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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 90 Camry, 4cyl, 5spd, with 240k/mi. In the last wo weeks a new problem has surfaced. While out running errands and dong multiple stops/starts, the engine began to sputter and die on me. It did it while starting from stop signs and red lights, and would occasionaly hiccup while at cruising rpm's. I had to really crank the engine to get it to refire and when it did it reeked of gas. It would sputter as the clutch was let out, so I usually had to floor it and dump the clutch to keep it from dying.

The car was given to me by my father in-law and other than oil changes I have no idea what service/tune-ups/maint has been done on it. I'm a Ford truck man and this Toyota thing is new to me. I do feel that the problem is fuel related though, due to the smell, and sputtering. I've seached the forum and read about cold start injectors (don't quite understand them), fuel filters that last forever, and throttle bodies that gum up and wear out. Like I say, I'm not to sure about where to start. I also don't want to dump the cash into the car as i feel it's on it's way out (Blasphemy, I know). Thanks in advance for the help.
 

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There are online service manuals available at the link below. Most of these have good diagnostics sections and data to test parts so you will not need to buy and swap. This includes testing the cold start injector, MAP sensor, etc. You will need a low cost volt-ohm-milliamp meter (under $10 if you shop around).

Do you think you are getting too much gas? Any trouble codes stored in the ECM, you can check this yourself with the onboard diagnostic system.

Other then the car dieing at stop signs, how does it run on the freeway, power OK? Steady engine speed?

http://oregonstate.edu/~tongt/camry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
toyomoho said:
Do you think you are getting too much gas? Any trouble codes stored in the ECM, you can check this yourself with the onboard diagnostic system.

Other then the car dieing at stop signs, how does it run on the freeway, power OK? Steady engine speed?
This is where my ignorance shines through. I haven't/don't know how to check codes. The car hasn't been over 45mph in about a year. My wife drives two miles to work and back each day with it and occasionaly around town. It has had a hiccupp or two coming up to cruising speed, usually on the 1st to 2nd shift.
 

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Bullitprooph
1991 Celica GT-S
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Okay, let's take some of the mystery out of this for you. Look at the driver's side strut tower, just in front of the brake master cylinder. You'll see a plastic housing attached to the strut wall that says "DIAGNOSTIC" on the cap. Pull the cap up (it hinges up and out of the way).

On the inside of the cap there is a diagram of the various terminals. The ones you want are E and T1. Bend a paper clip such that it will bridge those two terminals.

Turn the key to the "ON" position, but don't start the car. Just leave the key at ON. Bridge those two terminals and watch the flashing "check engine" light on the dash. Mark down the sequence it flashes in, and compare them to the codes listed in the Haynes or Chilton manual. If you don't have one, post the results here and I can tell you what code you're getting.

The codes are like Morse. Short-long-long-short-short. Or something like that...
 

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ASE Master, now Realtor
A 1989 Camry
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OR...

Study the online manuals, and particularly the section called "EFI." That's an acronym for Electronic Fuel Injection. There is a thorough discussion of codes and their acquisition and interpretation in the manuals.

There may be a buffet of maintenance items you need to address, but it will serve you well to know that conditions the computer (often called the ECM, or Engine Control Module) is seeing as it operates. Start there and follow good diagnostic practices.

One of my standard (and most revealing) diagnostic tests is the fuel system pressure/volume test. More on that later.

You also want to have a clean throttle body, plugs in good condition, and serviceable spark plug wires. We used to routinely replace the cap and wire assembly at three year intervals. Luckily, toyota prints a date on each wire that lets you know how old the wires are, so you know when to replace them for best maintenance.

Oh, and thank you for driving a Ford truck. When I was in the business, Ford kept me alive with replacing EGR valves and EVP sensors, CFI actuator motors, TFI ignition modules, fuel pumps, alternators and connector pigtails, and the ever-popluar tow-in for resetting the intertia switch when the vehicle died after hitting a pothole. I got to know many of my Ford customers by name because of the regular visits. I used to see the toyota folks once a year, for state inspection and emissions.

Depending on the age of the toyota (less than 200k miles?) you may want to hang onto it. Oil could go to over $150 a gallon if Iranian President "Tom" Ahmadinezhad begins to act on what he has stated as his intentions, and it could be pretty dicey to keep a truck on the road for all intents besides commercial use. A Camry will get you there and back every day for over 25 miles per gallon, and more if you accellerate slowly and keep under 55.

