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Old 10-22-2010, 09:06 AM   #1
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Default 96 Toyota Camry not starting... stumped

alright im trying to help fix my roommates car and ive run out of ideas to try. the car still isnt starting. it turns over but no start.

he said it died on him in the middle of driving on the highway and needed a tow back.

weve tried jumping it, and i just replaced the alternator with still no start. i checked all the vaccumm hoses and everything looks good. we have a spark, im sure we have air, and we have fuel (smells a bit when we try to start it, nothing unusual though)

it doesnt seem like a starter, ive tried the tapping it while starting with no luck.


cliffs -


-died while driving
-turns over but doesnt start
-replaced alternator
-tried starting it with jumper cables attached
-im sure we have spark, fuel, and air
-fuses are all good

any ideas?
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:22 AM   #2
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timing belt?
do you have compression?

spray fuel into TB while cranking in case the FP is toast
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:27 AM   #3
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the belts look new, and theres a sticker over the timing belt stamped saying its been replaced.

havent checked compression, ill try the fuel in the TB to see if it starts
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:36 AM   #4
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Gas
Air
Spark



Sounds like an ignition issue, especially if you are smelling fuel, Coil pack/Rotor/cap? Check for frayed wires, etc

I've heard odd horror stories about air filters getting so clogged up that it caused no-starts.

*edit*

If its turning over, with no start, why did you replace the alternator? Cars *Can/Will* run off just the battery.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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i know thers a spark, i stuck a screwdriver in one of the plugs and turned it over lol got a little shock

and the car runs off the alternator AND the battery, you cant have one or the other (unless your alternator produces more power and is able to also power the extra electrical components which your battery usually takes care of)

the alternator does most of the heavy voltage while running and charges the battery. but the battery will run misc electronics and usually the car is dependent on that power source also #edit#to complete the circuit
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentd View Post
i know thers a spark, i stuck a screwdriver in one of the plugs and turned it over lol got a little shock

and the car runs off the alternator AND the battery, you cant have one or the other (unless your alternator produces more power and is able to also power the extra electrical components which your battery usually takes care of)

the alternator does most of the heavy voltage while running and charges the battery. but the battery will run misc electronics and usually the car is dependent on that power source also
What are you talking about?

My Ranger drove a solid Hour problem free on the Optima alone with the headlights and stereo on....
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasfinc View Post
What are you talking about?

My Ranger drove a solid Hour problem free on the Optima alone with the headlights and stereo on....
ugh lol here this is a common misconception, and it was only a limited time because the battery still had juice

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Most here find it impossible to accept that ALL electrics in a car are fed from the alternator while the engine is running and that the voltage prevailing in the circuits is close to 14 volts at such times, if not a tad higher!
If the battery were to feed the same loads, with engine off, the voltage would be 12 or lower!

The higher voltage source will feed all loads. This is not easy for many to digest!

If an alternator is malfunctioning or its capacity has been exceeded, the output voltage from it will drop. That is when the battery will start feeding the circuits, but will do so for a very limited time before it runs out of juice!
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Point # 1 - The alternator IS the primary source of electrical energy in the vehicle. It is the generator.
Point # 2 - The battery is a reservoir, an accumalator of charge. The battery supplies power one or more of three conditions are met; the engine is off, the electrical load exceeds that what the alternator is able to supply given a certain RPM AND if the alt is malfunctioning. The battery makes up for the deficit.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentd View Post
ugh lol here this is a common misconception, and it was only a limited time because the battery still had juice
You JUST said:


Quote:
Originally Posted by silentd View Post
i
and the car runs off the alternator AND the battery, you cant have one or the other (unless your alternator produces more power and is able to also power the extra electrical components which your battery usually takes care of)
I had simply stated that a car WILL Start and Run soley on the battery. A no-start condition will rarely, if ever, be caused by a bad alternator if you have a charged/good battery under the hood.

Maybe I'm wrong? But I've NEVER worked on a car that couldn't START AND RUN AND DRIVE on just the battery assuming it has a good charge...

I in NO way said that the Alternator doesn't provide voltage to the system, or that the battery was the 'primary'.

