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Older Camry Maintenance and Repair



  • Your motor is burned out. The electrical switch is different for the lock and the window. So you will have to replace the motor in the door for your window. Check out this placeauto repair it will help you find a place to fix it if you dont want to do it yourself.
  • We will be replacing the coil as soon as we get it off the distributor. The car is my bro-in-laws and he says when he went to turn it off, he smelled something burning and the car would never start since. It pumps fuel, but I get no spark at the plug. We are replacing the basics: cap/rotor/coil. If that fails to produce a spart, we will be looking at the ignitor module.

    It appears the best way to get to the underside of the coil to remove the securing screws is to losen the distributor, which then means we've got to set the timing after we install the coil.

    Any advice on how to better replace the coil would be welcomed. Any advice or links to perform timing on the car would, as well, be welcomed.

    My preference is to search edmunds, then the internet for a solution rather than posing a question that's already been satisfied, directly or indirectly. Needless to say, I have failed over the last several days to find a proper answer/advice.

    Thank you!
  • The timing would have been easier to set if you marked the Distributor where it mounts on the engine. I get a chisel place it where the two surfaces meet and hit it with a hammer. This gives you an exact match of the marks when reassembling.

    Now you will have to set the timing the old fashioned way. First, get the engine at TDC This can be found by putting the mark on the crankshaft pulley at the TDC mark, to the marks for TDC and advance timing on the cover that is attached under this pulley.

    Next when you slide the distributor on the rotor should be close to the No. 1 position according to the wire on the cap going to spark plug. You still have all the wires on the cap? On the V6 engine, No1 should be at the 11 o'clock position. Keep the cap off but use the rotor to find align to the no 1 position. If you look inside the engine, the shaft will go into another shaft, these shafts have slight offset on them both. This is so you can only get them together one way.If it doesn't align up, rotate the engine one more turn, 360 degrees around so they align.

    What this does is set it at TDC again. This is because the engine always turns over two times while the distributor only turns over once.So you have two position at TDC on the engine. One is correct the other is one complete turn in the wrong direction. Trying to figure out which one is correct before installing the distributor is a guess. But again Toyota wont let you put the distributor in in this incorrect position.

    When you slid the distributor on, the rotor should be at the No1 position when it mates back on to the engine.

    Another way to find TDC is remove the no 1 spark plug and put a plastic straw in the spark plug hole and turn the engine over by hand. Use a socket attached to your ratchet that fits the crankshaft pulley bolt. Turn it over until the straw stops moving up and just before it starts back down. This is TDC.

    All these procedure are to get it close to TDC, because on Toyota you can get away with being close and not exact on the timing marks. That because the parts only fit one way, which wont allow you to be off a tooth or degree like other motors. Even the plug wires only go on one way to the correct cylinders.
  • Continue my last response.

    Once the distributor is in you can fine tune the timing. I remove the rotor so I can see the shaft going through the distributor. Near the bottom by the coils or module you replaced is six poles on this shaft. Align the one so it is passing over the module mark. This sends the signal to the distributor to fire the plug. This is as close to TDC you can get. Then turn the shaft slightly ahead so it is past this point . Now your timing is slightly advanced. Ideal timing is 6 degrees advanced.

    Another way is to set the timing marks is to set the crankshaft pulley to 6 degrees BTDC and then center the pole on the distributor to the module pick up point.WARNING: Always rotate engine in the direction of rotation not backwards . This will avoid the timing chain coming off.
  • I'm sure u have a worn motor brushes.
  • Hi
    I got 93 Camry 4cyl. run fine but 1 day it just die, I check timingbelt,it still good. only ignition coil and igniter that i cannot check. Anyone have any idea or been thru this similar situation please let me know, thanks
  • Thank you very much. We did as you suggested:marking with a chisel (and nail polish for good measure.) We will replace the unit today and update the thread with the results.

    I'm really thrilled with the advice on TDC and what not.

    The four cylinder does denote each plug on the distributor cap. But I never remove plug wires before marking them anyhow. Excellent advice all around!
  • All worked well after the coil replacement. After about 10 mins of warming the car up (in Md., the air is quite chilly), the engine stopped and will no longer start. It follows, I'm thinking, that the ignitor module is defective causing the coils to fry. Will be hunting for where that puppy is. According to one manual I was reading, they (the IM) are all external (to the distributor) with one model being the exception.
  • I read your fix on coil replacement.

    The module is usually on the fender under the coil. I was confused when you replaced something inside the distributor. Could be wrong though.

    Another test would be to turn the key on to the run position, but dont start it. In 10 or 20 minutes try and start it. This will eliminate the fuel system(electrical too) as being bad. Since your car is shutting off after the car runs for 10 minutes it might be fuel related. In this test the fuel pump would not be running if the engines off, but the ignition module will be getting hot, and not work after 10 minutes.

    The module can go bad if the ignition is left on for 30 minutes or more.
  • So, my 1994 Toyota Camry 4-Cyl (Engine 5S-FE) was recently having intermittent issues starting and operating. The difficulties came either starting cold or hot, sometimes I would need to turn the key longer than necessary when starting cold, or would need to wait 30-45 minutes to start hot. Once, during operation at about 35mph, the engine stopped firing in mid drive.

    Because of how intermittent the problems were, I believed it was an electrical issue. I noticed that the battery terminals were fairly corroded, so I pulled the battery and cleaned both the contacts and the terminals.

