1994 Toyota Corolla Good Cold But Shakes when Hot and durin

Tiny
GREATMELOD
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 247,000 MILES
3rd week of headache and hair lose. Down 500 dollars and still not fixed. Got laid off and cannot afford more fixes that don’t resolve the problem. Please help. The follow has been proofread four times and is worded very carefully.

The car works fine when cold but when the car reaches normal temperature there is sputtering / shaking / pinging / unsteady power when the car is idle and while accelerating.

This started occurring after I replaced the distributor due to the car being able to crank but not start up (which fixed the problem – this was done by a mechanic a friend recommended - he forgot the dusk cover one time and then he left out one of the screws that goes on the distributor cap *_*). The shaking most noticeable when I accelerate.

No engine light or anything else shows up on my dash. The car does not die. When the engine is just warm, it wouldn’t make vibrations when I put it in neutral, but once the engine is hot after driving for 25 minutes, it shakes/sputters in drive, neutral, reverse, and park. It shakes the most when I have been traveling at high speed and come to a stoplight. Then the car will idle really rough. When the car is moving, I can feel the shaking the most when it begins a gear. I can’t tell if it goes away after the beginnings of the revs or if the car is moving so fast I don’t notice the uneven acceleration. Feels the same when going uphill. There is no shaking if my foot is off the gas pedal. I have changed the transmission fluid 50K miles ago but I did not change the transmission filter.

I want to say that its not getting fuel but I can’t tell if it’s the catalytic converter or timing belt or bad fuel. I thought about it being the transmission but I thought that if that were the case, why wouldn’t it shake in park while it is in the driveway and when the engine is cold? I also notice that there is a faint hissing sound coming out from my muffler. I notice the sound changes when I step on the gas. The sound of the hissing gets louder when I rev the car. I don’t think its due to a hole puncture as my muffler does not sound loud.

I had the whole distributor changed (as far as I can tell from the outside it looks brand now), changed the: ignition rotor, distributor cap, spark plugs, spark plug wires, PCV & hose, fuel filter, 02 oxygen sensor, cleaned the: Intake Manifold, Throttle Body, EGR, EGR hoses, air charge sensor (the one in the air filter box). Cleaned the Idle Air Control and tested it with a multimeter. Cleaned the throttle position sensor but did not know how to test it. Cleaned the Vehicle Speed and MAP Sensor with electronic parts cleaner but did not know how to test those either. I wanted to check fuel pressure but I don’t know how to do it. I installed a new fuel filter but it didn’t make a difference so I returned the new one and put the old one back on.

No fuel present in the hose that connects the fuel pressure regulator to the intake manifold after it has been running.

For the Idle Air Control, it seemed to be working properly as it opened up a lot more after I cleaned the carbon that was stuck at the bottom around of the metal door. I thought it was normal that it didn’t close all the way since it came to that position every time, whereas before the cleaning when I put it on the multimeter the door would open slowly. Now it opens and closes quickly.)

Things to mention:

Something I thought I mention is that when I changed the fuel pump, the fuel was open to air for an hour or so. And then I put a towel over the opening as I went inside to eat and then to AutoZone to go buy the new fuel pump. My brother told me that the fuel would only go back if I left it open to exposed air for days.

I also put Lucas Fuel Treatment into the tank before all of this occurred.

I opened my radiator cap and noticed there was orange coloring around the bottom of the cap and the water looks tinted orange. I’m not too sure if that was the color of the coolant from the previous owner or if the water is dirty.

Sometimes after traveling at high speed, if I put it into neutral it will stop idling rough. But usually it will just idle slightly bad rather than rough like it does in drive. Also, now and then when I put the car into neutral at the light, the idle will go up and down.

All this movement and unsteadiness seems to come from the front part of the car. But I cannot differentiate from the transmission area or the engine area as my 94 corolla is light and can move easily, even from cars passing by me.

I am sure the hoses to the fuel filter are on right and tight.

I’ve checked batter voltage, alternator, cylinder compression,

Although the acceleration is uneven, there is still power.

After all the changes the car is more powerful and zippy. I can hear the system breathing better. But vibration occurs.

0000000000000000000000

All give any informative as you want. I notice a lot of little things so if you have any detailed questions I would be glad to try to explain it to you or go to the car and find out.

The things I think are on the plate are timing belt? Coolant temp sensor? Catalytic converter? Did I get a faulty distributor? Please help.

Blessings,

Doyle
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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 AT 9:25 PM

18 Replies

Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
I would concentrate on the dist. Since this is the part that started all the problems.

Use an inductive timing light and put pickup clamp on each wire, watch light pulses during one of the shaking events, if pulse is eratic on one or all cylinders, it is most likely dist. Or bad electrical connections to it. Did the new dist. Come with a new ignitor?
Check timing, by shorting Te1 and E1 on diagnostic port, set at 10 degrees BTDC.
I would remove the timing belt cover and check the condition of the timig belt, but generally they will make a lot of valve noise if a "tooth" is broken. If spark impulses are eratic, I would take dist. Back and warranty it out as defective.

