Question about 1996 Toyota Tercel

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I have a '96 Tercel that just started having a sound like a marble bouncing around in the engine. It is intermittent and there seems to be no power loss no leakage. Any ideas?

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Check belt tightness

Posted on Dec 31, 2010

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1 Answer

What would cause temperature gauge bouncing ?


Sounds like the sending unit has an intermittent short to ground. Unhook the the wire from the sending unit, and see if the needle stops jumping around. If it quits jumping around, replace the sending unit. If it still jumps around, you have a bare spot somewhere on the wire and it is hitting ground which will cause the needle to jump. Cut out the bad part of the wire and splice in a new section. That should fix it.

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Well Serenity, it sounds like your car has a few problems. You are right about not driving it with the oil light on. Have it towed. The shop can scan for engine codes w/out starting the vehicle. There should be some trouble codes stored on the car's computer if the engine light went on and off. This will give your mechanic some clues as to what is wrong. Ask for the code #'s in case you have any questions later. It sounds like tranny and engine problems. Your description is quite good, lots of detail. I just read a post that said 'car won't start.' Not much to go on! It's difficult to diagnose w/out seeing/hearing/driving the car, but no details?? Anyway, when I started to read your post, I was thinking power steering pump (making the noise), until you mentioned the oil pressure issue, which points to engine lubrication issues, and probably the noise. The rpm's running a bit high before transitioning (I take that as 'shifting'), sounds like a slipping tranny, but maybe it's just part of the engine problem. Difficult to diagnose further w/out more info (codes), but it sounds like your engine may be cooked. Give an update w/ any more info or further questions. Good luck, Curt

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Although this isn"t a proper fix, and may affect emissions, I ran accross this problem on a friend's 87 2wd wagon.

There is a dashpot that controls a lever the Idle set screw is on, I am guessing it is a decel valve that closes butterfly when coasting in gear. I never looked at a manual to figure out what controls the vacuum valve that is on the passenger side of the engine compartment, but if you disconect the vacuum line and plug it that lever will not back off and idle will remain where you set it with the adjustment screw.

Make sure the engine is warmed up and not on a fast idle cam before adjusting idle.

The car is a 5 speed, I not sure if automatic cars are the same.

The car idles fine now and still run's great and gets 37+ MPG with 240000 miles!

If you want to fix it properly you would have to diagnose why that dashpot is being actuated at idle

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