I'd keep it, if I were you.
 

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High fuel prices would keep the big monsters of the road which is not so bad.
There are general recommendations what to check before digging into EFI system:
Wire connectors on the distributor, sensors and injectors;
The intake connector between air cleaner and throttle body (the clamps could be loose);
vacuum hoses.
The problem is also could be ignition related (ign.coil inside the distributor).
If possible , let the engine stall, then check the spark plugs.
I the insulator and the elctrodes are covered with soot, the problem is weak ignition, if they damp, but clean, engine flooding is indicated.
 

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ASE Master, now Realtor
A 1989 Camry
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Doctor J said:
High fuel prices would keep the big monsters of the road which is not so bad.
If that was the only result, and not a recession, I'd say that's "not so bad," but the effect would go far beyond that.
 

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Bullitprooph
1991 Celica GT-S
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This post is a perfect example of why the Gen2 Camry forum is my favorite. Where else could we go from fuel/ignition problems to world oil discussions? Keep it up guys, I'd hate to see us get boring...:lol:

As for the recession Iran might cause, it would only be a catylist--not the cause. At some point we're going to get hit hard by oil prices, and the timing is almost irrelevant. Our governments have shown that they have no intention of preparing us for the inevitable. Further proof that our species is reactionary rather than visionary. And further proof that we see ourselves as being above Darwinian theory.

Back to the matter at hand, however: zirkdog, any progress yet?:confused:
 

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ASE Master, now Realtor
A 1989 Camry
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TBayToyotaBoy said:
This post is a perfect example of why the Gen2 Camry forum is my favorite. Where else could we go from fuel/ignition problems to world oil discussions? Keep it up guys, I'd hate to see us get boring...:lol:

As for the recession Iran might cause, it would only be a catylist--not the cause. At some point we're going to get hit hard by oil prices, and the timing is almost irrelevant. Our governments have shown that they have no intention of preparing us for the inevitable. Further proof that our species is reactionary rather than visionary. And further proof that we see ourselves as being above Darwinian theory.

Back to the matter at hand, however: zirkdog, any progress yet?:confused:

It might be relevant to realize that it is not the responsibility of government to "prepare us" for what is to come, but more a case of our own repsonsibility to demand of our government that we make further good exploration of our own resources in this hemisphere, and not worry about the sight of drilling platforms or wind farms from Malibu or Martha's Vinyard. Also of note is that it is today's profits from "big oil" that will finance the research and development of tomorrow's energy sources.

As for a recession, all that Iran needs to do to set the world economy into a serious situation is to interupt the flow of oil, the "mother's milk" of modern civilization, an act that would be causal rather than catalytic. We now have the technology to recover many decades of oil reserves in an environmentally acceptable manner, but we are too consumed with a fear of ideas rather than a willingness to accept responsibility for our energy needs.

As for the immediate need for zirkdog's car repair, we will wait for more information.
 

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Two easy things to check. Toyo could be right, if the cold start injector were giving fuel all the time, it might cause this. The sensor or the injector itself might be leaking?
Also the idle air control could be gummed up and maybe the vanes are stuck closed. So clea nthe throttle body and soak the IAC through the hole, if it makes a difference but doesnt totally fix it, remove iac for a thorough cleaning.

High fuel prices would keep the big monsters of the road which is not so bad.
Yes Dr J, but people are still buying big trucks with big V8s! Why??? Those things get 15 mpg on a good day, on highway with a tail wind and the engine off. Foos!!! :hammer: I wonder if some people EVER read the news - Ford F150 pickup was the #1 best selling vehicle in the USA last year and what mpg does it get - 14 to 18 epa!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It happened again. Took it for a drive to get the temp up, and it stubled on the 1-2 shift. The clutch also likes to go "soggy" after this happens. It has a brand new clutch in it, done in the fall of '05, with less than 5k/mi on the new clutch. It usually feels quite firm and responsive, after a stumble it goes sort of "soggy."

I jumped the ECU with a paper clip and could not get anything other than the constant steady on/off engine light pulse. No breaks, no patterns, no codes.

Now the engine won't start. It cranks just fine, but won't start.

As far as Ford's and trucks, to each his own. I just don't fit in little cars. 6'5'' 230.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
timebuilder said:
OR...

