I have driven small Toyota 4X4 pickups since 1980 including an '89 for the past 25 years and > 200,000 miles. One day a couple of months ago it would crank but would not start although battery and starter seem fine. I did some basic testing eventually measuring the ignition coil resistance (within published range) and inspecting the distributor cap (looked fine). Upon reassembly, it started right up and ran fine for a few weeks. I hadn’t really done anything beside cleaning the rotor and cap contacts, moving around the wiring while in the process.
A few weeks ago I was driving in traffic just a few miles from home and it momentarily lost power twice within a mile. Check engine light was noted the second time. I was busy watching the cars ahead of me the first time. Both times it resumed running on it’s own and I continued on. A couple of weeks later it died three times within a few miles from home.
The first two times I was able to pull off out of traffic. Several minutes later, I was able to restart the engine. The third time I was stuck in a turn lane at an intersection, police arrived right away and the vehicle was towed to the dealer where I had purchased it only two miles away. They have been unable to reproduce the problem but believe they have eliminated the fuel filter and fuel pump as the cause. They have driven the vehicle several miles and left it running for an hour and a half with no problems noted. No diagnostic codes were recovered.
They now want me to retrieve the undiagnosed, unrepaired vehicle. We know it will fail again, probably under the worst possible circumstances. In heavy traffic, a multi-vehicle crash with associated injuries or deaths could result. It’s like if the vehicle itself doesn’t tell them what to do, they don’t know how to approach such a problem on their own any more. I’m not in a position to pour unlimited funds into a vehicle I have recently replaced (with a 2014 Tacoma). There must be a logical approach beyond checking the fuel filter and pump but they seem clueless. I can’t safely drive the vehicle and won’t offer it for sale until the problem is identified and corrected.
Educated advice would be much appreciated!