*edit*

I made a grammatical error on my first post, I changed it. I know cars use both, but they don't NEED an alternator to start/run/drive.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:05 AM   #9
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i wasnt specific enough, i should have said on SOME CARS the battery is required aswell as the alternator. some cars dont need the alternator or battery to run, ur correct.

but if your on only battery your very limited to the amount of driving time

same thing if your on just the alternator, you can run for awhile aslong as the rpms are high enough to produce enough voltage to power the car from just the alternator
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentd View Post
i wasnt specific enough, i should have said on SOME CARS the battery is required aswell as the alternator. some cars dont need the alternator or battery to run, ur correct
I'm almost entirely sure the Camry will run on just the Batt... Its a 'redundancy' system, cheaply wired/designed cars, or maybe specialty cars need both.

Either way, I'd still check the coil, You can get spark but with not enough Ohms it may still not fire. You can get the Ohm specs for the coil/pack online, or from Advanced/autozone.

HONESTLY, if the Timing belt was replaced recently, I'd say it could still be suspect... If a shop replaced it, but didn't replace the tensioner and it lets go, thats game-over for all of the valves.... Pull the cover, check for slack, Comp test will also give it away.

How low was he on gas when this happened? I've also heard of cars running till almost empty then sucking in all the crap off the bottom clogging up the filter/injectors.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:09 AM   #11
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um im not sure ill go check
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentd View Post
same thing if your on just the alternator, you can run for awhile aslong as the rpms are high enough to produce enough voltage to power the car from just the alternator
That is such bad news, I had that happen once, and it almost lit on fire, Kinda cool actually
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:16 AM   #13
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lil under half a tank. im gonna pull out the spark plugs and see how they look.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:18 AM   #14
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Sounds exactly what happened to my 97 camry. One of the coil packs failed, and the car died on me on 53 just north of Woodfield in the middle of a rainstorm. Had to have it towed, and fixed it myself the next day in the parking lot of the shop. If its the second pack, its the more expensive one.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:20 AM   #15
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Sounds exactly what happened to my 97 camry. One of the coil packs failed, and the car died on me on 53 just north of Woodfield in the middle of a rainstorm. Had to have it towed, and fixed it myself the next day in the parking lot of the shop. If its the second pack, its the more expensive one.
coil packs? i just see a distributor cap and wires
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:21 AM   #16
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coil packs? i just see a distributor cap and wires
97 is the first year of the 'new' style, the 96 is the 'soft' style IIRC.

Cap/rotor may still have problems causing the no-start.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:22 AM   #17
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There are 2 packs. Each poweres 2 plugs.

Unless Toyota changed things within the year, which is totally possible cause I think 96 was a previous bodystyle as well.

Finc Das beat me to it. It probably is different. Still something to look into. Cant be a coincidence that I had ignition problems that caused the car to just die while driving. POS Toyotas.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:28 AM   #18
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Lmao ya its a dis cap. I'm gonna pull it off and clean it. Same with the plugs and wires
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:31 AM   #19
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Was it throwing codes? I used a scanner to check and thats how I narrowed my problem.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:25 AM   #20
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no CELS..2 spark plugs had oil on them from overflow. cleaned them off but still no go.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:36 AM   #21
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oil on the tip or on the outside (spark plug tube seal leaks on toy's are common, so you almost always see the boot/plug outside the chamber covered in oil. is the oil on the tip/electrode?

did you try adding fuel and or checking compression?
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:59 AM   #22
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On the boot and threads. One had it on the tip but I think that was just from overflow as I removed it the others didn't. But they did smell like fuel.

Also it sounded like the fuel pump turned on. I haven't got the tools to check compression, ill rent one later today. I also sprayed starting fluid while cranking it with still nothing
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:17 PM   #23
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Quote:
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On the boot and threads. One had it on the tip but I think that was just from overflow as I removed it the others didn't. But they did smell like fuel.

Also it sounded like the fuel pump turned on. I haven't got the tools to check compression, ill rent one later today. I also sprayed starting fluid while cranking it with still nothing
Compression tester is $25.99 at advanced,

$10 off $25 or more is "BIG10" Discount code

Pick it up at your local store for like $16.XX (I just did this last night)
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:36 PM   #24
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or you can just shove the big end of an extension down into the plug tube and cover the spark plug hole and crank it over

i use my fingers as compression testers all the time on OHV engines
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:12 PM   #25
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These have an ignition module that goes bad. Very common problem on these. It will give off spark but either not enough or not at the right time.
I would suggest checking spark strength (there is a tool), fuel pressure, and compression.
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