Depending on the age of the toyota (less than 200k miles?) you may want to hang onto it.

I'd keep it, if I were you.
It's got 240k/mi on it. The drive line on the driver's side clicks like a demon on every corner, and nothing electrical works (cruise, windows, rear def.,dome lights. No blown fuses though) and now this. It's on its way out. Just need to limp it along as an in town only vehicle.
 

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Bullitprooph
1991 Celica GT-S
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zirkdog said:
It's got 240k/mi on it. The drive line on the driver's side clicks like a demon on every corner, and nothing electrical works (cruise, windows, rear def.,dome lights. No blown fuses though) and now this. It's on its way out. Just need to limp it along as an in town only vehicle.
Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like the car was well cared for. My Camry and my Corolla sedan both have the same mileage (380,000km) and everything works on both of them (except for the power antenna on the Camry--it was broken-off by a drunken ass last year). I'm really sorry to hear of your Camry's condition, because a well cared-for Toyota will not die. Ever.
 

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ASE Master, now Realtor
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zirkdog said:
As far as Ford's and trucks, to each his own. I just don't fit in little cars. 6'5'' 230.
I can see your problem. I used to fly with three differnt guys who were all your size. Trouble was, Bill Lear was smaller than me, and he designed the Lear from that perspective. Picture yourself in a Corolla, or better yet, a Tercel. Ouch.

Yes, it sounds like the Camry was not well maintained. Perhaps you should go to the online manuals and make the checks for the cold start injector, and review the basics like the air duct between the throttle body and the air flow meter, look for loose hoses, etc. Take an old plug and use it to check for spark if you are not getting started, and read the plugs as Doctor J suggested.
 

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Don't get me wrong, the car has run great and put in its time. I was simply handed a car after getting married and told it was ours. Up until a year ago i had nothing to do with this car or its maintanence. I was taught to take care of my vehicles.
 

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Bullitprooph
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timebuilder said:
It might be relevant to realize that it is not the responsibility of government to "prepare us" for what is to come, but more a case of our own repsonsibility to demand of our government that we make further good exploration of our own resources in this hemisphere, and not worry about the sight of drilling platforms or wind farms from Malibu or Martha's Vinyard. Also of note is that it is today's profits from "big oil" that will finance the research and development of tomorrow's energy sources.

As for a recession, all that Iran needs to do to set the world economy into a serious situation is to interupt the flow of oil, the "mother's milk" of modern civilization, an act that would be causal rather than catalytic. We now have the technology to recover many decades of oil reserves in an environmentally acceptable manner, but we are too consumed with a fear of ideas rather than a willingness to accept responsibility for our energy needs.

As for the immediate need for zirkdog's car repair, we will wait for more information.
Your reply leads me to believe that the Canadian and American situations are not as similar as I had thought. No, it is not gov't's responsibility to "prepare us"; in Canada all recent polls have put the environment solidly in first place amongst the populace's concerns--we are, in fact, "demanding". For solid and noticeable change to occur, the gov't must respond in a fashion that (unfortunately) forces the corporate culture to accept necessary changes. Without these changes, new technologies remain a) too expensive for the average citizen to benefit from, and b) the responsibility of big oil companies as far as research is concerned.

Canadians do not fear wind farms and other new technologies. They (turbines) are proliferating at such a rapid pace that the majority of farms will have at least one within several years. Ballard Power Systems, of Vancouver BC, is one of the leading world research companies in fuel cell technology; they are also both a household name and a source of pride in Canada. Don't get me wrong, we're not perfect--we are evil wasters of energy, but we paradoxically also embrace new sources of energy with gusto.

I say that an interruption of oil supplies would be "catalytic" rather than "causal" because it would simply be speeding-up the inevitable. Inevitable, because it is patently clear that we will not be adequately prepared for the eventual decline of world oil potential. The Bush administration has strained to maintain a stance of denial, while the new(ish) Canadian Conservative government has toadied-up to Mr. George in this region of policy. The latest environmental bill was so toothless (setting targets for 2050) as to be a slap in the face for anyone "demanding" action. The general trend of such political (lack of) will leads me to the firm belief that the date of the first major oil shortage is irrelevant: we will be reacting, not preparing. The "cause" of our inevitable recession/depression is ignorance and stupidity; the "catalyst" may very well be Iranian muscle-flexing.

I have a sneaking suspicion in all of this that we are arguing the same point...semantics may be playing a part here...
 

