1999 Toyota Corolla No compression only on cold start

Tiny
MKS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 110,000 MILES
1999 1.8 liter 4cyl 110k mi runs flawlessly when started from warm but hit the starter after it sits a few hours and the engine merely spins as if there's no compression at all.
Engine's not using oil, nor antifreeze, battery fully charged. Seems like a compression release is engaged but slowly releases as starter is held for 15-30 seconds at which point the engine slowly starts to hit and will then slowly start. No smoke from exhaust, no knocking or missing when running. Restarts immediately when warm and runs like a top.

Is there a check valve that keeps oil up in the lifters or a solenoid that releases compression to assist a start? I need your help. Could the starter be getting flakey?Thanks for a quick reply
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Thursday, April 16th, 2009 AT 11:04 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
I would first go to your local parts store and have the starter tested and make sure that you explain your problem so they can test it more then once to simulate it getting warmed up. I think that maybe when the starter is warm it isn't engaging to the flywheel so that the starter is spinning but is not turn the engine over because it isn't engaging to the flywheel or flexplate. Let me know what you find and we will go from there.
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Thursday, April 16th, 2009 AT 11:09 AM
Tiny
MKS
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From a cold start I can hear the starter engage and the motor turning over with ease, as if there's no compression. Until it slowly starts to get compression a little bit at a time. Seems as if when the engine turns over and oil pressure increases the lifters start to pump up and the engine will slowly start. Unfortunately it's a somewhat random occurrence but nearly every cold start.

The starter doesn't grind or jump in and out making any indications of pending failure. But it's an easier thing to check. Although it seems a long shot.
Thanks for the VERY prompt answer. Wow. Any other thoughts appreciated.
MKS
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Thursday, April 16th, 2009 AT 11:25 AM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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Have a compression test performed on the engine, this is a good starting point.

If this is 1.8 VVTi engine, it may be a problem with VVTi system, but there is no compression release.

If mechanical compresion is good then go to ignition system and fuel system.
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Friday, April 17th, 2009 AT 6:39 AM
Tiny
MKS
  • MEMBER
I know it's a 1.8 but I can't say if it's a VVTi. I assume it stands for variable valve timing? This isn't a high perf model by any means, only a modest commuter so I wonder where it'd be labeled as a VVTi engine, where would this variable module be and could it be disabled.

I'll do a compression test on it this wknd but it runs flawlessly once it's running(no smoke/oil use/missing/excess noise). Did I read the compression should run up to 110lbs or about?

Thanks so much for everyones input.
MKS
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Friday, April 17th, 2009 AT 9:45 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
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Ok do the compression test cold then get it running and warmed up and do one warm. Get back to me with the figures and we will go from there.
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Friday, April 17th, 2009 AT 10:49 AM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Do as racefan966 suggested and post compression test.

The 1.8 VVTi should say "1.8VVTi" on plastic valve cover, and stands for variable valve timing.
Toyota switched to this engine as standard engine in 99 or '00.
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Saturday, April 18th, 2009 AT 5:27 AM

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