97 Toyota Corolla cut out?


Old 01-06-20, 11:33 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: MARYLAND
Posts: 181
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
97 Toyota Corolla cut out?

I have a 1997 Toyota Corolla CE, auto, 1.6, 230k, this is a beater but it runs. Except the other day I had just started driving - maybe 5 blocks from home - and it just cut off. No hesitation or sputter, just engine stop. It would crank normally but never even a little sputter of the engine catching. I had no tools but checked what I could - plug wires, fuses I could get to... I also tried to listen for the fuel pump to come on when I turned the key but I didn't hear anything so I figured that was it. So I called a tow truck and waited. But after about an hour of sitting there I just happened to try the key yet again and it started right up. I drove home and turned it off and back on again multiple times and it was fine. I did nothing between the last time I had unsuccessfully tried to start the car and when it did finally start. Since everything works now I have no idea where to check for a problem. Any suggestions?
Sponsored Links
Old 01-06-20, 11:58 AM
Rough Rooster's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 428
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
Fuel pump relay occasionally breaks the very fine magnet wire and then has intermittent contact. Potholes, railroad tracks and any bumps can break the contact stopping fuel pump. Then the cooling process causes the wire to re-contact and it is good to go again. Swap in another similar relay in the fuse/relay box and test again. Good chance a new relay will fix it.

Old 01-06-20, 12:15 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 6,678
Received 392 Votes on 366 Posts
So OBD2 started around 96, no idea if you have anything but that would be the first think to check to see if there are any codes set!
Old 01-06-20, 06:00 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,082
Received 48 Votes on 41 Posts
If its not sputtering before it dies, I doubt its running out of fuel or any fuel related issue.
My money is on an electrical issue & it could be anywhere, but I am sure we'll continue to come up with ideas.

Back in the old days, the coil would cut out like this. After it got a little age on it, it would cut out when it got hot. Your situation reminds me of this. You start it fine, run it a few blocks, the coil heats up & quits firing. After it cools off again, it'll be fine. It will run until it heats up again, then quits. I'm not sure if that's an issue on a 90's model vehicle. I've not heard of this since the early 70's vehicles.

It could very well be a ground wire with a loose connection & just quits at random times, like Rooster talked about.
I had a 87 Ford Ranger one time & that little 6 cyl had an issue where the ground wire screw wouldnt stay tight in the distributor. When it bumped around & loose connection, the distributor wouldnt fire.

So, again, I am betting on an electrical issue & it could be a thousand places. Its just something your going to have to trace down. Hopefully someone here will hit on an idea & you can check it & get lucky pretty soon. Really, all you can do is just check things as you get ideas. But, you gotta wait for it to quit. You cant find an electrical problem that dont exist.

Good luck.
Old 01-07-20, 07:18 AM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,596
Received 12 Votes on 9 Posts
Not sure if they still had those in 97, but main relay used to be issue of this nature on Hondas and Toyotas.
As it's clearly electric problem, my safe bet is ignition lock. That's another area of failure on those cars/years.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: