Last post on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:59 PM
You are in the Toyota Celica
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Toyota Celica, Coupe, Hatchback
#1491 of 1544 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems?
Aug 11, 2008 (8:45 am)
Could the distributor cause my celica to not to start?
What could be causing my car not to start? Currently my starter,battery, alternator, ignition connections grounds are good so what could be the problem could it be a certain relay fuse or which one? They have been checked and also my timing belt was checked but it has been difficult trying to determine what is the problem. It seems electrical but I am so confused and I do not want to loose my celica they I have been keeping up with the maintenance promptly. Could someone possibly give me advise on how to go about resolving my celicas starting problem or maybe a part or what can fix my starting problem?
#1492 of 1544 Re: 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems? [dalicea97]
Aug 13, 2008 (12:13 am)
Since I don't know how competent the person is who checked out the areas you mentioned, I don't know whether their conclusions can be trusted. Time and time again, someone has brought a car into my shop and told me that a certain part has been tested and was good; only for me to later find out that the part was faulty. So I've learned to not trust second hand information.
The most effective way to sort out a problem of this type is to simplify it by narrowing down the probabilities into the smallest possible number of areas. The first thing to do is to find out what the symptoms are: Does the engine crank at a normal speed when you turn the key to the start position. You probably remember what it used to sound like when you started it, when it previously ran normally. Does the starter still sound like it usually did; or does the motor now turn over very slowly or barely at all, or does the starter not make any sound when you turn the key, except for a click or a series of clicks?
If it turns over at a normal speed, then you can assume the battery and the starter are OK. But if the starter does not sound like it used to, or does not make any sound at all, then you need to first thoroughly test the battery. The battery can only be properly checked with a load tester, which draws a similar amount of power as the starter does. Just using a voltmeter or a hydrometer will, in some cases, give misleading results. Some auto parts stores will test batteries for free. Another way to test the battery is to turn on the headlights, and have someone watch them while you try to start the engine. If the headlights get substantially dimmer when you crank the engine, then the battery is weak. If the lights stay bright, but the starter does not make any sound when you try to start the motor, then I would suspect a defective starter.
If the starter works normally, then the next thing to do is to determine whether you have a spark or a fuel supply problem. This is done by lifting one of the spark plug wires off of its spark plug, and connecting it to a clean spark plug that is not in the engine. Place the threaded part of that plug so that it presses against the metal of the engine, and watch it carefully while someone cranks the starter. If you need to hold the plug in place; use a wooden stick, or a plastic rod. WHILE YOU CRANK THE STARTER, DO NOT TOUCH THE SPARK PLUG OR PLUG WIRE WITH YOUR BODY OR WITH ANYTHING MADE OF METAL. You could get a very painful shock from the electricity. If the ignition system and distributor is working properly, there should be a series of blue sparks which jump between the spark plug electrodes while the engine is being cranked. If there is only a very weak spark, or no spark at the plug, then this is usually caused by a problem in the distributor cap, the rotor, the coil, the igniter, or the ignition pick up unit. In rare cases, the problem might be in the wiring harness, or in the computer. These items should be tested and confirmed by someone who knows how to test these parts.
If there is a strong spark at the plug, then the problem is most likely coming from the engine not getting any (or enough) fuel. This can be confirmed by disconnecting the air intake hose from the throttle body, and spraying some starting fluid into the throttle body while the accelerator is held down. It is valuable insurance to keep a fire extinguisher nearby, while you use starting fluid. The engine could backfire. After spraying the starting fluid, try to start the engine. If it fires at all, or now tries to start, that means it wasn't starting because you have a fuel supply problem. That could be caused by a clogged fuel filter, or a fuel pump which has stopped working.
These tests should give you enough information to get a clearer sense of where, and possibly what, the problem is. Feel free to write again, if you need further guidance. Good luck to you. Celicas are great cars!
