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'89 Camry Strange Behavior


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For the last year or so, my '89 Camry has been randomly acting strangely. Sometimes, the car has problems starting. Its turning over but the engine doesn't start. Eventually, after some time I can usually get it started. However, once started, for the next 30 min or so, whenever I give the engine siginficant gas, the RPM's actually drop, as if the car suddenly lost power. If I don't let up on the gas, the car will stall. If I slowly rev the engine, I have no problem. Usually after some driving, the problem ceases and the engine behaves perfectly.

I noticed that this happens more when it rains, but it coulde be a coincidence. Its frustrating because I can never reproduce the problem when showing it to a mechanic. It seems to be random.

As a side note, I noticed this morning that the engine coolant level was below low - maybe even empty. Could this have anything to do with this problem?

Three preliminary diagnoses I've gotten are a- idle air control valve b- temperature sensor d- Ignition coil

Anyone have a second or third opinion?

Thanks so much for any help!

~WaS in bklyn

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First of all get stored codes from the computer (if any). Buy a Haynes manual for your car (about $14) - it will tell you how to do it.

Second, perform a full tune up if you didn't do it for a long time.

Pesonally I would suspect ignition problem (bad wires maybe). You should check if you have a spark next time when it happens.

And find that coolant leak and fix it.

Good luck,


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