Engine misses when hot

Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
  • 2009 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 175,000 MILES
Idles fine when cold, misses when hot. Compression tested when hot okay, 150 PSI + all 4 cylinders. Any ideas?
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Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 AT 11:37 AM

37 Replies

Tiny
HARRY P
  • EXPERT
Hello. Are there any codes? If the engine light is on and you haven't received codes, get them. Otherwise, I would be inclined to think maybe a faulty Engine Coolant Temperature sensor. The computer uses the signal from that sensor to judge how to adjust the fuel/air ratio. A faulty sensor can really screw with how the car runs. If you have access to a scanner with love data mode, I'd want to see the readings from that sensor.

Aside from that, there could be an issue with the spark plugs and wires/coils. Sometimes, as they age, coils and plugs can work poorly when hot but decently when cold, or vice versa.

Here's our guide on checking the sparks:
https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-an-ignition-system

I'm also attaching information on how to remove and install the engine coolant temperature sensor. Use it if necessary. Let me know what you find

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 AT 3:48 PM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
Thanks. Need to resolve an electrical issue I caused myself and then will get the codes. Appreciate the quick response. Russ.
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Thursday, April 29th, 2021 AT 6:56 AM
Tiny
HARRY P
  • EXPERT
Okay. Just let me know when you've got those codes pulled and we'll go from there.
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Friday, April 30th, 2021 AT 3:40 AM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
Random miss fires, cylinder 2 and 3. The codes were P302 and P303. I will now check the spark as you outlined above. Thanks again for the support. Russ.
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Friday, April 30th, 2021 AT 8:50 AM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
After driving to get the codes, I decided to check the compression again on 2 and 3. The engine was hot and missing. Both 2 and 3 were spitting antifreeze as I tested the other one. I think this is consistent with the white smoke while running hence probably a blown head gasket. I was hoping this was not the issue. Your thoughts? BTW, has loose head bolts caused this kind of problem? Was hoping for an easy way out, ha! Thanks again, Russ.
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Friday, April 30th, 2021 AT 10:13 AM
Tiny
HARRY P
  • EXPERT
Hello. Yes, loose head bolts could cause that type of issue. But that's would be unusual unless the bolts weren't properly torqued to spec by the last mechanic to dig that deep into the engine. So unless you've already had a head gasket done, I'd doubt that possibility.

It's also possible that a blown intake manifold gasket could be the issue here. That would be considerably cheaper and easier than a head gasket replacement. Here's a guide on how to diagnose a head gasket issue.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/head-gasket-blown-test

It's a bit of a pain, but well worth the trouble. Run the test. Run it twice if you can. Then we'll know where to go from here.
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Friday, April 30th, 2021 AT 3:09 PM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
Will run the leak test and see if there are exhaust fumes in my coolant. Thanks, Russ.
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Saturday, May 1st, 2021 AT 5:03 AM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
BTW, the article that you referred to for testing says about $35.00 on Amazon and that just tests for exhaust gases in the coolant. It does not cover coolant in your oil or coolant in your combustion chamber. However, I do not see coolant indications on the oil dip stick and I definitely see white smoke in the exhaust and can smell the coolant, plus the spiting in 2 and 3, of course. I will test for exhaust gases in my coolant. Thanks again, Russ.
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Saturday, May 1st, 2021 AT 5:21 AM
Tiny
HARRY P
  • EXPERT
Coolant in the oil and/combustion chamber can be caused by blown intake manifold gaskets as well. That's why this test checks for exhaust gases in the coolant. It is a surefire indication of a blown head gasket and not a blown lower intake manifold gasket. That's why I suggested that test.
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Monday, May 3rd, 2021 AT 3:58 AM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
I have combustion gases in my coolant. I tested it twice to confirm. So head gasket. Will be my first. Any recommendations? Thanks again for all your help and quick responses, Russ.
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Monday, May 3rd, 2021 AT 11:04 AM
Tiny
HARRY P
  • EXPERT
While I've not done the job on that car, what I generally always suggest is that once you have everything apart, take the head to a machine shop and have it resurfaced. This way, if it's slightly warped, that'll be addressed too. And it could've gotten warped enough to cause problems but not really be easily visible to the naked eye. It doesn't take much. If you don't know where to go, call your local Joe Schmoes mechanic shop and ask them where to take it. I'm sure one of them will tell you where to go. It'll cost $50.00 to $100.00 and could save you from having to do the whole job again. I'm attaching instructions on how to remove the head to this reply. The instructions are a little simplistic, so read through them and let me know what steps you may need clarified and I'll clarify. I'll attach reinstallation instructions in the next reply.
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Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 AT 5:58 AM
Tiny
HARRY P
  • EXPERT
And the reinstallation instructions. Again, read them and let me know what to clarify.
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Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 AT 6:05 AM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
Thanks again, will give it a go. Russ
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Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 AT 7:45 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

I noticed we haven't heard from you for a couple of days. Has any progress been made? We're interested in knowing.

Take care,

Joe
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Thursday, May 6th, 2021 AT 7:52 PM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
Just took a break. Will start the project today. Use to go deep on old style engines when I was young but this will be much different and an interesting challenge for a retired engineer.
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Friday, May 7th, 2021 AT 5:27 AM
Tiny
HARRY P
  • EXPERT
Sounds like you've probably got a handle on it.
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Friday, May 7th, 2021 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
Hardly, this is a replacement engine and the first thing I see is that the timing chain gold links that are close together do not line up with the cam marks. So, the engine is timed but not using the gold chain links?
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Saturday, May 8th, 2021 AT 5:33 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The timing marks on the chain likely would align in the correct place if you turned the engine over enough times. What you described really sounds normal.

If possible, send us a pic of what you see. Hopefully, one of us will be able to advise you.

Take care,

Joe
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Saturday, May 8th, 2021 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
ARUSSDAY
  • MEMBER
Rookie observation, will turn over the engine to confirm. Thanks.
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Sunday, May 9th, 2021 AT 5:35 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
LOL, no problem whatsoever. Honestly, it could take several rotations until they match correctly. The gears are different sizes. Thus, they turn at different speeds.

Let me know.

Joe
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Sunday, May 9th, 2021 AT 7:50 PM

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