Question about 1994 Toyota Camry
There are a lot of causes for a failure to fire in an engine. The battery might be dead (if the engine tries to turn over / makes noise when key is turned then this is probably not it). If there is just a click, or no noise at all from the engine when you turn the key, your battery might need a jump or replacement.
If the engine tries to turn over when you turn the key, but it still does not start, there are still several options. 1. It could be your spark plugs not igniting the gas in the engine, 2. the engine might not be getting gas to light, 3. the cylinders might not be getting enough air to let the fuel ignite, 4. your timing might be off, and the engine is trying to light the fuel at the wrong time.
1. If the plugs are bad, the engine will try to start, but will sputter and not be able to maintain ignition. Try replacing the plugs (and make sure that when you replace them, you set the gaps on them correctly. You will need the plugs and a gap tool (available at any parts store). The gap information should be in your car's owner's manual, or if you don't have that, try a Haynes manual for your car.
2. If your engine sounds like it is trying to turn over, but will not start ... it might be getting fuel to the engine. This could be caused by anything in your fuel system: blown fuel pump, clogged injectors, clogged fuel line, clogged fuel filter, etc. You should probably see a mechanic if this is the case, since fuel systems are complex, and dangerous to work on without training and experience. A good mechanic will be able to tell you whether or not it is the fuel system within a couple of minutes of checking the car. To test this on your own (and PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!) you can buy some starter fluid from an auto parts store: just open your air intake near the engine and spray some starter fluid into the air intake, then turn the key. If it fires up for a moment, the fuel system is your problem. If not, you can probably move on to another solution. I really recommend that you leave this procedure to a professional as it is dangerous if you do not know exactly what you are doing.
3. If your air filter is too clogged, your engine might not be getting enough air to work properly. Take out your air filer and try to start the car. If this works, replace the air filter and you should be fine. Don't run the car for a long time without the air filetr, though, as this can damage your engine.
4. If your timing chain is stretched, or if it has skipped a tooth, the spark plugs might be trying to ignite the fuel at the wrong time. This usually causes a sputtering and a jumping of the engine before it will prevent the car from starting. If you have not had a LOT of engine problems before now, this is probably not the cause, but you would need a mechanic to look at it to be sure. The ignition timing is also controlled by the distributor cap's orientation on the engine. If the distributor cap is not installed perfectly. the spark plugs will get the electricity to fire too early or too late, and the fuel will not ignite properly. Adjusting the Distributor cap is best left to a professional because if it is offset by a millimeter or two the engine will not work. Also, if the wires from the distributor cap to the spark plugs are plugged in in the wrong order, the engine will not work -- a professional will be able to see this almost immediately.
There are a lot of other reasons that your car might not fire up properly ... the electrical system might be burned out, so the car won't be getting power to the right places in the engine. The computer might be burned out, and the cart might not be able to tell tell the engine to fire. If there is no sound or motion from the engine when the key is turned, the engine might be fused. There are a LOT of other reasons an engine might not fire ... but these are the most frequently occurring that I have seen. The best bet is to find a mechanic who will inspect your car for you ... they should be able to tell you the most likely causes based on what the engine sounds and looks like when you turn the key.
Posted on May 23, 2011
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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