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94 Camry


trinitro's Avatar
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11-10-03, 08:00 PM   #1  
94 Camry

The time has finally come for my car to die (94 Camry LE, 4 cylinders, automatic). I just got off the ramp and it started to hesitate, then died about20 seconds later. I can start it (with some great difficulty), and it will run for a little bit, then die again. It dies like it's out of gas (sputtering and eventually dieing). If (only work very rare) I can get it to go above 3000 rpm it will run for at least 2 minute (at 3500 RPM or above). The moment the RPM goes down it will die. I didn't have time to play with it tonight (got it towed home), but what should I look for tomorow? When I crank it and it doesn't start I get no smell of unburned gas at the exaust, which would seem to indicate a no fuel condition, probably caused by a defective fuel pump. I would think that cranking it up for 2 minutes with no start and the accellerator pumped would bring some fuel in the cylinders. It's not a jumped tooth on the timing belt (just changed 5000 miles ago) because it will run (sometimes even at idle perfectly for about 30 seconds, then sputted and die). The check engine light is not on, although I didn't run a code check yet. It probably has spark as it will start eventually. A plugged fuel filter is also unprobable as it runs better at higher rpms then at low rpms. Incidently, do I have to drop the tank to replace the pump? I haven't looked at my book yet (it's at my parents). Oh, the car does have gas (almost half a tank). I checked that first.

 
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11-11-03, 03:22 AM   #2  
You didn't state what the mileage is?

Go with the basics, codes, spark ( not I think I have spark!) you have to check it, fuel pressure check etc

Larry

 
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11-11-03, 04:02 AM   #3  
And pumping the accellerator on a fuel injected engine doesn't do anything; that only works on a carbureted engine that has a mechanical accellerator pump on the carb.

 
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11-11-03, 06:07 AM   #4  
Joe_F
I agree with both posters. It's the common stuff on a car like this.

 
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11-11-03, 07:03 AM   #5  
I will check both spark and fuel when I get home tonight. That's all I noticed while I was "playing" with it waiting for the tow truck.
If no gas is "pumped" into the cylinders then why is there a paragraph in the owners manual telling you to hold the accellerator pedal all the way to the floor if the engine is "flooded"? Just curious.
I'm strongly suspecting the fuel pump based on the symptoms the car "performs" when it dies (it sounds just like a mower running out of gas). But I will check everything prior to just changing parts.

 
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11-11-03, 07:18 AM   #6  
The reason that is in the owners manuel is that when cranking and the tps sees wide open throttle it goes in the clear flood mode( shuts off the injectors).

If the engine is flooded you are cranking it with throttle plate wide open(max amount of air) and no fuel being injected. If it was flooded it should start.


Carburetors had choke unloader incorporated in the linkage. When you held the accelerator to the floor the choke would open if it were shut.


Larry

 
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11-11-03, 08:43 AM   #7  
It does start (with difficulty), it just doesn't run long. As soon as the gas pedal is pressed it hesitates and stumbles (all this is in park). If I'm very slow, I can get it to rev up, and once I hit about 3000 rmp I can accelerate for as long as I want to. The engine won't stop. Also, I forgot to mention, the car has 80,000 miles on it. But is is 9 years old.

Thank you for the explanation on the flooding.

 
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11-11-03, 08:55 AM   #8  
Low mileage car; my wife's '95 has 160k+.

 
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11-11-03, 09:28 AM   #9  
Forgot to ask about service history? Ever change dist cap and wires?

Larry

 
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11-11-03, 09:41 AM   #10  
After a little thought I would check codes first, possibly code 22?

Even with no codes I would back probe the Water thermo sensor. With engine at operating temp should be 0.3-0.5 volts.

My suspicion is the voltage will rise up to 1.0-2.5 volts when it acts up. ECM will not set a code because it is in the operating range of the sensor but reading wrong for the present temp.

It would be telling the ECM the coolant is at 0* or below and the engine would flood out.

Larry

 
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11-11-03, 11:11 AM   #11  
There may be a problem with getting the engine to operating temperature.

Flooding would imply a strong unburn gas smell on the exaust, and I smell no gas at the exaust. The spark plug wires and distribuitor cap were not changed by me, but they looked brand new when I bought the car (2 years ago). I will change them once I determine I have spark and fuel. I will also check for codes, although there should be no "hard" codes as the check engine light is not on.

 
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11-11-03, 12:11 PM   #12  
Joe_F
You may not smell fuel yet you may have flooded the engine. It takes a LOT Of fuel till you smell it out of the exhaust like that .


