1993 Camry intermittent stalling - fixed

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Old 13 Jul 2003, 04:52 pm   #1 (permalink)
Returno
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Default 1993 Camry intermittent stalling - fixed

My 1993 Camry was stalling at stop-lights and such, but intermittently - and
never at the shop of course. The pattern seemed to have nothing to do with
the outside temp, humidity, rainfall, or whether the car was warmed up or
cold - or anything. When it stalled sometimes it would start right away and
sometimes it took up to a minute before it would restart. Usually I would be
able to smell gas when it stalled (if the car's vent was set to bring in
outside air and the wind was blowing in the right direction).

I followed the advice offered on this newsgroup over the years (via
google) - in a step-by-step scientific fashion: I tried dry gas, replaced
filters, then put myself at the mercy of the local Toyota dealer who
cheerfully charged me for a major tune-up, a new GRC valve, and a new
distributor. Still, no improvement. Instead the problem slowly got worse
(more frequent). Typically I could not drive five miles without it stalling
at least once at a stop, although now and then it would go a day or two
without stalling at all.

Back at the dealer again they recommended a very expensive carburetor
overhaul. I asked them to check the engine coolant temperature sensor (ECTS)
first - another item suggested on this newsgroup. But the service manager
looked at me like I was a space alien that just landed in front of his desk.
He seemed - shall we say - skeptical about the idea. I had the feeling he
was trying not to laugh. So, I took my car down to the local library
(stalled twice) and looked up info on the ECTS in the Mitchell's guide my
library - thankfully - owns. I removed the sensor (which is really really
easy - it has brown and light green leads - just remove the connector and
unscrew it), hooked up a multimeter to the leads, and dunked it and a
thermometer in hot and cold water of various temperatures. I watched the
multimeter read out the ohms and checked it against the temp/ohm chart in
the Mitchell's guide. The result - it was in perfect condition. Next I
decided to check the air temperature sensor, which is basically identical.
But I had to do some errands so I put the ECTS back in and drove off. And
drove and drove and drove and it did not stall. Over the next few weeks I
put a hundred miles of stop and go driving in and it never once stalled. My
theory: the electrical contact to the ECTS was flakey - and so just jiggling
the wires to the ECTS would have been enough to fix my problem. So, about
$500 poorer - but richer in knowledge and wisdom - I fixed my own problem by
essentially jiggling two wires.

The moral of the story: wiggle the wires first.

=r.e.




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Old 13 Jul 2003, 05:33 pm   #2 (permalink)
Philip®
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Default Re: 1993 Camry intermittent stalling - fixed

Returno wrote:
> My 1993 Camry was stalling at stop-lights and such, but
> intermittently - and never at the shop of course. The pattern seemed
> to have nothing to do with the outside temp, humidity, rainfall, or
> whether the car was warmed up or cold - or anything.
>SNIP<
>
> Back at the dealer again they recommended a very expensive carburetor
> overhaul.


Uh... yeah. Right. 1993 Camry with a carburetor. Service Writer didn't
think you were too bright.

> I asked them to check the engine coolant temperature sensor
> (ECTS) first - another item suggested on this newsgroup. But the
> service manager looked at me like I was a space alien that just
> landed in front of his desk. He seemed - shall we say - skeptical
> about the idea. I had the feeling he was trying not to laugh.


Nervous laughter is to be expected after he had suggested a carburetor
repair ... then you started talking ECTS's and such.
--

Philip

"If a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending
the same way, make the design visible to the people . tis not to be
wondered that they should then rouse themselves."
- John Locke (1632-1704)


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Old 13 Jul 2003, 10:51 pm   #3 (permalink)
AV
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Default Re: 1993 Camry intermittent stalling - fixed

The Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor on my 97 Camry failed also causing a
hard to start when warm problem. I replaced this $30 sensor and everything
is purring normally.

"Returno" <Returno@tosender.com> wrote in message
news:vwkQa.48502$OZ2.8951@rwcrnsc54...
> My 1993 Camry was stalling at stop-lights and such, but intermittently -

and
> never at the shop of course. The pattern seemed to have nothing to do with
> the outside temp, humidity, rainfall, or whether the car was warmed up or
> cold - or anything. When it stalled sometimes it would start right away

and
> sometimes it took up to a minute before it would restart. Usually I would

be
> able to smell gas when it stalled (if the car's vent was set to bring in
> outside air and the wind was blowing in the right direction).
>
> I followed the advice offered on this newsgroup over the years (via
> google) - in a step-by-step scientific fashion: I tried dry gas, replaced
> filters, then put myself at the mercy of the local Toyota dealer who
> cheerfully charged me for a major tune-up, a new GRC valve, and a new
> distributor. Still, no improvement. Instead the problem slowly got worse
> (more frequent). Typically I could not drive five miles without it

stalling
> at least once at a stop, although now and then it would go a day or two
> without stalling at all.
>
> Back at the dealer again they recommended a very expensive carburetor
> overhaul. I asked them to check the engine coolant temperature sensor

(ECTS)
> first - another item suggested on this newsgroup. But the service manager
> looked at me like I was a space alien that just landed in front of his

desk.
> He seemed - shall we say - skeptical about the idea. I had the feeling he
> was trying not to laugh. So, I took my car down to the local library
> (stalled twice) and looked up info on the ECTS in the Mitchell's guide my
> library - thankfully - owns. I removed the sensor (which is really really
> easy - it has brown and light green leads - just remove the connector and
> unscrew it), hooked up a multimeter to the leads, and dunked it and a
> thermometer in hot and cold water of various temperatures. I watched the
> multimeter read out the ohms and checked it against the temp/ohm chart in
> the Mitchell's guide. The result - it was in perfect condition. Next I
> decided to check the air temperature sensor, which is basically identical.
> But I had to do some errands so I put the ECTS back in and drove off. And
> drove and drove and drove and it did not stall. Over the next few weeks I
> put a hundred miles of stop and go driving in and it never once stalled.

My
> theory: the electrical contact to the ECTS was flakey - and so just

jiggling
> the wires to the ECTS would have been enough to fix my problem. So, about
> $500 poorer - but richer in knowledge and wisdom - I fixed my own problem

by
> essentially jiggling two wires.
>
> The moral of the story: wiggle the wires first.
>
> =r.e.
>
>
>
>



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