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Dj, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 1910
Experience:  ASE Master Tech, 30+ years in automotive repair.
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Toyota: I have a 1995 Toyota Camry XLE and it has a ghost somewhere.

Customer Question

I have a 1995 Toyota Camry XLE and it has a ghost somewhere. Nearly new engine with what I have replaced. I replace something and it runs for a while and then shuts off at the most inopportune times. I just got through jumping B+ and fp like you advised someone else. no go. Right now cranks over but no start.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for requesting me.
The engine needs compression, spark and fuel to keep running. There's no reason to think that the engine is losing compression.
That leaves fuel or spark. We can determine which one by spraying starting fluid into the air flow meter when the engine doesn't want to run. If the engine starts and runs a few seconds, then we know that the engine isn't getting fuel.
If the engine doesn't start, then we know that it's most likely a spark problem.
So let's try some starter fluid and see what happens. So you have a volt meter or a test light?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have all tools required to totally rebuild car. I am Isuzu npr mech. this car just has me baffled. will try start fluid and get back to you
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
Great, let me know what happens.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK car sputtered a bit but did not attempt to start
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
If it sputtered, did it sound like it was actually firing? If it's firing then it's got spark. Have you pulled the plugs to see if they are wet?
Let's check the voltages in the diagnosis connector.
With the key on, check:
B+ should be battery voltage.
E1 should be 0 volts. No more than 0.1 volt max.
E2 same thing, zero volts.
Does your check engine light come on with the key? Does it stay on?
Have you tried pulling codes? Jumper E1 to TE1 and watch the check engine light, it will blink a two digit code. Blink pause blink blink blink would be code 14.
Probe the yellow-blue wire at the air flow meter. With the key on and the vane halfway open, what is the voltage on the yellow- blue wire.
Probe the solid yellow wire on the TPS. What is the voltage with the key on and the throttle halfway open?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will get back to you, that will take bit.
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
Hopefully the problem will be the first thing you check.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just checked code and it is 1-2
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am beginning to suspect the ECM because it doesn't appear to be getting fuel or fire. New timing belt by the way. used light tester and found 12 v or there about (because of brightness) going into ECM. Plugs were dry and pulled plug and turned engine over, no fire. What do you think?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just for added reference, I purchased an OBD1 reader that I can use in my work and plugged it in but will not read ECM. It says no response from ECM.
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
This vehicle has a fairly primitive self testing system so I'm not surprised that your scan tool doesn't work.
Code 12 indicates that the signal from the distributor isn't getting to the ECU.
The first thing is to check and make certain that the distributor is turning when the engine is turning. Check the wiring to the distributor to see if it's pinched or cut. Make certain the connector is plugged all the way in.
You've replaced the distributor so it's probably good, but still a possibility.
Pull the EFI fuse, wait a couple of minutes and put the fuse back in. This should clear the code.
Then turn the key to the run position WITHOUT ENGAGING THE STARTER.
Jumper TE1 to E1 and see if there are any codes. It should just blink 1 1 1 1 1...
Then pull the jumper and try to start the car. You have to let it crank for at least 5 seconds, twice.
Then check for codes again. We need to see if the code 12 is current and what triggers it.
If it throws code 12 again, then we're going to have to do some serious testing of the wiring.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As you said, I pulled EFI fuse and code went to 1111 but when I turned it over returned to 12 code
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
Since it's reading the code, the ECU is most likely working correctly. So look the distributor over carefully.Do you have access to a volt ohm meter?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's late here so give me an idea and I will check it out in the morning
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
If there's no distributor signal to the ECU there will be no spark and no fuel injection pulse.
To check the distributor:
Check the air gap between the pickup coil and the signal generator (star gear). Should be 0.016"
Check the resistance on the pickup coils. The resistance should be between 205 and 255 ohms.
Lock Tab
G1 to G(-) = 205-255 ohms
G2 to G(-) = 205-255 ohms
NE to G(-) = 205-255 ohms
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I checked all this stuff and seems to be what you described.
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
I'm out of ideas on this and I'm going to put your question back into the expert pool.
Please don't respond to this message or it will lock up your question.
I'm sorry I couldn't help you on this one.