    I pulled the sparks, found no evidence of corrosion or damage. They are only 15,000 miles old. I checked continuity in the cables to the distributor cap, and everything checked out fine.

    I pulled the rotor and dust cover from the distributor, removed the positive and negative terminals and checked the primary resistance on the Internal Ignition Coil. It tested around 1.9ohms, where specs for a good one are 0.4-0.5 ohms, so I replaced the Coil. This process required removal and reinstallation of the distributor.

    I reconnected all electrical relays and went to turn the car on. When I go to start the car, the lights on the clock dim, along with a few other HUD lights, but the starter does not turn over at all. Also, there is now a repetitive clicking sound at the front of the cabin, and the red LED below the wheel is blinking on and off, so I believe this may have to do with the latent security system in the car.

    What would cause the problems I am experiencing here?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Sounds like a basic electrical problem. Check your battery terminal connections, and the voltage of the battery. Should be about 13+ volts, like 13.5-14.0 volts. If you don't have the correct voltage, then have an autoparts chain run a load test on your battery and alternato (usually a free test), to check that the alternator is putting out the current and voltaget needed to charge the battery, and the battery is holding the charge.

    If both of those are okay, then other end of the ground cable(non-battery end), to make sure there isn't any corrosion there. You can also check the resistance of that cable to make sure you aren't dropping any voltage.

    Then check the positive cable connection at the starter, to make sure there isn't any corrosion there either and it is a good tight connection. Caution to disconnect the battery while you are doing that, so that you (or your wrench) don't become the short to frame ground.

    Repetitive clicking can be a relay, which doesn't have enough voltage to stay latched.
  • So it turns out my third-party security system had an starter lockout relay. When I pulled the battery, it reset and armed the security system, which then kept my car from starting. I pulled the manual and set it to Valet mode, was able to start the car again.

    But, after idle operation for 5-10 minutes, my engine dies. No engine codes, no check engine light, it just stops firing. I connected the jumpers to test for the fuel pump being non-operational, but I was able to turn the fuel pump on. I also decided to try leaving the ignition on to see if I could heat up the Ignitor module. When I did this, 4 out of 5 times the car would not start at all. So for right now, I am guessing that it might be a bad Ignitor.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    does the security system turn the ignition off?
  • It has a starter disable relay for when it is armed.

    Actually, I forgot to check the internal resistance of the pickup coil as well. Turns out that the pickup coil is off its mark as well. Maximum internal resistance from G+ to G- terminals should be 275ohms, but mine is around 305ohms, so it looks like I may need a new distributor instead.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I'm confused over your description of 'not starting'.

    Are you saying that the starter does not spin up and crank over the engine? or, are you saying that the starter spins, engages the engine, turns the engine, but the engine doesn't fire up and run?

    If your security system has a relay which stops the starter from getting it's power, then it won't spin and the engine won't crank.

    Which no-start symptom do you have?
  • The starter would not spin. That problem is gone because I just disarmed the security system and everything was cool.

    Having determined that the pickup coil was out of spec, I replaced the distributor, re-timed the engine, and drove the car yesterday for about 120 miles. Everything was great, except I noticed that it seems to lack power. Could that be an issue with the timing? Maybe I timed it incorrectly, not sure.

    I was driving it this morning down the Interstate, and the Check Engine light came on. The car did not stop driving, but something is definitely amiss, so I need to find a table of engine codes and which OBD pins I need to connect to be able to read them.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Yes, I would suspect the timing is off. That could account for both the loss of power, and the check engine light on (due to fuel not being completely burned).

    You are probably also getting poor gas mileage.
  • I have a code manual, and if the timing is off, I would move the distributor slightly in the opposite direction of rotation( advancing timing).

    If you do this while running, you can hear the engine rev up and down. Always mark the distributor at the pad where it mounts on the engine for a good reference point. Then move off this reference in 1/16 inch increments.

    Checking codes for the 5S- engine, the manual shows the Data Link Connector at the brake master cylinder in the engine compartment next to the left fender. Opening the cover lid, you should see terminals in groups left and right. The group on the left is the diagnostic terminals. The upper right corner terminal and the one under neath it, is the diagnostic terminals. Also the terminal to the left of the one underneath.

    Short the terminal to the left to the terminal in the upper corner. Have the key on, but engine NOT running. Remove the jumper AFTER turning key off.

    The codes flash in .5 second flashes. If 2 is flashed, it takes 1 second. Then you will get a pause of 1.5 seconds and if their is a second digit it will flash. If its is 5, the light will flash 5x in 2.5 seconds. 25 is lean mixture. 3 is ignition signal.

    Codes start at 1 and go to 85 on your model. After both digits flash you get a 2.5 second pause and another code may flash if it is stored. This code retrieval repeats continuously until all codes have flashed. Then after 4.5 second pause it starts all over with the 1st code again.
  • My 02 Camry has 59,300 miles. In past 6 wks, the heat only comes out of the top (dash) vents. No Heat from the bottom, regardless of the settings on the dial. Dealer sez the heater box assembly needs to be replaced which means the dash wud have to be removed. Estimate for parts and labor $2997!!! LOL. Has anyone had a similar problem? Any suggestions (other than live with it).
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    For $3K, I'd be getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion, and one of them would not be a dealership. Find a reputable independent service shop that handles Toyota's.

    I don't have my service manuals available, but I would hope that they could just fix whatever the problem part is, as opposed to replacing the whole heater box assembly. Heck, you just might have a bad selector switch.
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