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'91 Camry - Engine Stalling


vve2002
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Hi everybody! I have a 1991 Toyota Camry, mileage 115,000. It starts fine for the first time after it was raining and runs good for about 10 min, but than engine starts to stall like it's misfiring or the fuel doesn't get in. Sometimes it will stall completely and becomes difficult to restart again. This goes on for about 10 more min, and than it's back to normal. It will drive fine till the next rain. Spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter, distribution cap, wires and rotor, air flow meter (used) have been replaced, but the problem is still there. PLEASE HELP!

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The problem you are experiencing is common amongst similar aged camrys.It is caused by fine particulate dust collecting inside the disributor.It only becomes a problem during wet weather when this dust becomes damp and causes arcing within the distributor itself. Solutions? move to dry country or dont stop the car for at least 20 mins, by that time the heat of the engine will have dried it out....p.s. stripping down or replacing the distributor is not cost effective..

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a few questions so that I can help you. I have a 89 Camry with 230k miles on original engine, so needless to say i have had some issues with things like that..especially what you were talking about. First off, what the first guy said was true, the distributor in this model is bad for this issue...I can't wash the engine at the car wash unless I leave the engine running, and even then, it still manages sometimes to get water in the distributor cap and this causes it to get sluggish and then die...

If I can get a few more details, it would help. Are you starting the car in dry weather, then it gets wet , causing it to happen? Or...are you getting it wet, and it runs fine for 10 MORE minutes in the rain before it starts to mess up?

The thing here is, that on this problem, it tends to get wet, even by condensation, in the dist. cap...and when this happens, it can take time for it to build up enough moisture to kill the engine. As for you having a hard time getting it started, its because after you have tried for sometime, and then boom, it starts, its naturally because the moisture has dissipated. I know how you feel, but I can say that its safe to say replacing your distributor cap is not necessary, but you might make very sure, that the seal around the cap is in good condition. Other than that, I finally cleaned the edges around where the cap goes on, and smoothed it up good, so that the seal forms good around it, and ever since then, it hasn't been a problem, of course, I don't spray water on it either. If this isn't your problem, the only other issue that might be coming from this is some type of short that could be occurring due to moisture buildup, and it would be directly related to your dist cap, or even the spark plugs, who knows..just check the engine over when it dies next, and maybe give an exact account of what happens next time it happens, like how many minutes, what you were doing, the weather at the time, stuff like that really helps to determine the cause here...I'll be watching for your reply to help any way I can.

Preston

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Hi!

I had same problem with my Corolla 1.3. First it had problems when it was lots of moisture in the air. And it get worse. You start up, it runs good till engine gets operating temp (about 10 minutes), and when you are at stop (idling) engine will stall, or even it will run alone when you turn off ignition key. Then it cannot be restarted, and I have to wait about 2-3 minutes and I can restart engine - and it runs great when you press the throttle pedal. But, when you are at idle engine will stall, sputter etc... and story goes again :) Problem was - igniter. It was 13 years old, and operating temperatures of engine, moisture, rain, snow did the job during the years. I've changed igniter and engine was like a new one! No problems since that - it starts great in every condition you may have :) Now it runs without vibrations on idle, engine is less noisy, consuming less fuel... etc.

But, my mechanic said it is good to check igniter coil and distributor cap as well - it will produce almost the same problems.

I've replaced only igniter and water pump in 13 years and almost 100.000 miles. Now it's time for valve stem seals - they are dead and engine is consuming about 1 litre of oil per 700-800 miles. It is normal for valve stem seals (because compression check is perfect and I have no cooling fluid losses in last 20.000 miles and fluid is clear without any oil inside). If you see the blue smoke during startup or when idling and if the smoke dissapear when you are driving - change valve seals. Many owners think that their car nead to repair engine - if you don't notice any decrease in performance and if the engine is clean and has compression in range - vlave seals are the reason for burning oil. It's a flaw on almost all Toyota engines - bad valve seals.

regards,

Ivan :thumbsup:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Forget all the earlier posts. You have a cracked ignition coil. Very common problem on 2nd gen Camrys. The coil is in the distributor so the distributor has to be removed.

Trust me, this will solve your problem.

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  • 1 month later...

I also have a 91 Camry (4 cyl wagon 130K miles). It has a similar problem on cold and not so cold mornings. It starts, but sounds like it's only running 3 cylinders at times :ffs: . If you shift to drive or even reverse it would stall sometimes. To keep it running you have to keep your foot on the gas just a little - if too sharp it stops too.

Also the first 10-15 seconds after start-up it blows some smoke (i think white), but only if the engine is cold.

After it warms up it seems ok. Sometimes in the rain it would do the same (seem like 3 cylinders by sound and total loss of power).

At first I thought something's wrong with the automatic transmission (this is my first automatic car so i don't know).

Then I changed the spark plugs (most likely the original ones) they were fairly clean, just one had a little rust on the outside - where the ceramic is.

The car does not accelerate immediately when you step on it, and I had to get a gasket on the exaust changed too often - luckily for free the second time.

I am sure something is wrong either with the timing of the ignition or with the injection of the fuel or the intake of air or whatever. Anyway it doesn't seem to burn right and the cold makes it worse. :help: I have been coming across too many crooks in the shops lately.

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I am also having a stalling problem with my 1989 Camry. When the car is cold it will stall and die after a few minutes of driving. It will not start for a few minutes. Sometime it will not stall if you warm it up to operating temp before heading off but not always. Once it stalls and eventually restarts it will be OK for the rest of the day. If you drive it everyday it seems to work properly, it is only when you don't drive for a day or longer that the stalling occurs. Does any one have any ideas?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am having a similar problem. I have an 1988 Camry and when it rains the car will not start and when you finally get it to start (usually after about 6-8 tries, if i'm lucky) it will sputter and not move unless the gas is gunned for about the first 10 minutes of driving. The problem only exists in the rain.

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