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11-11-03, 12:47 PM   #13  
Just back probe the sensor(it's the green one) and report back with the voltage. Should start around 2.0 volts depending on the ambient air temp and go 0.3-0.5 when it reaches operating temp.

Larry

 
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11-11-03, 02:07 PM   #14  
Will do that (check the sensor).
If the sensor would be defective, and indeed report to the ECM that the engine is cold while it's not, will that imply that the engine should start and run fine as long as it really is cold? (2-3 minutes).

 
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11-11-03, 03:37 PM   #15  
Possibly

Larry

 
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11-11-03, 06:13 PM   #16  
Ok, got some good and some bad news. Good news is that it will run perfectly until the ECM switches from closed loop to open loop (or the other way around). The moment the coolant temperature reaches half way (on the not so precise gauge) the engine starts too miss and die. It is very difficult to restart while that point is hit. If I leave the car cool down for 1/2 hour or so it will again work ok until the "critical" point is reached again. The other good news is that it's not the coolant sensor that's at fault (since I changed it, and it behaves exactly the same).
I checked the spark, all cylinders are firing fine. Even when the engine doesn't want to start spark is still present. I ran for codes (by jumpering the TE1 and E1 terminals) and I got two codes. The check engine light is giving me a 31 code, and the O/D light is giving me a 63 (or perhaps 36?) code. According to AllData 31 is a MAP sensor problem (which is not cheap ). I'm having a hard time finding that sensor (I would think it's in the air filter housing, or close by), but the only sensor in the air filter box is a tiny 2 wire sensor (the MAP should have 3 wires). Will a MAP sensor caouse a stall/difficult start condition?

I couldn't find a way to decipher what the 63 code on the O/D light is.

Thanks,

George

 
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11-11-03, 06:40 PM   #17  
Some how I missed what the voltage readings were?

Don't remember telling you to replace the sensor. You could have a wiring or ground problem that would of shown up with a voltage check.

Did you replace the correct one?

Larry

 
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11-11-03, 08:23 PM   #18  
There are 2 sensors next to eachother. One has 2 wires (green connector), and one has only one wire. I replaced the 2 wire unit. I tried to get readings out between the 2 wires of the sensor, but got nowhere. I thought that maybe it is defective, so I went ahead and replaced it anyway. That was before I checked the codes.

 
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11-12-03, 12:09 AM   #19  
You could be missing the 5 volt reference or the ground to that sensor. Don't know without a valid voltage check.

I'm I correct that you replaced the sensor before you checked for codes?

Larry

 
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11-12-03, 07:04 AM   #20  
Unfortunately I did change the sensor prior to checking for anything (pressure from my lovely father and his parts man friend). Will that sensor set a code in the computer?

I will go on to checking the MAP sensor tonight. Is this the little tiny sensor on the firewall with a 3 wire connection and a vacuum hose to it? Or is it another one? It looks pretty small for a $275 MAP sensor. How do I go on checking it? If you think that may be the problem?

Whatever the problem is it gets worse as the temperature of the engine goes up, but it only starts affecting the car when it goes from open loop to closed loop (I think). It runs perfect until that point.

 
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11-13-03, 08:55 AM   #21  
Didn't have any chance to work on the car last night, had a "bad" dentist appointment. Hopefully I'll have some time today.

Is there any "trick" in checking the MAP sensor? Or do I just follow the AllData procedure (if there is one, I dind't check yet).

 
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11-15-03, 07:29 AM   #22  
Ok, I finally had the time to look at it this morning. Unfortunately things have taken a turn for the worse. Last time I worked on it (2 days ago) I was able to start it up just fine when cold, it will run well. Today it won't start at all. It doesn't even try. There is spark at all spark plugs. Trying to start it produces a strong odor of unburned gas, so gas should be present. I took out all 4 spark plugs, all of them had a gas smell to them. Other then that the color was normal. The 2nd one (from the distribuitor side) was drenched in gas, the other 3 only had a smell, they weren't very wet.
Any quick tips on what could be wrong? The two problems may not even be related, although I think they are. I will start on a full troubleshooting shortly (after breakfast )

 
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11-15-03, 07:51 AM   #23  
You need to put a "noid" light on those injectors.

Did have one that the injector driver in the ECU was shorted and kept 1 or 2 injectors on.


Also seen the injector wires pinched in the valve cover keeping an injector on. Thats why I asked for a detailed service history.


