1994 Toyota Camry Intermittent stall worse; 2 times to shop

Tiny
GUAPATONA
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 114,170 MILES
Hi,

I've visited my non-Toyota mechanic twice. He has a good reputation in the neighborhood for being very honest.

Back in 11/07, I had my tune up, as well as new spark plugs and timing belt replaced. All of a sudden in January, my car turned off while waiting at a stop light. It wasn't particularly hot or cold, but it was while I was out of town and had driven about 75 miles that day. It turned back on right away. It became an intermittent and entirely random problem, maybe once every couple of weeks or days. I don't drive that far usually, so my car doesn't normally get too hot and I couldn't find a particular pattern.

I barely drove it at all, but since I'm moving cross-country, I decided to get it checked out, as well as my oil change. The mechanic said this is a very common problem that the throttle is dirty, so they cleaned and lubed the assembly. The next day, it turned off again while at a stop light. I noticed that the idle dropped real low before it did so.

I brought it back. He said, it wasn't the assembly and he'd have to do testing and it wasn't going to be easy to find the problem. He couldn't replicate my problem and couldn't find anything wrong with the car, he ran all his diagnostics and drove it 5 miles without any problem. He said he "put chemicals in" to clean the fuel. I think he meant injectors (?) This was Friday. I drove my car about 5.5 miles later that night. It was super smooth (big difference in performance). Parked it. Three hours later, got in. Every time I stopped, it would hesitate. It didn't turn off but when I pressed the gas, it would hesitate.

Then I parked. When I tried to start the car, it cranked but wouldn't start. Ten minutes later it started fine and drove great.

It drove it twice today. In the morning it was fine but a little weird. The RPM almost went up to 3k just up a slight incline. While at a stop sign it seemed to idle a little loud and when it quieted down, I noticed the idle dropped very slightly. On my way home it was totally fine. Tonight, I drove it 5.5 miles, it hesitated at every stop light, even when warm (after a short jaunt on the freeway). A couple of hours later, I drove back and it didn't hesitate at all, but when I went to parallel park and was in reverse without pressing on the gas, the engine turned off. It did the same thing as yesterday and wouldn't turn on. I waited a few minutes, it turned on long enough for me to finish the parallel park and it turned off again.

What is going on? I'm so confused. I'm gonna take it back Monday to the mechanic but can't find any other posting with a story similar to mine.
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Sunday, April 6th, 2008 AT 2:37 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

i would be checking the air flow meter in the air cleaner, what they can do is become sticky and give a false reading to the ECU, now this will not trigger a fault code as it is stiil supplying input signals, just the wrong one. You can test the meter with a multi meter, I would start there.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Sunday, April 6th, 2008 AT 7:27 AM
Tiny
GUAPATONA
  • MEMBER
Thank you. Would you have any ideas why the problem would have changed with the fuel cleaner? I mean, before the fuel cleaning it would stop every now and then, but start up right away. Now it is having frequent problems and not wanting to start up again. I am losing sleep over this. So tired.
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Sunday, April 6th, 2008 AT 9:52 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

Get a fuel rail pressure test done, this will check for leaking injectoes7 have the pressure regulator tested as well

Mark (mhpautos)
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Monday, April 7th, 2008 AT 12:03 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
It would be good to know if it is actually fuel that is the problem, when it stops, are you able to quickly check for spark and injector pulse? The second test will be a bit tricky as short notice but with a screw driver held against the injector, using it as a stereoscope, you should hear the injector "click" when you try and start the engine.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Thursday, April 10th, 2008 AT 6:12 AM
Tiny
GUAPATONA
  • MEMBER
Yeah, it's kinda interesting. I took the car to the dealer. I'm not a mechanic so I don't know how to do what you were talking about. I barely know how to check my fluids. Though I really want to learn these things! It's important.

They found the solution after driving around and it breaking down on them. They said it was the ect sensor. I have to say, that when I drive the car I feel a knot in my gut, cause i'm worried they got the wrong thing. I mean, I believe them, but after all this drama, I don't know whether to believe it or not!
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Friday, April 11th, 2008 AT 10:17 PM
Tiny
PHIL1001
  • MEMBER
Engine coolant temp sensor?
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Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 AT 8:10 PM
Tiny
ADIDASJLP1
  • MEMBER
The exact same thing is happening with my 94 camry. Did this solve your problem?
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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 4:45 PM

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