94 Prizm stalling

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  #1  
Old 07-24-09, 05:06 PM
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94 Prizm stalling

1.6 L. 145K miles. Automatic. Plugs, wires, distributor all new within last year. Been running ok (burns some oil - about 2 quarts per 3000 miles). Been dry the last 24 hours here.

Car started this afternoon and started to stumble/hesitate within a minute. My son thought it was transmission and stopped it immediately. We went back this evening (cold start) same symptoms - ok for a minute, started to stumble/hesitate while still in park (before I put it in gear). I was able to nurse it down the road about a mile then it quit. Will start but stalls almost immediately unless I play with the gas pedal.

Check engine light is on - I haven't gone back to read the code yet. I have a Haynes manual but what to do about any of the particular codes seems beyond me.

All I can think to do is go back - read the code. Maybe pull a plug to see how/if its fouled. Maybe put a can of injector cleaner in it and try to keep it running long enough for that to do any good.

Any thoughts?

TIA
 
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  #2  
Old 07-24-09, 05:28 PM
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Get the code first - if no codes, it sounds like fuel delivery or pressure regulator. Try pulling vacuum hose off the regulator and see what you get.

If it's any encouragement that little Prism usually goes for a lot more than 145K. I've seen a lot of them with 300K.

I believe that will be more than injector cleaner will help on and I doubt if the fouled plug will be in on it. Could be a filter, though.

Was the check engine light on before this started or did it all start at the same time?
 
  #3  
Old 07-24-09, 05:54 PM
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My son says the check engine light must have come on today - I haven't driven it since last weekend do I don't know for sure.

Hose to the regulator - Haynes shows a picture of it (on the fuel rail?) but I have no idea where it is.

I'll get the code in the morning -
 
  #4  
Old 07-24-09, 07:22 PM
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I believe it's about the same as the 1.8. The regulator is on the end of the rail on the top front side of the intake manifold. It's a little pancake looking affair with a vacuum line attached.

Checking the fuel pressure on that engine, though isn't as easy as, say a Ford 2.9L. You have to do some adapting at the end of the rail. You can get it done, add a fitting and borrow a pressure gauge from an auto parts store, but it would be a lot less hassle having a shop do it.

Start with the code, though. With the check engine light on, it should have one and may be an easy fix.
 
  #5  
Old 07-25-09, 04:19 AM
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AM going back over this morning to get the code.

When you say 'pull the vacuum hose off the regulator and see what you get' - while the engine is running? Before I start it?

I'm tempted to take a fuel filter with me ($20 at autozone) and replace it if I get no code - I've never replaced before but looks pretty simple.

Thanks Again
 

Last edited by Jim Stockwell; 07-25-09 at 05:15 AM.
  #6  
Old 07-25-09, 05:14 AM
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After it's running, Jim. It probably isn't going to do anything, but it's an easy check.

If the check engine came on right when all this started, the codes should point in the right direction.
 
  #7  
Old 07-25-09, 05:17 AM
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Update

Code was 14 - igniter/coil etc.

The distributor was replaced 2 months ago - is there a way this could be 'left over' - the reason I say that is because after I read the code I started it to see how long it would take to stall again. Let it run for over 10 minutes - it got up to temperature, put it in gear and turned all accessories on - still no stall?!

 

Last edited by Jim Stockwell; 07-25-09 at 06:37 AM. Reason: UPDATE
  #8  
Old 07-25-09, 09:46 AM
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Why was the distributor replaced the first time? Were you basing the replacement on a 14 code = IGF code.

If you had the 14 code prior to the recent problems and never cleared it by disconnecting the battery or through the diagnostic box, that code would still have been in the computer and would have kept the check engine light.

If you have a new code 14, the question is: what did you replace with the distributor? Was it a reman with the coil, igniter, cap and rotor - or just the base and you used your old cap and other parts?

Apparently you have some problem now. It sounds like a fuel issue, but you need to sort out the code issue.

Disconnect the negative cable from the battery for about two minutes, then hook it back. That will clear the codes. See what turns back up. If youi have a intermittent failure of the coil/igniter/whatever, the code may take while to show up. A check engine light should come with it.
 
  #9  
Old 07-25-09, 01:24 PM
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The distributor was replaced a couple months ago because the car would turn over but not start.

I agree it seems like a fuel problem.

This morning the check engine light did not come on while the car was running for about 15-15 minutes - yesterday it came on, then would turn of, then back on ... all while it was running, albeit barely.

I will clear the codes and see what happens. Thanks for sticking with me.
 
  #10  
Old 07-25-09, 02:28 PM
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I believe what you have is this:

Originally you had an IGF code 14 from a bad coil or igniter. That set into your computer and wasn't cleared from it. Replacing the distributor was apparently with an assembly which included the coil and igniter.

The recent problem is likely a code 71 or EGR, although it could be fuel (and not have a code). That one takes a couple of times around before it sets the code into the computer. I imagine you have an EGR valve sticking open - that would account for the stalling. One that is stuck closed will put out a code and the check engine light, but it doesn't stall like you're describing.

That engine probably has a vacuum modulator and may or may not have a switching solenoid for the EGR. Either of these will account for the valve not opening, but normally not for it being open when it should be otherwise. Both would cause a code 71 and a check engine light after a certain amount of run time on the engine.
 
  #11  
Old 07-26-09, 10:07 AM
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The distributor assembly was new - and it was the whole shebang I think. It looks new all the way out to the wires and cost about $300 (430 with the labor).

Drove it home this morning - 5 miles no symptoms and no check engine light.

Cleared the codes and started if back up. Stalled in about a minute - with the rpms going almost to nothing then back up to idle speed - back and forth till it quit. Maybe a better description than I gave yesterday. Check Engine came on when it died.

Code 14 is back - no ignition signal to ECM. I guess that really is the culprit (or are the codes wrong sometimes)?
 
  #12  
Old 07-26-09, 10:12 AM
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No, if you have a new code 14 and nothing on the egr, I would be looking at the distributor you put in it. It also could be wiring or the ECM itself.

The highest incident rate is the igniter or the coil.

When you put in the distributor what parts went into it and was it a new, used or reman?
 
  #13  
Old 07-26-09, 10:19 AM
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I edited the previous post while you were replying. It was new (I inquired about reman but he talked me out of it). I think it whole new assembly. It was $300 plus 130 labor.
 
  #14  
Old 07-26-09, 10:27 AM
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If there is at least a ninety day warranty on it I would call the shop that put in it. It you have no recourse there and have to stand replacement costs yourself, I would try a salvage yard first and replace the whole distributor with coil, cap and igniter.

If that's not possible and you have to get it going right away, I would replace the coil first (about $40.00), then the igniter (probably a lot more expensive). if necessary.

If you have more time and still have to pay it yourself, I would get a complete distributor from ebay (around $65.00). Still a crap shoot, but what you run into is there is no way to test the igniter and the coil tested with an ohm meter gives false results because of its physical variance between hot and cold.

**** I doubt if that was a new Toyota distributor they put in it for $300.00.
 
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