Question about Toyota Cars & Trucks
Hello, Keith, I'll try to help. The engine needs gas, air, spark, and compression to run, so those are what you need to concentrate on. If it was running good previously, but now won't start, usually it is a gas or spark (ignition) problem. I'm not familiar with the Starlet, but assume a '90 model would be fuel injected. If it is throttle body injection, you can observe the fuel spray out the bottom of injectors when the engine is cranking over. You should see a fine mist cone pattern of fuel spray hitting the throttle plates. From there it will mix with the air in the intake manifold and be fed into the cylinders. If gas is not coming out when cranking the engine, check the fuel pump and/or the fuel filter for a problem. Toyotas often had the electric pump in the fuel line close to the gas tank. If the engine is multi port injection, likely the pump will be in the gas tank. You cannot observe the injector spray on multi port, but you can determine if the injectors are pulsing, and if they are, you can be certain that gas is getting into the cylinders-that is, if the fuel pressure at the injectors is high enough where it should be. You can also pull the spark plugs after cranking it over a bit, and check that the plugs smell of gas, and may be wet with gas.
Have you checked for spark? If you suspect an ignition problem, have a helper crank the engine over while you check one of the spark plug wires for a blue snapping spark. Use a spark tester, or just push the plug wire boot back from the end and hold the metal end terminal 1/4 inch from an engine bolt or bracket- some grounding source like that. Be careful not to get shocked-hold it close to metal. Another way is to take a spark plug and attach it to the plug wire, and lay the spark plug on a metal piece of the engine-so the hex of plug or the threads are grounded to the metal. Now you don't have to hold it. Just have your helper crank the engine over while you watch for that blue snapping spark. If spark is orange or intermittent or not even sparking, then you have an ignition problem. The ignition coil or the igniter may be the problem. The igniter is what Toyota calls the ignition control module-the part that cuts the primary circuit to the coil so high current (spark) will travel to the spark plug.
Well, there is a rundown of gas and spark. If you have both, and the air filter is clean so the intake gets plenty of air, one could next check engine compression-do or have done a compression test of the engine. You didn't mention the spark plugs in your list of new parts. Are they still good, and is the gap correct on them? Post back if you need more help, or have questions. Good luck.
Posted on Jul 19, 2013
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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