Question about 1996 Toyota Camry

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My daughter's 96 camry, 4 cylinder died while she was moving

The car just died and they can't seem to get any fire now. The starter turns, but there is no fire. Is this a computer problem? The distributor cap and rotor and have replaced as have the spark plugs. We checked the fuses, they are fine. Fuel pump?

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  • markabgc Oct 02, 2009

    I am not actually there so I can only tell you what they said over the phone. I listened to them try to start the car over the phone and it doesn't sound like there is any spark. Apparently it just died on them exiting the highway and the gas pedal went to the floor and they haven't been able to turn over the engine since. No noises, just died. They replaced the cap, rotor and plugs. The wires are solid and they checked the fuses. I don't know if that helps or not. How would they check to see if there is spark to the distributor? Pull a wire?

  • David Jewell May 11, 2010

    It is not the fuel pump. Do you have spark going to the distributor?

  • Anonymous Mar 29, 2014

    I can hear the fuel pump prime. Will not start with starter fluid so I assume I'm not getting spark. I have newer plugs, wires and distributor. I just changed the timing belt, water pump and it ran fine. Then would not start in the morning.

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Crank engine with distributor cap removed, is it turning?
(That is if it has a distributor cap, some newer cars don’t have one)is it turning?
Broken timing belt or chain?

Are you getting power to the + positive side of the coil (small wires) with key on ? Hint; I use a needle pushed into the back of the plug so as not to damage the wiring.
If you have power then wiring from the ignition switch is OK. It usually is.
Hook your test light to the - negative side of the coil (one end on the - terminal and the other end on a ground). You should have power on the - side of the coil with the key on and engine off.
Crank the engine while watching the test light. Get a flashing signal at the test light when cranking?
If so and you have no spark the coil is likely dead.(don’t rely merely on resistance tests for a coil, a weak coil can test ok for resistance but still give no spark.It happens but is unusual. I learned this the hard way!)
No flashing signal?
Check continuity in all primary circuit wiring for opens.
If they are good,
It is time to check the pulse generator in the distributor. (That is if it has a distributor cap, some newer cars don’t have one, if it doesn’t then the ECM or computer sends signal via the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensor)
With the engine in non-running condition connect your A/C voltmeter to the pair of wires at the pulse generator and crank the engine. You are looking for an A/C signal that makes 4-6 volts of A/C. Got this? If so the ignition module is dead or has a bad ground. If not (more likely) you have a dead pulse generator in the distributor.
If you have three wires in the distributor signal wire you have a Hall effect sensor. I forget how to test that one. (Chrysler stuff)


If this part of the primary ignition tests ok then check wiring to ECM pinouts for opens.Wiring tests ok.ECM as last resort.
Hope this helps...........

Posted on Oct 03, 2009

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Fuel pump is a possability, But i would also check to make sure the Timing Belt hasn't broken. When the belt breaks you can hear a definete difference in the the way the car sounds when you turn it over, it will sound like it is spinning faster than normal.

A simple trick to do at home to check a fuel problem is to get some starting fluid from a parts store and spray just a little bit into the opening to the engine from where your air filter hose is.

If it starts for a second or two then yes you do have a fuel problem, But Please be careful not to spray to much in because starting fluid is very flamable.

Good Luck and I hope this helps.

Posted on Oct 02, 2009

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