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ASE Master, now Realtor
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It is folly for anyone to "demand" that a corporation take a particular action, unless they are an owner of that company. In the US, we have "demanded," through governemnt agencies, that all new refineries meet standards that are so expensive and restrictive that we have not built a new refinery in the US in over thirty years. Hence, when we lost refining capacitry due to a hurricane, oil prices in the US market shyrocketed as a result of low supply and typical demand. That's economics, 101. When uninfomred and "demanding" persons have not vested themselves in the outcome, they are not diligently guiding, but are instead "dabbling." We did a lot of "dabbling" as activists in the 1970's here in America. In retrospect, we can see that those who wish to limit corporate activity are pushing a collectivist agenda, one which has proven to fail to advance the interests of any country or region on earth.

As citizens, the demands we make come in the form of votes. In that sitaution, your legal citizenship is your vestment in the outcome, and your responsibility is to be fully informed and see the "big picture." If you vote to impose your view in an area where you and your legislators lack expertise, you set yourself up for failure.

An oil crisis preciptated by Iran is not catalytic, because it is not a matter of postponing the inevitable. First, we have energy available for hundreds of years. Not all of that is fossil fuels, but the available oil amount is MUCH greater than environmentalists pose, because to accurately characterize the oil stores does not serve their socio-political agenda, one which is anti-induistrial and anti-capitalist. Second, it is the enlightened self-interest of the future health of energy companies that will drive the use of profits to develop new energy sources and delivery chains. Government is the worst entity of all to make dictates in this area, because it is a source of pressure based on imprression and opninion rather than fact and business dynamics. In other words, when liberal citizens and legislators pass laws to tell energy companies how they should operate, they are placing their non-professional, political opinions into positions of power that have not been earned as learned entities in that business, and may in fact force companies to operate in a less efficient and less practical manner, leading to a less than optimum response to future energy needs. Almost certainly, the end result is to limit investment in that industry because of the increased costs and decreased profits, and that limits the progress you would otherwise like to see as stockholders and citizen consumers. Then, other countries that rely on the greater wisdom of the marketplace are left to take the lead for future energy needs, while the legislating country is hampered by higher consumer costs and less corporate innovation.

If we suffer an oil "shortage," it will be because it will have been too inconvenient or unsightly to produce our own energy sources here in this hemisphere due to social and environmnetal regulatory restrictions. In this way we allow Iran to make itself a poteential "cause" of the shortage because we have legislated ourselves out of production and development. If there is a "cataylist," it is how we have limited ourselves through our governments so that we must rely on an unstable region for our energy, one that can "cause" a shortage of supply through acts of evil and cultural defect.

If Toyota's Camry has become the most popluar car here, it is because they produced a product based on market demand, not government fiat. Remember, the best the government could do here for automotive innovation was the Chrysler K-car and the Omi-Horizon.
 

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Bullitprooph
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You are much better-read and informed in this subject area, and I defer to your analysis. Well said.

I still believe that we are largely in agreement, though we use the terms "cause" and "catalyst" somewhat differently. I still maintain the "catalyst" angle because I am focusing on Iran not as the problem, but as the harbinger of doom--in the form of a political entity whose desire it is to exploit the weaknesses we have allowed ourselves to nurture. I suppose that I believe the "cause" to be the very lack of refining capability you highlighted, while any event serving to cut-off our inflated oil demands (whether OPEC supply cuts, natural disasters, or political will such as that of Ahmadinejad) would be a "catalyst" for our rude awakening.

As far as Iran's physical influence upon our oil imports is concerned, remember that they are now a net importer of refined oil (gasoline) and their exports have dropped by almost 50% since the revolution in 1979. They possess a MASSIVE reserve, which poses a much larger problem than current outflow. Now being a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Iran has access to the money and technology necessary to develop their ailing economy and infrastructure. It will likely be China and other Asian nations who partner economically with Iran, and we (the West in general) will not benefit much--if at all--from a healed Iranian export capability.

The nuclear conundrum, however, may indeed be a real threat on Ahmadinejad's part. February 11 may be the day we get a clearer glimpse of the extent of his plans.
 

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Do you have a spark right now? Is there any corrosion on the wires coming out of the positive battery terminal/small fuse box.If the car cranks and having spark, I'll give details how to troubleshoot the fuel pump.
 
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