If the O2 sensor is a one wire type, it must heat up to 600 degrees F before it will go into closed loop, so it may be a bad O2 sensor.

You say you cleaned the MAP sensor? If you sprayed a cleaner into the MAP you may have caused it to fail, they are not serviceable other than cleaning the electrical connections. Make sure the vacuum line to the MAP is not leaking.

If you suspect the CAT, then unbolt it at front and look inside, if you see the material cracked, melted, then the CAT is bad.

If the negative battery cable was not disconnected during the initial dist. Change it may be an ECM problem.

Best thing to do for parts is go to a "U Pull It" and get used parts, they should be pretty cheap, just ask if the engine was running when brought in. Get the relay/fuse assy (the entire box) from a car also. I picked one up for $10. You can also get parts from a 1994 Geo Prizm, since they are mechanicaly idendical.

Look for a fuel pressure test port on the rail to test fuel pressure, if none, then there is a special tool set required to test fuel pressure. The cold start valve is removed at rail and a special connector is screwed in its place and connected to the test gauge. You may be able to find a metric thread to barbed hose connection at a hardware store and make your own, or get a used cold start valve at the junk yard, cut the tube and double clamp some FI rated hose to it and then to a gauge (do not start engine because the connection to the intake is open and will cause a high idle).

If you can, check compression on each cylinder.

Finally do one thing at a time, do not change multiple parts all at once, you want to isolate the problem.
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 7:24 AM
Tiny
GREATMELOD
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DX 1.8 Liter 7AFE

I dont know if it came with a new ignitor since a mechanic bought the distrubutor and installed it. He told me it was a new distributor so I assume so. One thing about the new distributor is that it looks really big and generic compared to the OEM denso distributor

for the MAP (my car has an air charge sensor instead of a MAP) I only sprayed it on the connector and not the sensor.

What do I do if it were to be an ECM problem?

I have already checked cylinder compression and it is good

Thanks - Just wanted to be clear on the directions before the week ends and I start checking everything tonight (I can't start a new job without the car) and tomarrow
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 3:46 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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I think I would return the distributor and get a Denso reman'd unit, or get a dist from a junkyard and install it.

Call a junkyard and see what ECM's are interchangeable with your car, get a used one from a running car, if you need it, but,

I think the dist. Is the problem, it is the wrong part.

One problem you run into in reman'd parts is that a store sells a dist, there is a core charge. The buyer is supposed to return the correct dist. In the box the reman'd unit came from. If they put in a dist from similar vehicle in the core box, it would be sent to remanufacturer as the original part and resold as original part even though it is not.

I have seen this many times on Toyota's especially on alternators. I bought one (alt.) For a 91 Corolla last year that had an EXTERNAL fan and wasn't even close to the original Denso.
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Saturday, January 24th, 2009 AT 8:45 AM
Tiny
GREATMELOD
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Oh I see I see. Thanks for telling me. I called the guy up that changed the distributor. He and his fellow mechanic took a look. At first, he told me it was the distributor cap and rotor. They went with me to go exchange the parts at AutoZone. That did not fix the problem. They then told me they will come back on Monday to check out the distributor.

Last night I checked the O2 sensor, cat. Converter, and timing and they were okay.

Oh okay gotcha. There are a few "Pick Your Part" junk yards an hour away from me in several directions. Do you think it would be a good idea to grab an old distributor and check if another works fine in the car before they come on Monday? Btw I've never installed a distributor before. I don't really know what is good/what parts to check.
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Saturday, January 24th, 2009 AT 3:31 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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If you can pick up the correct dist. Cheap, then by all means get one. Have the mechanics install if you are unsure about installation. Most Toyota distributors can only be installed correctely or 180 degrees out, but they can be rotated to the point it would not start.
Ask the U pull it people if the car was not running when it was junked, what was the problem.

Usually they will mark windshield with "engine not running", so avoid those. Also look at 94 Geo prizm's, they are mechanically identical to the Corolla, built in same factory (N.U.M.M.I.).
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Sunday, January 25th, 2009 AT 8:11 AM
Tiny
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O I see I see I see. Thanks bro. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Sunday, January 25th, 2009 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
GREATMELOD
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So the mechanic seems like hes trying to avoid replacing the distributor. I feel like I have to keep on hounding him to do anything. Its not too hard for him to exchange the distributor is it? I'm pretty sure its new/remanufactured one that they just bought and not a used part they got somewhere.