Larry

 
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11-15-03, 08:09 AM   #24  
I will do that next. I bought the car with 55,000 miles on it, so I don't know what happened before. From what I was told the car was purchased new at the nearby dealer (which I could verify), and no major service work (other then usualy preventive maintenance) was done. The 2 shift solenoids were replaced in the transmission last year (No. 1 would not operate, and they replaced both). The timing belt was replaced almost 2 years ago (61K miles). The heater hoses (the ones by the firewall) were replaced early this year (they cracked and were leaking). About 1 month ago I replaced the front right brake line (both flexible and metal).
Today I replaced the spark plugs (Bosch Platinum), but that didn't make any difference. Right now I can tell it has fuel (you can smell the unburned fuel after 30 or so seconds of cranking). There is spark, although I"m not sure it's comming when it's supposed to.

The "million dollar question" is whether the symptoms prior and the ones today are related, or its just coincidence.

The car cranks like it should (it doesn't sound like the timing belt jumped a tooth).

 
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11-15-03, 10:23 AM   #25  
Did some more "testing". After only 2 or 3 tries to start the car (perhaps 1 minute of total cranking time) the sparkplugs are covered in gas. I mean gas is dripping off of them. There seems to be way too much gas dumped into the cylinders, it looks like the injectors are just stuck to the "on" position. No. 2 is the worse, but the rest are not far behind. This is getting stranger by the minute.

 
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11-15-03, 11:25 AM   #26  
Fare fetched but.....have seen one of the two ground wires loose on the back of the plenum. Your code 63 trans solenoid could come from that. It is the only device that the ECM sends + voltage to and grounds through the trans/eng.

Your code 31 map sensor could come from a bad ground. The water temp sensor could flood the engine if that ground is bad (that was the reason for the voltage test of the sensor)

Larry

 
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11-15-03, 01:34 PM   #27  
By plenum you mean under the dashboard? I will run all tests as soon as the battery is charged again.

 
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11-15-03, 02:34 PM   #28  
No, as in air intake plenum...the piece that directs the air into each cly, it's right before the injectors and after the throttle body. The ground wires are hard to see, you have to reach down between the plenum and the firewall.

The plenum has two halves, were they join you will find the ground wires.

Larry

 
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11-15-03, 07:24 PM   #29  
Ok, worked on it for about 2 hours.

I changed the distribuitor cap, rotor and the wires. It was time anyway (almost 30K since I bought the car). The plugs are also new (Bosch Platinum).

I got it to start, it runs ok as long as it's cold. The water temperature sensor will read about 0.36V when the engine is warm. I looked for loose ground connections, didn't find any. Unplugging the vacuum connection of the MAP sensor will kill the engine. Unplugging the electrical connection of the water temperature sensor will actually increase the RPM for a while, then the engine will bog down. When warm the engine will still die, it acts more or less like it's running in 3 cylinders, it tries to catch up, sputter and die. I noticed that if I rev up the engine for about 30 seconds at 4-5K then let it idle it will idle perfectly for about 1 minute, then start to sputter again.
Unplugging the vacuum connection to the EGR valve will do nothing to the RPM. However, applying vacuum to it will kill the engine.
I did notice that the sputtering is not continous, in the sense that the engine will "miss", then sputter, then the ECM will increase the RPM to recover, then the RPM will drop down to about 700 rpm, then run perfectly for a random (less then 30 seconds) period. Then the cycle will repeat again, with random sputtering.

One thing I did notice when I changed the distribuitor cap is that I found oil in the distribuitor. Looks like engine oil. Not a lot, but the buttom part is coated with it. Should it be there? Can the oil cause the distribuitor to "malfunction"?

 
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11-16-03, 07:25 AM   #30  
Put a noid light on the injector that seems to be flooding the engine. See if it stays on steady or pulses. May not stay on with noid light. Might not be enough load to "stick" the injector driver if bad.

You could also run it disconnected and see what happens.

Could be an injector that sticks open (unlikely) bad ECU (rare but could be)

Larry


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11-16-03, 08:41 AM   #31  
I think I'll throw in the towel. This is beyond my abilities and my equipment.

This morning it barely started when cold. It took about 10 tries to start before it ran, very rough at first.

I'll take it to a Toyota mechanic (not a dealer, but a little japanese guy that works only on Toyotas (he was a chief mechanic for a Toyota dealer for 10 years). I always had good luck with him, although he's "expensive" ($95 an hour).
I'll let you know what he finds out.

Thanks again,

George

 
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11-16-03, 02:10 PM   #32  
You might be right, time for professional. Kind of hard fixing over the net

Larry

 
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