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CEL on but wont flash codes, 96-2.2L

Old 12-12-2011, 10:37 PM
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Default CEL on but wont flash codes, 96-2.2L

Hey Guys, really hoping for a Christmas Miracle, lol... I'm a Torrance, CA area guy who has a sister visiting with a 96 Camry/2.2L/190k mi. beast! hehe.(I restore/am restoring 1st Gen 4Runners... Currently an 87, lots of mods, over on Yotatech...)

Might as well throw it out here since, well, while I don't OWN a Camry..... I'M STILL A NEWB! lol........

1.) The CEL is on and idle is a bit chunky and tends to drop quite a bit when the AC cycles on(will mention the later part in number 5).
2.) I've jumped E1 and TE1 and cannot get a 'flash' with the key "ON"
3.) I've tried jumping said connectors in both engine bay and under dash locations
4.) The under dash DCL is broken away from it's fixed factory location(But neither DCL1 nor DCL2 will give me a 'flash').
5.) While test driving it and going through some of the things that I would check on my 22RE(Although this is an auto), I put it in park, looked down and the AC 'button' was lit up. She was defrosting but left it on, she said(not sure how long, she also said). When I killed the AC switch the wonky idle settled down a bit but I'll test it further tomorrow after really getting it up to closed loop/running a while. I'm assuming the idle down/chunky idle might be due to something similar to my 4Runner, which can be adjusted behind the glove box/fixed by replacing the VSV.
6.) Air Bag and 'Lights'(of some kind, maybe taillights?) dummy lights are also on.

Any help would be appreciated, especially as to whether it's a simple answer regarding why I can't get the codes to flash/Could the "Air Bag" or "Lights" Dummy lights be causing the CEL?

Thanks, SO MUCH, Guys, ... just trying to make sure my sister get's home safe to WA for Christmas!
Old 12-13-2011, 07:56 AM
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The 1996 car is ODBII compliant and uses a plug in code reader.

If an airbag issue the airbag light would be on.

In most states can find an auto parts store willing to read or loan a code reader BUT CA law prevents this type of owner or autoparts store diagnostic process. Thus the stores in CA will not do this.

AAMCO might provide a free scan? but may need to wait for service.

Suggest you start calling around for the best deal on code reading or by/rent a code reader.

The Toyota dealer typically charges around $100 to read codes.

Last edited by toyomoho; 12-13-2011 at 07:59 AM.
Old 12-13-2011, 10:53 AM
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Thanks Toyomoho,

Yeah, that CA law stinks.... it's over a BIG lawsuit or something, I remember. Anyhow, I know it's OBDII.... But the book is calling for jumping the plugs, TE1 and E1, just as I do with my 87 4Runner. The codes go up to 71 or so, ....unlike with mine, which only has around 17 or so?

I did mention that the Airbag Dummy light is on, as is the "LIGHTS" dummy light. I'm guessing that it was in a lil rear ending or something, which might not have deployed the air bag but did screw up the relay or activator or something. Not sure on the lights..... Maybe both dummy lights went on at the same time.(they bought it used at 187K just a couple months ago).

Are you telling me that the Haynes is lying? That, in fact, I cannot read the codes manually by jumping the TE1 and E1 from either port?

Thanks again for the answer.
Old 12-13-2011, 04:44 PM
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Just updating;

Sis' husband, up north, called and asked if I could change the cap and rotor out- Done

Pulled the EFI fuse to clear the codes after all I could get was a normal- Done

Ran it for 20 minutes all over the South Bay, stop and go, higher speeds- Done

After clearing the codes and driving around like I've mentioned.... NO CEL for now, thereafter. ????? lol. I'm thinking it's an AC-VSV related issue, possibly EGR, but wont know until I further test those things and run it for a while. It's running great, just a lil wonky idle at a stop in drive gear with the brake depressed.

The dummy light for "Lights" WAS related to the brake lights... she had none! lol. Replaced the bulbs back there and after 200 or so depressions of the pedal/lightly to activate the lights back there.... They still work(Weird thing is; The second I press the brake pedal the dummy light comes on. Then, turn off ignition, then turn it back on.... No light.... until the brake is depressed, then it comes on again. WTH? hahaha.
Old 12-13-2011, 08:18 PM
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The dummy light comes on if a tail or rear tail light bulb is burned out, bad wiring or socket electrical connection, the socket has corrosion, etc. Basically anything that causes a poor or no electrical connection.

Strange issues can happen with the dummy light activating if the wiring is bad. Check the wire harness for damage or shorted connections in the trunk area where it jumps from the chassis to the trunk lid. Constant flexing can cause the wires to break in this area.

If the dummy light comes on with the brake pedal being pushed check the brake wiring and bulb sockets. Corroded sockets can cause a bad electrical connection. Check the high mounted bulb and its light bulb plug connection.

Make sure the brake light switch up under the dash is working. You will see it if you look up at the top of the brake pedal arm.

How hard was the car hit, did any airbags deploy?

The airbag has its own computer that does a self test every time the ign key is turned to ON.

For the airbag you might ? be able read these codes by connecting the TC and E1 terminals.

Turn ign to ON or ACC for 20 seconds then connect the two terminals. If it works the airbag light will flash out codes same flash = numbers as the CEL setup.

The airbag can be cleared as follows:

Connect a wire to each of the above terminals but don't connect them together.

Turn ign switch to ON or ACC and wait 6 seconds.

Beginning with the wire connected to the Tc terminal, alternately ground the Tc and E1 wires to a good ground point on the chassis or engine. You want to ground the wire to a good electrical ground point.

Thus starting with the Tc terminal ground this wire for 1 second +/- 1/2 second then switch to the E1 wire the same period of time in the pattern below:

Alternate grounding Tc, E1, Tc, E1 then lastly ground Tc and keep it grounded.

If the codes are clear after a short pause the airbag light will start blinking at a constant rate.

The clearing process needs to be completed within the prescribed time periods stated above to work and the light to start flashing. If not successful try again.

Haynes lying? Toyota transitioned from a connect the wires method to a code reader. Does the old system work along with the new? If you have done everything correctly and it does not work then apparently no.

Is the ign switch on when you connect E1 and TE1?

The engine computer follows a prescribed test procedure for each system or sensor it monitors. And it takes two test failures to set a code and turn on the light. This takes time, it possible the problem may or may not be fixed. If not, over time the computer will find the fault, set any codes and activate the light again once it completes all its tests.

You can clean the IAC valve which controls idle speed. A Google search on cleaning the IAC for the 5SFE engine will turn up hits on how to do this.

Also check the power brake booster and vacuum hose running to it. Could leaking air (vacuum from intake manifold) resulting in the idle issue when the pedal is pushed.

On the off chance remove the STOP fuse and determine if this solves any idle issues. Location is behind the far drivers side coin/ash try on the lower section of the dash about where your left knee would be if driving.

Last edited by toyomoho; 12-13-2011 at 08:27 PM.
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