Why would a car shuts off for no reason?

Tiny
MANB
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 167,000 MILES
The issue with the 94 camry is that it the engine shuts down while driving. I had the fuel filter/strainer replaced, same issue. Was able to drive for a 3hr trip off/on no problem. Next day I turn on the car go about 50ft to stop sign and it dies. Was able to start about 5 min later and it ran no problem. Was checked by mechanic w/computer and picked up ignition control module. Replaced (pricey part) he ran the car off/on most of the day with no problem. I pick it up and the next day drove it and it did the same thing. Let sit for about 5 min and drove fine most of the day. Has also happened on freeway (scary). My 17yr old son drives the car and it scares me. Any suggestions.
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Thursday, June 17th, 2010 AT 6:40 PM

50 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Test the coil, distributor pick -up coils and the ignition switch to include the airflow meter.

This guide can help

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/engine-stalls

Please run down this guide and report back.
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Thursday, June 17th, 2010 AT 6:44 PM
Tiny
FORDRACING24
  • MEMBER
This happened to my truck and it was the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor, it doesn't pick up register how much air is going into your cylinders and cuts off
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Friday, June 18th, 2010 AT 12:04 PM
Tiny
RAWNOG
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 200,000 MILES
1994/4cyl. Camry(Cali)/auto/199,999 miles- Seems like an EFI problem. Engine will shut off while driving, and it feels like it's running out of fuel. Replaced EFI relay under the hood, ran for 2 weeks and now its doing it again? The cars from California, has check engine light, and BF Goodwrench said its due to distributor issue. They said the previous owner had put the wrong kind of spark plug leads on it, but it gets spark. Like I said, it ran for a solid two weeks before it started bogging down again. I went out tonight and bought another EFI relay just to see if the car is somehow destroying it. After I replaced it, it started right up and made it home(.5 mile).
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Check and test the circuit opening relay and the airflow meter-Do this block open the airflap on the airflow and test drive it and see what happens-let me know
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RAWNOG
  • MEMBER
Will do, I'll let you know asap. Thanks for the quick response, this seems to be a good site.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RAWNOG
  • MEMBER
How exactly would I do this by the way?
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Just block the airflap open on the air flow meter with an object
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MYTROUBLE
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 320,000 MILES
When I start the car it will idle fine but as soon as you try to give it any gas it smothers out and quits running. I have replaced the following with no results, fuel pump, fuel filter, pressure regulator, spark plugs, three coils. It straightened up for a day after I changed the the fuel regulator but then did the same thing again. I have tried pulling the codes but cannot get the engine light to flash when I use a paper clip in the Diagnostic's plug under the hood. Please any help will be appreciated.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Check the fresh air tube between the mass air flow sensor and the throttle body. That cannot have loose hose clamps, cracks, or any other leaks. If any air sneaks in that does not go through the mass air flow sensor, it will not get measured and no fuel will be commanded to go with it.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MYTROUBLE
  • MEMBER
I will check. I will check that here in a few minutes and let you know.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MYTROUBLE
  • MEMBER
I've tried everything you suggested but still have the same failure of no idle and not accepting any throttle. I am at my wit's end and ready to torch this car I hope you have another idea
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I've had the same frustration with tvs and car radios!

First try to read the fault codes with a scanner. '95 and older vehicles were pretty sparse with their codes, but if you can get in, look at sensor data to see what the Engine Computer is seeing. Incorrect temperature sensor readings cause some odd fuel-related performance problems. What you have to keep in mind with sensors is there is a range of readings the computer will accept as correct, even though they might be wrong. For example, the throttle position sensor is typically fed with 5.0 volts, then the acceptable range of signal voltage is approximately 0.5 to 4.5 volts. Anything outside that range sets a fault code. At idle the voltage will be 0.5 volts. While this is not a practical example, use it to illustrate my wondrous point. If the signal voltage was 2.7 volts while the throttle was closed, that would be the wrong voltage, but it would not set a fault code because 2.7 volts is within the acceptable range. This is where you have to compare all the readings to the actual operating conditions, and try to identify one that doesn't make sense.

Pay particular attention to the MAP sensor. Chrysler is the only manufacturer that has been able to make an engine run right without a mass air flow sensor. They do everything with the MAP sensor, which is extremely accurate to a level even more so that what is used. Other manufacturers usually also have a MAP sensor, but it can be for back-up strategy when the mass air flow sensor has a problem, only for barometric pressure readings, or it could be a second input for engine load. I don't know if any of that pertains to your engine, but see if that voltage responds to changes in manifold vacuum like it should.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
FRESHAZ_IZ01
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 194 MILES
My car runs greats once started, however 10 min. Into driving once I stop at a light or stop sign, it completely shuts down. I cant figure out y? I have changed fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel regulator pressure, flushed ma radiator, changed distributor cap spark plugs basically all maintenance stuff. What else can I do lol wack!
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
PROMECHANIC
  • MEMBER
There are several things I would try. The first thing is to clean the Idle Air Control Valve. It is located on the throttle body.
The next thing I would do is clean the MAF. It is located in the air intake hose. You can buy cleaner at most any auto parts store.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JOEINLELAND
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 179,000 MILES
I've had this problem for a couple of weeks. It cranks up normal, after the car warms up it doesn't run smoothly when the gas pedal is pushed. Also, when I park the car and shift it back to park, it rev's up to 2000 rpm and stays. If I shift it to drive or reverse, the engine stalls and won't crank up. Slight gas smell. I've replaced the spark plugs, fuel filter and pcv valve, and the mechanic has cleaned the throttle body and replaced the ignition coils. Any help would be appreciated.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ARC_55
  • MEMBER
I would look into testing the coolant temperature sensor as it sounds like you have a fueling issue. Based on how the coolant temperature sensor failed it can cause a rich condition. This will make it easier to start on cold starts but be actually over fueling when at operting temperature.

I would start there anyways based on what you have described.

I would also check for vacuum leaks
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-1
Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JBKB2121
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 294,000 MILES
I have a 1994 toyota camry that the engine died on while driving. When I try to start it it now makes a weird sound. Engine turns over but has no fire. Can someone give me some ideas on what to try to fix this?
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Do below to determine whether it's fuel or spark problem.

Cranks but no start condition:

Fuel and Spark:
Get a helper disconnect a sparkplug wire or 2 and ground it to the engine at least 3/16 away from ground -have helper crank engine over-do you have a snapping blue spark? If so-you have a fuel related problem, check the fuel pressure to rule out the fuel filter/fuel pump/pressure regulator and listen to the injector/s are they pulsing or hook up a noid light. No snapping blue spark continue to troubleshoot the ignition system-power input to the coil/coil packs, coil's resistances, distributor pick-up coil, ignition control module, cam and crank sensors and computer Note: If it doesn't apply disregard it.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
R. TATE
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
After being at highway speed and coming to a stop, the engine stumbles and cuts off. It will restart but not idle for several minutes. If left off for several minutes, it will restart and idle properly. Otherwise it runs perfectly.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi R. Tate,

Thank you for the donation.

The symptoms indicates a possible malfunction with the IAC. I would suggest cleaning the throttle body and IAC coupled with readjusting the the idling speed.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM (Merged)

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