Engine pulsating

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  #1  
Old 01-04-11, 03:38 AM
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Engine pulsating

Hello, I have a 4-door 4-cylinder 1996 Toyota Camry. The engine just started pulsing, I barely made it home. I am an old goat who cannot afford to go to a mechanic right now. Please advise of some things that I might checkout myself. Thank you, Al
 
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Old 01-04-11, 04:56 AM
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Checking for vacuum leaks would be as good a place as any. Check all vacuum hoses, especially the larger ones like the pcv. Also look for any electrical connectors that may have come loose.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 07:01 AM
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I once had a '92 Camry wagon with the 2.2 engine that did the same thing without throwing out any error codes. I got lazy and poured a bottle of fuel injector cleaner into the tank and despite what many have said about these products, in my case it worked after driving only a few miles and the problem never came back. If everything checks out around the Tow Guy's comments you might try that next for the sake of the $5.00 it will cost you. Are any lights showing up on your dash at this point. You could also have bad gas, or even some water in the tank as a start point before looking further into more critical issues around spark and fuel delivery for instance especially if no fault codes are popping up yet, and depending on your DIY skill level.
 
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Old 01-04-11, 11:42 AM
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Much beyond these basics you may be needing some test equipment. A code read would be nice, but if you limped it home I wouldn't suggest driving it to Auto Zone or wherever to get it read. Equinox hit on something that slipped by me - bad gas. Had you recently filled up by any chance? Not real common, but it does happen. Had a station nearby last year that got a load of something in their storage tank that wasn't very flammable; they had half a dozen dead cars within a couple of blocks of the station (I got one of the tows).
 
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Old 01-04-11, 02:58 PM
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EGR valve? last time i had pulsating engine, it was dead on EGR. for 96, it's prolly full of carbon deposits. those are not too bad to remove and clean with carb cleaner.
 
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Old 01-05-11, 11:47 AM
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Thanks to all that responded I will check it out. The_Tow_Guy, I did fill up my tank the day before. How can I check the gas and what can I do about it ? Thanks again everyone, Al
 
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Old 01-05-11, 12:32 PM
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I'm inclined to think the fill-up was coincidental. It drove okay the rest of the day you filled up? If you got gas bad enough to kill it you would have noticed it much sooner.

Does it do anything at all when you turn the key now?

Could be something as simple as a fuel filter, but without a pressure gauge to check I would hate to have you just throwing parts at it.

Does the '96 have a distributor? My wife's '95 did, but I'm not sure when they went distributor-less.
 
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Old 01-05-11, 06:17 PM
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come to think of gas... i had buick filled with premium once, by accident. gas was what, a dollar or so then. boy, she did not like that.... was torturous driving for several days, until i burnt out enough gas to refill with regular...
 
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Old 01-06-11, 03:14 AM
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Good morning, to answer your questions; car starts up as usual, no warning lights on dash. I will checkout the fuel filter as soon as can find it, boy do I sound dumb. I will buy a pressure and vacuum gage today to make further tests especially on the EGR valve, it looks like a bear to remove it. I have a pocket size "Actron Scan Plus" but the engine has to run through two drive cycles before it can evaluate the EGR valve. Your last question, I have a Breakerless ignition sys. and a distributor. Tow guy, thanks for hanging in there with me I appreciate it. Al
 
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Old 01-06-11, 06:10 PM
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| Repair Guides | Electronic Engine Controls | Egr Gas Temperature Sensor | AutoZone.com

looks easy access from here.

this looks awfully like EGR - and quite easy to access. EGR temp sensor is a different story. every engine i looked at at autozone, shows EGR like right on the intake manifold or really close to it, and on the top.
i mean - not that i am right, but it does not look worth running engine cycles. just take it off, clean, put back on.
as always, run a few cans of seafoam through couple tanks of gas.

 
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Old 01-07-11, 04:18 AM
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ukrbyk, Thank you very much to the intro to auto zone resouces. As I mentioned earlier, I am an old goat with no experience. Now with all the leads I am getting from "do it yourself" I feel a glimmer of hope that I will be mobil again. Well, off to the garage to implement my new found info. Have a great day.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 09:23 AM
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most welcome.

How to Install a Toyota Camry EGR Valve | eHow.com

Google Image Result for http://static.am-autoparts.com/item/58ebc1a605.jpg

guess what, my co-worker has 96 camry four banger. EGR is right there, on top of manifold.
once again, like i said - does not mean it is it. there can be dozens of various causes, starting from bad gas batch, air leaks, vacuum leaks, which you have plenty of them vacuum lines all over, and into more sophisticated reasons.
good luck.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 04:09 PM
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Okay you have the same setup as my wife's previous Camry was ('95). Unfortunately we never had a similar problem to relate to. If you decide to try the fuel filter, it'll be on the driver's side of the engine compartment kind of below the brake master cylinder. The fittings can be a real bear to break loose if they've never been off. If your pocket scanner will do a basic code read are there any codes stored?
 
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Old 01-08-11, 11:23 AM
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Hi tow-guy, thanks for the response. I am going to replace the PCV valve which was full of goop but I was able to run the car a little to get a reading scanner, it read, misfire on cylinder one. Well it looks like I am in for it. I just came back from the toyota dealer and purchased new spark plugs and a distributor cap and rotor. I am going out to the garage and play now, oh, DIY member ukrbyk sent me a picture of the EGR valve, I removed the two screws holding it to the block but could not loosen the nut on the bottom of the valve that connects it to the pipe going into the block ??? I guess it takes a special wrench. I will let everyone know how this saga turns out.
 
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Old 01-08-11, 12:20 PM
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surging

With a misfire code I would have included a set of plug wires in the mix.
 
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Old 01-08-11, 03:20 PM
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Thanks for the response, I just finished inst. new wires and spark plugs, the car appears to be running ok with no engine codes. Now I can go out and buy a doughnut. I am a very lucky man to have all you DIY friends, THANKS again, Al
 
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Old 01-08-11, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by amoreyou View Post
Hi ukrbyk sent me a picture of the EGR valve, I removed the two screws holding it to the block but could not loosen the nut on the bottom of the valve that connects it to the pipe going into the block ??? I guess it takes a special wrench.
yeah, that's a really bad looking pipe, right? that's normally the one that runs exhaust through the valve. it's getting quite hot. what happens to threads on that large nut is they get stuck from the heat. considering you made her run half way decent, postpone EGR till late spring or so. let engine sit overnight, to cool down. evening time, spray a lot of liquid wrench or PB rust buster on threads on that nut. it should loosen up. a large crescent wrench, a monkey wrench, or channel locks should do the job. you should absolutely have it loosened up with rust buster. those pipes have tendency to be thin wall and easy to bust with too much torque applied.
glad you got her going. not too bad for a guy who claimed to have 2 left hands!!
 
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