93 Camry 4 cylinder, auto 95k miles. Slow shifing when cold, fine when warmed up. - Page 3 - Camry Forums - Toyota Camry Forum

General Tech Good at troubleshooting? Have a non specific issue? Discuss general tech topics here.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-09-2018, 01:04 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 43

No change at all so I decided to check for spark.

I started the engine with number one plug pulled, and guess what, there was no change in the way the engine ran. I plugged number one back in, and pulled plug wire number two.

This time, the engine didn't start at all. So I plugged number 2 back in, and still the damned engine won't start.

Left the battery unplugged for a while, reconnected it, and still no start.

Checked the pickups, and it looks like I blew one of the damned pickups [ohms isn't registering [bottom two], so I will have to buy another distributor. Any guess's on why leaving the plug wire off while the engine was running would kill the damned pickup? I've done this many times with other cars with no issues.

Last edited by M-train; 08-17-2018 at 08:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 08:02 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,042

The distributor coils go to the ECU and are very low voltage.

Any wiring issues?

Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 08:18 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 43

No wiring issues. This car must have been owned by an older couple as there are no stains on the upholstery, nor any hacked up wiring.

Also, it looks like everything on the car is bone stock even down to the exhaust.

I've been doing quite a bit of reading on this subject "code 12", as you might expect, and from what I've gathered is that it does seem to be an issue with the magnetic pickups inside the dist [for which I cannot understand why these aren't for sale in the aftermarket, nor OEM for that matter].

The pickups seem to loose their magnetization, which sends the ecu the wrong info on what rpms the engine is turning. This would be something you really couldn't test for as all of the ohms tests could be good, but the magnets are going bad.

This would also be hard to figure out, as in my case I tested everything on the dist, and it all tested good. So you assume the dist is good, and move on to look for something else while its the dist the whole time.

I ordered a Spectra dist from Rockauto today, as I'm not about to pay over $1000 for an OEM dist when it too may go out with less than 100k miles. I think the problem with the dist [if in fact that is the problem] has everything else out of wack including the transmission, and wandering idle.

Here is a video of someone else with a code 12, with the exact idle problem I'm having.

Thanks for all of the help. I WILL be back to let you know the problem as, again, it may help someone else some day. Oh, and Toyomoho, PM sent.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 08:22 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 43

Finally an update, its fixed.

I ordered a new distributor from Rock Auto for $100 shipped. The dist was made by Spectra so I will try to update this thread when this dist dies, be it a few weeks, or a few years.

Now the engine starts, and runs, but the high rpm shifts when engine/trans isn't warmed up still persists. Also the engine still has the fluctuating rpms, just like in the video above.

I've already changed out the IAC valve because in most threads the IAC is the problem In my case it wasn't the problem.

So in my frustration [I still haven't made a smoke kit to find vacuum leaks, and I've NEVER had any luck using propane, carb cleaner, or water to find vac leaks], so in my frustration I decided to check the vacuum of the engine at idle, and wadda you know, the vacuum was low. According to my vac gauge it w as either late valve timing, or a vac leak in the intake manifold.

Well, on my car someone had already made the timing marks highly visible so when I changed the timing belt I went by the marks. Today I went by the timing marks on the pulleys, and block, to make SURE it was in time, and yep it was perfect.

So I plugged every single vacuum port in the intake, and it was still reading low vac on the gauge. This narrowed it down to the intake gasket itself.

Let me tell you its a real pain in the a$$ to pull that intake, more so than I initially thought. You see the intake is one long runner C shaped piece. Its not a two piece like later intakes [which would have made this job a breeze].

Anyway, after much blood was lost, and many sore neck/shoulder muscles I was able to get everything back together. At this point I would advise anyone to have a helper to help you verify each vacuum line goes to the correct place as I found one that was wrong. The mis-connected vac line was on the vac switch behind the block. What I did was have a friend pull on the vac line from the top of the engine bay, while I pulled the correct line from below so that we could find the right line. The vac lines are all in a tube so you can't see from which they originate, or end, which is why you need someone to pull them on top of the engine bay while you lay under the car, with the vac diagram.

After getting it all back together the car runs great, no more bogs/hesitation when accelerating from a stop. No more wandering idle, no more super high rpm shifts when trans is cold [NOT THE AMBIENT TEMP,! Rather the temp of the transmission before its fully warmed up].

So, if you start having a small fluctuation of rpms at idle [it starts out small, and gradually gets worse] be sure to get your vacuum gauge, or borrow/buy one, and test the vacuum FIRST before spending money.

Also for the code 12, the new distributor fixed all of that.

One more thing, which I think is important for your distributor, if you're getting a code 12. Make SURE you have the dist cap gasket/o-ring as this o-ring spaced the cap away from the rotor quite a bit which might explain a code 12 when the engine appears to run fine. However if the gasket is not installed it will eventually kill the dist cap, and rotor, as the clearance between the rotor, and the prongs in the cap will be off. This gasket is easy to loose, and I would bet many people would forget to reinstall it, or think it had little to do with anything as most distributors I've worked with over nearly 40s don't have a gasket between the cap, and dist body which is why I wasn't aware it was missing.

Hope this helps someone down the road...........good luck.

Last edited by M-train; 08-17-2018 at 08:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 08:45 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 43

Also a big thanks to toyomoho for all of his help, and support.
Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
96 Camry LE V6 big problems when car is warmed up!! Help! showsol94 General Tech 1 07-20-2010 11:48 AM
Help with difficulty cold starting, runs fine when warm? dsmith222 General Tech 0 10-23-2009 10:03 PM
1989 camry slow accel, worst in cold weather, stalls when rainy 89camry General Tech 1 05-01-2006 03:10 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:23 AM.

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.