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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 21727
Experience:  BEng, Repaired my own cars and others for 20 years, worked in Formula 1 for 10 years
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Tundra: When I started my '08 Tundra yesterday, it only drove

Customer Question

When I started my '08 Tundra yesterday, it only drove about 20 feet then hesitated and died. The A/T oil temp light and check engine light came on before it shut off and are still on along with the battery light. This same thing happened 1 year ago, and when the vehicle was left overnight it started and ran fine. The issue never happened again, until now. The engine turns over, but never starts.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


1st check for spark by removing one of the spark plugs and plug it back into its lead / coil and rest it on the metal of the engine ( DO NOT hold it on place by hand) then have your assistant turn the engine over whilst you watch the plug. It should give a fat blue spark at regular intervals.

If not then check that there's power to the coil pack using a meter. If there’s 12V at the pack but no spark then check the ECU power supply (fuse and relay) and also the connections to the crankshaft speed sensor.

If there is a spark and its still not starting then its likely that the ECU isn't opening the fuel injectors, if the injectors are working you can hear them click - its difficult to hear them with background noise so use a long screwdriver like a stethoscope, placing the handle end in your ear and the metal tip against the body of the injector whilst your assistant turns the engine over.

If you can't hear anything check the ECU power is present by measuring voltage at the fusebox and on its relay socket if OK then check the connections to the crank speed sensor and consider replacing this sensor if the wiring / connections look OK

If the car will start using a squirt of quick/ easi start into the intake then this confirms the problem is lack of fuel

Also its worth checking that the electric pump that feeds the injectors is working correctly, it should run for a few seconds then switch off when you first turn the ignition on. If you remove the filler cap to the fuel tank and listen inside while your assistant flicks the ignition you should hear it clearly

If the connections to this are corroded or damaged then the pump could stop at any time. Check that its relay switches in and out and the relay contacts are clean and bright – replace the relay if in any doubt and do the same for the fuse, ideally measure the voltage at the pump and check its getting 12V.

You should be getting around 3 bar measured at the injector rail check to see if the plugs are getting wet indicating fuel is flowing – if not and the injectors are opening then there’s a problem with the pump or the filter or even the pressure regulator

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have confirmed lack of fuel by squirting into the intake. It ran for a few seconds. I have already checked fuses and jumpered the fuel pump relay socket to test - did not start. I will check for injector operation, then check fuel pump operation and voltage.
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.

OK thats good progress

let me know what you find

Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


do you still need help?

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry for the late reply. Been out of town. Checked and verified fuel pump was running. Fuel rail was pressurized. Turns out I got a bad batch of fuel. Pumped out 3 or 4 gallons of water from bottom of tank before fuel started coming into line. Got it to run, but it ran rough for a while. Ran out most of bad fuel and refilled with fresh. All okay now.
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.

glad you got it sorted

I'd recommend to also replace the fuel filter and a bottle of 'dry fuel' or similar to help expunge any residual water