1988 Toyota Camry inconsistent non-starting

Electrical problem
1988 Toyota Camry 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 150k miles

love this car. Occasionally stalls at stop, more often just won't start. Cranks and cranks, won't fire. Throttle body's been 'cleaned' 2-3 times, once by toyota dealer, fuel pumps, filters, spark plugs have been replaced. Fuel and spark present. Then, out of the blue it will (like after I have it towed, AGAIN) start right up? No rhyme or reason to refusals.


mandi, really frustrated.

Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 7:19 PM

1 Reply

I know your question was asked several years ago - so you no longer care. However, this is BAD.

The Toyota dealer in this instance - was not doing their job.

I noticed a couple of things - the cold start injector was not mentioned as being examined, or replaced.

Neither was the coolant sensor temperature; or the Injection Timing sensor. Both of which functions and timing vary per temperature; and have a significant effect on starting and fuel injection. These two sensors are located on the Water Outlet aluminum housing (along with those vacuum tubing sensors, etc; which also go into the coolant housing.) The computer (ECU) substantially looks at these two inputs to determine fuel injection timing - critical to fuel flow and starting of vehicle.

Also - the small EFI relay located in the Engine Compartment; under the main fuse block next to the battery - can go intermittent; and not allow quick and efficient starting.

Finally, the Mass AirFlow Meter (that large electronic unit connected to the Air Filter housing) also has a sensor unit in it - which directly affects fuel flow and starting. The Mass Airflow is not cheap. But those two sensors going into the coolant housing assembly (for all of those sensors) are quick and easy to change - and a dealership should have been able to determine if bad or OK. And they DO affect the ability to start; and they do not necessarily 'code' when bad.

Just thought to answer for someone else who might need the info. An easy way to check and see about fuel - before spending any funds - is to remove the intake hose from the throttle body; and spray just a bit of ether into the throttle body. If the vehicle now starts - it is a fuel problem; and with all of the previous work done (replacing of fuel pump, etc.) It is almost a 100% certainty of what I have mentioned.
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Monday, January 14th, 2013 AT 12:54 AM

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