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1990 Camry Possible Water Damage

Old 07-06-2012, 03:05 PM
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Question 1990 Camry Possible Water Damage

What's up fellow camry enthusiasts,

I am a complete novice when it comes to fixing cars, but I would like to learn and I figured the most recent issue with my car would be a good place to start. I have a 1990 camry with a 2.5L V6 engine, which I took to a friend for an oil change and maintenance check. All was well until he thoroughly pressure washed everything the under the the hood and underneath the car, and afterwards my car would turn over, but not start. After some drying the car started, but was sputtering along in an odd way and when idling the engine pulsated. He also tightened the screw on a piece that i do not know the name of, but it sits on top of a metal coil and when you press down on it the engine revs. We figured something might just be wet so we let it sit in front of my house for a day, and upon trying to start it this morning it would again turn over but not completely start. I feel it's pretty safe to assume that the water has either caused some sort of damage or knocked something loose, but I was wondering where I should begin to check or if any of you could pinpoint the problem based off of the information given. Any help is appreciated and thanks in advance.

Old 07-06-2012, 03:08 PM
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Post Follow Up

Also, the car has a small oil leak from the engine due to the previous owner driving up a curb while drunk, and the transmission has been replaced, but this has not yet caused any complications.
Old 07-06-2012, 10:01 PM
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The engines no start, poor running issues are common after a very aggressive pressure washing. Most likely water has gotten into an electrical connection or other part.

Are you stating if you push down on something the engine begins to run OK? Is this the ign coil, looks like a tube with a ign cable (looks like a spark plug cable) running out?

If so you can remove the ign cable from the coil to check for water inside the coil where this cable wire plugs into. The cable connection may have a push to release system thus don't just start pulling on things. Spray WD-40 into the plug, onto the ign cable end and onto to exterior of the coil to displace any moisture.

Moisture in the ignition system can cause electrical arcing and make a weak ign system or damaged coil function poorly. If possible try starting the engine when the area is dark.

As the engine sputters along look for electrical arcing. If you find this spray WD-40 into the area. This will displace the moisture however you will still need to find the cause of the arcing which might be bad plug wires or a cracked coil body.

If the coil is not the issue in the area of the coil is the igniter box. This controls the coil. Unplug the connector from the igniter and apply spray.

Water could also have gotten inside the distributor cap. Remove the cap and check.

Check the MAF sensor electrical connection. This is box placed in the large air intake hose between the air cleaner box and throttle body. The throttle body is mounted on the engine itself and has a pulley where the throttle cable attaches to. Have someone press on the throttle as you watch the engine to locate this. Unplug the electrical connection to the MAF sensor

As stated previous, moisture can cause ign system issues. It also can get into the electrical plug connections. You need to start checking ign system components, connections, etc. Unplug the various electrical connectors and spray them with WD-40. Take note these connectors have some kind of press to release mechanism thus don't just try to pull it off.

For the oil leak check the oil pan under the car for damage. Hitting a curb could have put a small hole in the pan. If so, it can be removed and repaired via brazing or welding.

If you are going to keep the car buy a Haynes repair manual for this year/model (under $20) to learn the basics.

Last edited by toyomoho; 07-06-2012 at 10:03 PM.
Old 07-07-2012, 10:21 PM
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Default Washed Out Cylinders

Thank you very much for your help
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