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  #1  
Old 04-07-2008, 11:57 PM
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Default 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

Hi Friends,

I need your help and suggestion. I have a 95 Camry, LE, automatic, 4cyl with 130k miles on it. It was running very smooth so far. I went to pizza hut along with friends on last Friday night and just before Pizza hut I was waiting for a stop light. All of a sudden the engine stalled. I tried restarting and I could see the engine try to stop, but with lower gear I was able to drive another 400 feet in front of the pizza hut parking lot. I had pizza and hoping that it would start. I was never able to start the car. That night (Last Friday), I came home with the help of my friends and started reasearching internet on possible causes. I found this site and read lot of different problems people posted and I thought mine could be with ECT sensors. I infact went ahead and bought the ECT sensor myself. But the next day morning (Saturday morning 04/05/08) I could not get the car started. Then I searched for the local mechanic and found one. Since he was closeby, he came in to the pizzahut parking lot and try to start the car and inspected spark plugs and other basic things. then, he had some pipe and he asked me to start the car while he hit something at the bottom using that pipe (I guess, he tried hitting the fuel pump or something). The car started without any problem. He asked me to drive to his garage, but while going to his garage which is a mile apart, the car stopped twice. using the same technic we started the car and took it to the garage.

upon inspecting, he told me that I need to replace the fuel pump + fuel filter. It cost me $400 and I just took the car today afternoon around 2pm. The car ran ok till I reached office. i parked there for about 4 hours and started to go home. But the car refused to start again. I got so annoyed and frustratedafter spending $400 and within 4 hours the car is not starting again. I tried reaching out to the mechanic, but not able to get him.

meanwhile, is there any suggestions? I have my car parked in office and with help from my friends I came home. I need to figure out what could be the possible problem? In fact, today, i could see lot of fuel smell when I tried starting the car.

Please help!!

Thanks...
Steve..

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  #2  
Old 04-08-2008, 07:40 AM
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Default RE: 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

Not easy to tell if it's the fuel pump/circuit without testing components. I doubt filter as that would not behave like this.

"while he hit something at the bottom using that pipe " At the bottom of what? The fuel pump is in the gas tank and accessable from the top of the tank under the seat. Hitting the starter can get you going sometimes if it's the starter. Does the car turn over but just won't start or does it not even turn over? Components in fuel circuit include; EFI Main Relay, Circuit Opening Relay, Fuses, Fuel Pump, Fuel Lines. Bad ground could also cause this. The fuel smell could be leaking fuel filter he just replaced but did not install properly or a rusted fuel line. If the fuel's leaking from a pressure line then it's possible you won't build enough pressure to run the car. Check spark, if strong spark check fuel.

Since you already paid $400 to have an "expert" fix this then I would take it back to him. If it turns out not to be the fuel pump/filter I'd get my money back - he's supposed to be a mechanic after all.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

All - Today morning I tried starting the car and it started in the first attempt. I didnt drive the car to office as I dont want to face problems when it stalls in between. I could not start the car y'day after I drove for 6 miles and stopped for around 45mins before restarting. I am guessing this must be something to do with ECTsensor-- Cold start -ok, but when the engine is warm or hot, it would not start. I am going to start the car in the afternoon and leave it running for about 10 mins or so before taking to the mechanic. Any other advice or suggestions?

Thanks everyone!
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2008, 01:39 PM
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Default RE: 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

You did not sayif the engine turns over attempting to start or whether it does not turn over. Car not turning over when hot points to starter. Don't rush to ECT.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:21 PM
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Default RE: 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

Can you explain better what item (or area) the mechanic hit with the pipe? Was this inside the engine compartment, back at the fuel tank, under the car, or?

As Pedro states, the mechanic should have known better and smelling fuel in the engine compartment is not normal. Have the shop fix it right this time. Set up an appointment, then drive directly to the shop. They can install a fuel pressure gauge to check pressure when restarting after a few hours.

Unless burning very dirty gas! rarely does a fuel filter get plugged on Camry.

Depending what area the mechanic was hitting there are a few things you can try yourself the next time the car will not start but need to know the general area first.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:12 PM
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Default RE: 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

Hi - first, I was able to start the car in the afternoon and drove right to the mechanic shop. Just in front of the mechanic shop, it stalled and came to a stop as soon as I put the parking gear. (Thank god!). I was driving about 12 miles before this happened and I could feel 1 or 2 times that the car was trying to stallwhile driving those 12 miles. He checked the car and now says that the distributor is not good.. He showed me while trying to start the car. It had some sparks, but not sure how much it is supposed to spark. I told him repetatively that there could be some issue with temperature sensor (ECT). But he is not listening.. he tried replacing a temp sensor from another vehicle and told me that even without that the car is starting! (I think I need to change the mechanic for sure). He tried changing to another used distributor and drove the car for a while. He told me that it stalled twice and he wanted me to leave the car so that he can change the distributor.

I am still not sure whether changing the distributor will fix the problem. Because, the car is starting ok when it is cold. If the distributor is not good then it wont start or run...

in any case, is changing the distributor going to fix this problem? any idea? (He says that he can get a distributor from wreck for about $175.).. I left the car in his shop as I have no choice.. any idea?

on the other question - he tried hitting the car below the driver seat (not in the engine compartment) to get it started before replacing the fuel pump.

He also showed me the computer diagnosis. I was there with him when he did that and it didn't show nothing.. all normal!

anyway, thanks folks for helping me..



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  #7  
Old 04-08-2008, 07:56 PM
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Default RE: 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

It sounds like the mechanic is guessing at the problem!

The cars on-board diagonostic system does not monitor all systems. And for those systems it does monitor typically it requires a few cycles to trip a code(s). Meaning if the problem only happens once it may not trip a code. It needs to happen several times within predetermined conditions (MPH, RPM, coolant or air temp, etc) before a code will be set.

Thus not having a trouble code listed (or Check Engine Light on-or off for that matter) does or does not mean every system is working OK The onboard system is there basically to monitor items linked to auto emissions.

The ECT sensor should not cause the car to stall or not start when warm because the computer will reset to a failsafe mode if the parts fails such as now assuming the coolant temp is 150F (just a guess) and adjusting everything using that temp.

A bad ECT may cause cold starting issues because it turns on the cold start injector system to aid in starting the engine much like a choke on older cars.

There are a few trouble codes for the ignition system.

The test for ign spark is to remove the wire going to the distributor and hold it about 1/2 inch from a ground point on the chassis. When engine cranking there should be a spark jumping between the end of the wire and ground.

Typically on engines with poor spark the coil is bad.

After the repairs please post back with the results.




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  #8  
Old 04-10-2008, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

Finally, the mechanic ended up changing the distributor and replaced ECT sensor. In total it cost me about $600!! I took the car today and it is running ok. I am hoping that all the issues are fixed. Thanks everyone for your suggestions... highly appreciated..

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Old 04-10-2008, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: 95 Camry - won't start.. replaced fuel pump, but only worked for few hours

I bet it was the coil and I bet he replaced the ECT because you were so stuck on it.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:34 PM
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:34 PM
 
 
 
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