#1493 of 1544 Re: 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems? [zaken1]
Aug 13, 2008 (5:06 am)
I don't know whether their conclusions can be trusted because they did not figure out the problem but kept on assuming that it may be the celicas computer, distributor. His judgement I can not trust. But after your intellectual experienced response I trust your judgement. With my 1994 Celica going dead I have been having restless nights with nightmares.Not withstanding its age( and miles 145,540). And I have always taken care of preventive care of my Celica. It is very heartwrenching . I have not wasted anytime and I spoke to a 23 yr Toyota experience Master Tech Mechanic and he told me about the headlight test to do. I made sure the connections to the battery and the engine grounds are good. I made sure the battery is fully charged. I turned the headlights on and try to start the car. The lights stayed brite except when I attempted to start the car the lights dimmed way down. That mechanic told me about the contacts in the starter are known to go bad. Also my Toyota advisor told me about the need for a new starter(mind you my current starter is over 8 years old) So I have to think positive about it. Well today Wed. 10:00am A toytota recommeded tow truck company will be taking the celica to the toyota dealer for repair. I will keep you informed of my situation. I am hoping that it may be a faulty starter.
I greatly appreciate your helpful inforrmation which helped me sleep well last night.
#1494 of 1544 Re: 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems? [dalicea97]
Aug 13, 2008 (10:18 am)
It certainly could be a faulty starter; but since the lights dimmed way down, the type of starter problem that would cause that is not bad contacts; instead, it would be a short in the starter motor armature. But the remedy is the same in either case; to replace the starter. However, there is another thing that would make the lights dim way down, and that is if the battery has aged to the point that it no longer has sufficient energy capacity to drive the starter motor. If this is the problem, and they replace your starter without first testing the battery with a load tester; the new starter will not fix the problem, and they will have wasted your money. Any shop qualified to do electrical diagnosis would load test the battery BEFORE replacing the starter.
#1495 of 1544 Re: 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems? [zaken1]
Aug 13, 2008 (11:04 am)
zaken I just recieved a call from my Toyota advisor and he informed me about the cause of my celica not turning on what because of my distributor melted. I guess because of the age my celica has 14 years he stated. And he even guaranteed that then my celica would turn on. I did ask him about my starter,alternator and those were good except after they tested my battery it needed to be replaced also? I need to call my toyota advisor back to order the parts. Zaken should I go ahead and parts ordered for my repair? I am just worried/stressed out which is not healthy for my MS.
I would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation.
#1496 of 1544 Re: 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems? [dalicea97]
Aug 13, 2008 (11:43 am)
Have them ONLY replace the battery, then go over there, be sure there is a NEW battery in it, and try to start the car. If it now starts, get out of there and don't give them any more business. I've never heard of a distributor melting. That sounds like nonsense to me. The distributor is made of metal and plastic. The metal won't melt, unless there has been a fire in your engine compartment. The only real possibility is that one or more plastic parts in the distributor have melted. If that has happened, those parts can be replaced individually; without having to replace the entire distributor.
#1497 of 1544 Re: 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems? [zaken1]
Aug 13, 2008 (1:17 pm)
Thanks for the information on how to go about getting a new battery. I will keep what you let me know in mind. And if the plastic parts have melted and keep not allowing my celica to start I will get another mechanic to replace the plastic parts individually.
Joel I would like to thank you in advance for your prompt and accurate information.
Have a good Day,
#1498 of 1544 Re: 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems? [dalicea97]
Aug 13, 2008 (10:57 pm)
Instead or replacing the battery, try jump starting with the battery from another car.
If the symtoms remain the same then the battery is OK. Dont have to replace it.
If the engine cranks but will not start, then the distributor may be broken or wet, or the cap may be worn out or broken. Just open up the cap can clean all contacts. If there are any cracks on the cap, the engine will not start.
#1499 of 1544 Re: 1994 Toyota celica engine starting problems? [peterpan99]
Aug 14, 2008 (5:13 am)
My distributor inside plastic is melted/cracked not withstanding its age( 1994 with milage:145,540) so of course will not start . I might is well replace the distributor so my celica will start. Once I get the new distributor hopefully my celica 1994. I will keep you informed.
#1500 of 1544 Re: Transmission Switch 1994 celica engine starting problems? [dalicea97]
Aug 16, 2008 (5:10 pm)
One more potential ignition killer: the switch at the automatic transmission lever. This switch lets the starter crank and engage only when the lever is set at P or N. If this switch is misadjusted or dead, the starter will not crank.
Leave the stick in P or N and try to wiggle it around while starting, sometimes it will move the switch enough to start the starter.
The same problem happened with a BMW 740 which left the owner desparate and destittute, replacing just about all modules in the ignition circuit without fixing the problem. He adjusted the transmission switch and all is fine.
There are lots of horror stories involving BMW's electrical systems. Toyota has much better electrical systems designs, mateirials and workmanship.