Mechanics

98 SPUTTERING/STALLING

1998 Toyota Corolla

1998 Corolla VE manual transmission with 165,000 miles. Had major tune-up (fuel filter, spark plugs, air filter, wires, power steering fluid, pressure p/s hose)exactly one month ago because the engine was " running rough" according to the mechanic. Ran fine for 3 days, then would not turn over. Got about half mile down the road and battery died completely. Replaced battery.

For the last week, car has sputtered at take off, with puttering sound coming from exhaust pipe. Today, during a 80 mile drive, car stopped accelerating at 65mph no matter how much gas I gave it. Then would suddenly accelerate again, until I let my foot off the gas for a second then back to hesitating and sputtering. Cycle continued until I had to stop.

When I stopped, car stalled. Cranks strong, but would not turn over unless I gave it a lot of gas. When I took my foot off the accelerator, tried to stall until I depressed accelerator again.

Got home and turned off car, tried to restart. Started up with some difficulty (lots of sputtering and hopping/shaking). In general, not running well.

Car tends to burn oil during long drives. I have to top it off once every week (or more if I drive a lot that week). Mechanic claims this is not a problem. Use 20w/50 at his suggestion. Topped it off today.

I want to take it back to the mechanic, but I need to have some idea of what the problem is because between a new battery and the tune-up, I've spent $700. I love my car and I'm not ready to give her up. Is this something that can be repaired or is it just time to upgrade?
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MarieK
May 31, 2007.



Have the PCM scanned for codes. This will give us a place to start. If it is burning alot of oil, then it may have some bigger problems than just electronics

Tiny
Jack42
Jun 1, 2007.
Thanks so much for your reply.

I just had it checked for codes yesterday after someone suggested I may have a " vapor lock" and to use STP Gas Treatment (didn't do that). The codes came up as misfires on 2 spark plugs (2 and 3).

I ordered a new coil pack, but can't have it installed until Monday. I was told it was okay to drive a couple of miles as long as I put it in neutral when stopped and to keep giving it a little gas. True?

When I got my tune-up, I recall the mechanic mentioning that I would need a new coil, but he said not to feel like I had to hurry. That was a month ago. Am I on the right track now?

Tiny
MarieK
Jun 2, 2007.
The oil burning is what concerns me. Have your mechanic do a compression test before installing any parts. Since the misses are on cylinders next to each other, we need to be sure it isnt a head gasket blown between the two. Other than that, sounds like it may be the problem

Tiny
Jack42
Jun 3, 2007.
This is tough because you are being so incredibly helpful and I'm trying to follow your advice, but. Parts stores? Grrr.

I've made an appointment for the compression test as you advised. However, I had to replace the coil since the parts store wouldn't take it back! Just as you said, it didn't fix the problem at all. So, I'm up to $850 spent and a car still broken in the exact same way.

Thanks for your help so far!

Tiny
MarieK
Jun 4, 2007.
Get back to me with the results of the comp test.

Tiny
Jack42
Jun 5, 2007.
I don't know why I'm excited about this, Jack, but you were right! Had the compression test today and it's a blown head gasket between 2 and 3 causing the misfire! He quoted me a price range from $800-$1800 for repair, so.

.I test drove cars today; buying tomorrow.

You have been very helpful to me. I just wish I'd found you sooner. Thanks for all the advice.

Tiny
MarieK
Jun 5, 2007.
Glad to be of help.

Tiny
Jack42
Jun 6, 2007.