Pardon my rookie question, but which of the markings mean top dead center? And which parts are the "gear drive" and the "drive?" I bought a $100 book for my auto class a few years back and that it this doesn't give me much information for this part. He made markings on the valve cover to match with the old distributor but I dont know what to match those with for this different distributor. I just really want to check on the guy's work myself to see if he did it right. I get bothered by ppl that do monkey business on my car when I myself want to get it right as possible -_- oh also, after this distributor replacement, if that does not cure the problem, what part you think I should inspect next? Just wanted to ask ahead of time in just in case you're only able to check back into the website once tomarrow.
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Monday, January 26th, 2009 AT 7:39 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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When installing a dist. You put engine to TDC#1. The mark on the crank pulley aligns with a mark on the oil pump housing.
The dist. Rotor should be pointing at #1 cylinder wire on cap.
You mark the relationship of the dist. To its position on the head before removal, then try to put new dist in as close to old one as possible. Rotor on new dist. Should point at #1 cylinder wire on cap.
Connect wires to dist. Install wires to plugs, connect negative battery cable. Car should start. When warm shut it off and short Te1 and E1 on diagnostic port, start car and set mechanical timing (10 degrees BTDC).

My point is that since this problem starter AFTER the dist. Install, it is more than logical to assume that something went wrong with the install, or the dist is the wrong one.

It is also possible that when they removed it they damaged some wiring or maybe a sensor, or did not remove the negative battery cable and caused a short, many things are possible, but I think it is all related (directly or indirectly) to the dist. Install.
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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 11:32 AM
Tiny
GREATMELOD
  • MEMBER
Oh I see thank you. I was in the driveway and watched him remove the distributor. He did not remove the negative battery terminal when he took out the distributor.

Update 3:45 PM: They replaced the distributor and it stilll shakes / Jolts / sputters. What do you think I should check for now?
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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 3:58 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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Disconnect the neg. Battery cable for a minute or so, this will reset the ECM.

If no change.

Check spark to each cylinder, and fuel pressure with a mechanical gauge.
Make sure plugs are not loose. Check compression on each cylinder.
Short Te1 and E1 on diagnostic port, turn ign. On and count flashes for any codes (flash. Pause. Flash, flash) is code 12, each code is repeated 3 times.
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Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 AT 8:12 AM
Tiny
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Ckecked all that and no error codes show up
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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 5:25 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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Take it back to the mechanics that repaired it and have them diagnose it and repair at their cost.

So many things have been changed, it is hard to pinpoint the problem.

You may have to have the ECM scanned with an OBDI scanner in live data to see if the ECM is the problem.

If fuel pressure is good, compression is good, spark is good, car should run good.

If equipped with EGR remove and clean it, if EGR is flowing at idle, it will cause bad idle.

Did you check backpressure on CAT?
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Sunday, February 1st, 2009 AT 7:16 AM
Tiny
GREATMELOD
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How do I check the backpressure on the CAT? I think the EGR is good. I sprayed carb cleaner through it. How do I know if its working right? When I push the diagphram up, it does go back down freely. Nothing looks clogged.
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Sunday, February 1st, 2009 AT 2:59 PM
Tiny
GREATMELOD
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The seems to be running back to normal. Just one thing: When I let it idle the first time, there was this really high pitch loud machine sounding noise. I shut it off right away. I checked the enginge bay. No smoke or signs of anything. I turned it back on and it didn't do it anymore since that one time.

Also when I was at the drive thru tonight, the car died on me twice while I was waiting. Any clue why?
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 AT 11:41 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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The high pitched whine is most likely a bearing (alt, WP etc), check all the belt tensions.

You check the CAT by removing the O2 sensor and screwing in a pressure gauge, looking for abnormally high readings.

As I have said before GreatMeloD, this problem started when the dist. Was changed. That is what I would consider the root of the problem.
When the car dies, it loses ign, fuel or air. The EGR will kill the engine if it flows ANY EG at idle.
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Thursday, February 5th, 2009 AT 8:36 AM
Tiny
GREATMELOD
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Hi mmprince4000. I see I see I see. Yeah I remember the things you tell me. I often go back into the house to re-read the instructions you give me. I understand that the distributor is most likely the problem.

So the car runs better now. There is no more unsteady idle or acceleration after the replacing the distributor again. But it stalled a few times at idle (did not do that before). I'll check all the things again right now and let you know if I find anything
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Thursday, February 5th, 2009 AT 2:03 PM
Tiny
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How can I check if the ignitor is functioning properly? Module?
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Friday, February 13th, 2009 AT 2:44 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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Most ignition modules can be checked by autoparts stores for free.

Having said that, on these model Toyota's it is actually cheaper to buy the entire dist. w/module rather than module alone.

Module alone $354:


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/108325_module_1.jpg



New dist. w/module $352:


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/108325_dist_with_module_1.jpg

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+1
Saturday, February 14th, 2009 AT 6:00 AM

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