Engine Performance problem
1999 Toyota Camry 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 141000 miles
I recently replaced the fuel injectors on my V-6 Solara due to intermittent running/missing problems. The dealer had looked at the car a few times, but finally concluded that injector replacement was the next step, at a cost of $1500. The problem was that the dealer could not guarantee that this repair would solve the intermittent running/miss problem. I was not willing to spend $1500 without some sort of guarantee. I decided to tackle injector replacement myself, and purchased re-manufactured injectors, and the intake gaskets.
I took many reference pictures before beginning to ensure all hoses and connections were reassembled properly. I had to remove the intake air plenum to replace the rear injectors, but this went smoothly.
The biggest problems were trying to remove the filter, and removing the rear plenum support bracket hardware. I now know why the dealer never seemed eager to replace the engine compartment fuel filter, the fuel line fitting was very tight and had rusted in place.
The engine started and seemed to run great. The dealer's diagnosis seems to be correct, the intermittent missing problem has not reoccurred. There has been no further check engine light warnings either. Now, there is only one problem that was not occurring before fuel injector replacement: excessive cranking before the engine starts, hot or cold. I have looked over the engine a few times and compared my pre-repair pictures, I didn't see any obvious mistakes. The check engine light has not come on, so I don't think I left any sensors/actuators unplugged.
My better half wants me to return the car to the dealer, so they can figure out what "I did wrong". I am hesitant only because I feel the dealer probably does not want to get involved with a home mechanic repair. So, please let me know where to begin. Will I need special scanners/testers to check the systems, or are there things I can look at with basic tools.
I appreciate the advice guys, but you aren't giving me much to go on.
I don't think this model has a "cold start injector", perhaps I'm wrong.
And, there is no dedicated fuel system tap to check fuel pressure. The only connection point seems to be at the fuel filter, which has a crazy plastic pipe/oring connection. I'm guessing you need a specific adapter to check fuel pressure, and isolate the injectors from the regulator to check for leak down. The car does seem like it is flooded when it starts, so injector lea kdown could be the issue.
I finally gave in, and brought the car back to the dealer to let them check the pressure. I will replace the injectors again if they feel the "re-manufactured injectors" I installed are leaking down. The car seems to run/idle fine once started, and there is no check engine warning, which is why I suspected a IAC problem. But anything is possible. Please let me know if there is a reasonably priced fuel pressure test adapter kit for this car. I will let you know what the dealer finds.
October, 10, 2008 AT 4:55 PM
Well, I would have looked at the regulator, especially if it's a hard start after a soak. The adapter is available at Toyota parts, I dont think it's too expensive, No there is no cold start injector on yours, a gauge is available here at a reasonable price.
Thanks so much for your detailed explanation concerning checking fuel pressure. I took the car back to the dealer today to have them replace the "flex pipe" and paid them to check out the fuel pressure. I got your reply tonight after returning from the dealer.
The running pressure was within book specs, and the leakdown (after shutting the engine off), did not exceed book specs either. The technician gave me a copy of the svc manual page describing the procedure, and his results. So, I am reasonably confident that the injectors are not leaking down flooding the engine. The dealer did not look into the hard start symptom any further due to time constraints. So, I have the car back again, it is quieter, but starts only after excessive cranking.
Thank you for supplying the pressure test adapter number, I will order one from the dealer.
So, what is the logical next step? I still suspect the IAC valve may be sticky or stuck, perhaps I messed it up while spraying and cleaning the throttle valve. I had previously removed the electro-manetic IAC actuator and discovered that it is not directly connected to the actual IAC valve. So, I am assuming that if the mechanism was jammed, or movement is restricted, there would be no fault code triggered (no check engine light).
Once again, I am suspect of the IAC because the cold idle is not as high as it was prior to injector replacement. I have a 5-speed which usually idles at about 1800 when cold, the cold idle is now about 1400. I have checked out my work several times, and honestly can't find anything obvious that I messed up while doing the job. Is it possible that I received the wrong injectors from the remanufacturing service? Are there different injectors used for the manual/automatic models?
I was going to buy a used throttle valve off ebay, there were several listed for my car. But, the various auctions were for automatic throttle valves. The sellers insisted that 5-speed models used a different throttle valve than automatics. Let me know what you think, and thanks for sticking with me. Don
October, 11, 2008 AT 8:52 PM
A bad IAC can cause hard starts, so can the ECT and a bad EWGR and PCV.
October, 12, 2008 AT 9:04 AM
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly Merlin.I see you are located in Boston, I work out of Logan and live in Providence.
I will disassemble the IAC after I buy the gaskets, I suspect that I may have messed it up while cleaning the throttle valve.
I surely understand how the ECT could be causing a problem. I also understand why there is no check engine light if the sensor is "not out of range". I will look in the manual to see if I can find some cold/hot resistance readings for the ECT (I don't have a scan tester).
I am assuming the EGR should be "closed" when starting, I will look in the manual to see if there is some way to check that out without a scan tester. I did have to disconnect the EGR exhaust tube connector when I did the job, so maybe I disturbed the EGR.
I did check the PCV when I replaced the injectors, it was clean and working OK, perhaps the hose got split or is leaking, will check that out again.
I will get back to you once I have looked at these things.
October, 12, 2008 AT 9:12 AM
Heres the range chart for the ECT.
October, 12, 2008 AT 3:23 PM
Thanks for the graph, I check the ECT cold, was about 3000 ohms, hot was about 200 ohms. So, that seems to say there is no problem with the ECT.
I also looked at the "throttle cracking system".I'm not sure just what it is supposed to do, but it looks like the throttle was slightly cracked when the engine wasn't running, and closed (against the stop) with the engine idling. So, it seems like this system is working OK. And no, I did not mess with the throttle stop adjustment, the yellow sealer is still in place.
I ordered the throttle body and IAC gaskets this morning, they will be here on Tuesday. I am hoping to find a problem here that is keeping the IAC from opening completely. I am guessing the car wouldn't idle correctly if the IAC wasn't closing completely, perhaps I loosened up some debris (or maybe a bristle from the parts cleaner brush I used) which is keeping the IAC from opening completely.
I have to drive to Logan tomorrow, so I didn't want to disassemble the IAC today without replacement gaskets.
Thanks again for sticking with me, I tried to give you "my one point", but the system said I have no points.I hope I can help you out someday, I used to be the OMC (Evinrude/Johnson outboard) service rep for the area. So, please let me know if you ever have questions about OMC outboards. Don
October, 13, 2008 AT 10:11 PM
All the ideas are great and well thought out however I do have one question. You said the fuel filter was rusted a bit where it hooked to the fuel lines but you didn't say weather or not you replaced it. If you didn't replace the fuel filter and it is that old then it is time. Just another idea and I didn't see an answer as to the fuel being replaced or not.