking thing I didn't have that though. Good luck and hope you fix the problem.:)
 

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RX-7 Restorations
18 Camry SE
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1,570 Posts
definatly check the connections at your terminals on the battery. next, i would have the battery tested at an auto parts store and since the alternator is easy to access, you may want to test the output voltage when the car is running. do this with a load and without a load. you need to monitor your coolant level and keep an eye out for oil in the antifreeze or antifreeze in the oil. both are signs of a bad head gasket. you could have one on either bank or both. sounds likely that you may be running rich due to the cold start enrichment process and the smoke could very well be normal. my camry smokes on start up and it may seem like a "sweet" smell but i know for sure its just a running a tad rich due the engine temp and that the head gaskets are fine. if you are so inclined, you may want to do a compression test to ensure your findings.
 

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kor-ro-ra?
97 Corolla 1.8L 5spd
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3,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Ok so my coolant was low and brown so i toped it off at the full line (because there is oil in it???).
I had done the MAF modification a while ago where i made the car run leaner, could it still be running rich?
Eariler my terminals were loose too and i thought that was the problem but it wasnt.
Ill get my battery and alt tested tomorrow. Thanks for the responses!!
 

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RX-7 Restorations
18 Camry SE
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1,570 Posts
if your coolant was brown, its too old and needs a flush!!!! BADLY!!! as far as running lean, thats VERY bad and you can toast your engine in a heartbeat! you need to make sure you're not running lean. i'd do a compression test to be sure you haven't blown a head gasket on either bank.
 

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Registered
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75 Posts
You really don't give enough information to help. How old is the battery? If you put the battery on a charger, will it start the car after charging for 5-6 hours? Thirty minutes of idling won't do the same thing as a good charge. have you looked at the terminals of the battery and cleaned them with baking soda and a wire brush? Have you looked at the electrolyte level in your battery?

I will admit that sweet smelling exhaust isn't promising but you need to eliminate battery conditions first.
 

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kor-ro-ra?
97 Corolla 1.8L 5spd
Joined
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3,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I dont know how old my battery is, i have not put the battery on a charger, and i have not cleaned the terminals, and the battery does not have a electrolyte level. How would i do a compression test...thats something for my mechanic correct?

This is what i did to run leaner: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t82158.html

EDIT: I should mention that when my car is at idle, it idles low so that the car shakes a bit and my lights dim...alternator?
 

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engineer in training
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1,586 Posts
Guys, white smoke from exhaust that smells distinctly sweet and oil in the coolant are signs of head gasket trouble.

Start planning for a rebuild. DO NOT put stop leak in, it will get better, you will think its fine, the one day in the near future it will just start overheating and that will be the end.

There is nothing you can do about the head gasket going out, you need either a new engine or a full rebuild (more $$ than a new engine swap)

Consider fixing the engine and selling the car, it would suck to fix the engine and have something else go out.
 

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kor-ro-ra?
97 Corolla 1.8L 5spd
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3,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ahh, im hurting here, i hope this is not the case i love my car too much. Replacing headgaskets is a bitch right? ok how much longer is my car going to live? Give it to me straight doc...
 

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engineer in training
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1,586 Posts
No telling, you need to get a compression test and a leak down test done.

Worst case just swap in another engine if you dont want to deal with the hassle of doing a headg asket yourself, bam low mileage 3vz and no worries, get a jdm one they are awesome with their better tuning and no egr factory.
 

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Registered
93 BMW 525i
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395 Posts
If you're dumping white smoke out the back, its pretty much a sure sign your headgasket is leaking.

As for the brown color of the coolant resivoir, that is often just rust/corrosion in the system in these cars and can be mistaken for oil. In this case, it definitely sounds like a blown head gasket, but in the future, don't jump the gun on that symptom.

On my GFs camry, the coolant was dark brown when I flushed it the first time. It was bright neon green for 2 days, then it was brown again (but not as bad). A year later, I drained/refilled the radiator (not the whole system). Little better. 2 months ago, I flushed the whole thing again, and I think I got most of it out now. This should give you an idea of how brown and corroded the system can get.
 

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Registered
98 Camry XLE V6
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3,116 Posts
extract some coolant and see if it has oil in it (not that hard to tell since oil is reflective).

that much smoke means blown headgasket usually...so it may not be long till it totally gives in.

if you are loosing coolant somewhat fast, then expect it to be a headgasket. check your oil too. if it starts getting lighter in color/creamy/milkshake like, then take it to a shop and dont drive it there please.
 

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Dealer Tech..not Toyota
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540 Posts
or run the car, and see if the oil has foam in it, on the dip stick.
you need a coolant flush, a thourough one, prolly replace the batt. check alternator for chargability.
BTW-if you do want to get rid of the car, or if (i DEARLY hope not) it dies, um...i do need a trans...
 

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kor-ro-ra?
97 Corolla 1.8L 5spd
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3,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LMAO Axel. I got the battery and alt checked, it was the battery...somehow. I havent taken a sample out of my coolant but it is refective...and it seems the whitesmoke is alot less for know ill keep you updated if anything happens. Thanks guys.
 
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