1995 Camry won't start

After we turn off the car, it won’t restart if it is still hot. To get the car going again, we have to pour water over the engine. Then it will restart. The mechanic cannot find anything wrong with the car, but we have been stranded at the grocery store, at work…Sometimes the engine also stutters. It has died when stopped at a light.

after reading tips to new posters, I should say our Camry has 120,000 miles, we live in northeast Ohio, it is manual transmission; we are the original owners. Until this problem started occurring, we have never had a problem with the car. In trying to solve this problem we replaced the idle valve.

after driving the car, we arrive at destination and turn off car. Go inside for 30 minutes; come back out; car cranks but will not start. Get water bottle out of trunk; pour water on engine, car will usually start then. If not, keep pouring water until it does. This has worked every time so far. Before we tried the water, we would have to sit and wait for another 20 minutes or so for car to cool down and then it would start.

Indiscriminately pouring water over the engine is not a great idea. Not everything under there wants to get wet. In addition, not everything under there can put up with being cooled down that fast. Can you be more specific about what it is that you are dousing with water?

Chances are that you are having a fuel system issue. What has your mechanic actually done to try to figure out what is wrong?

a mechanic at the Toyota dealer ran the computer check and said there was nothing wrong; we took our car to an independent shop recommended by others; he ran the computer program and said nothing was showing up; they could not replicate the problem when we left the car there; I talked to a friend who works on his own car and he suggested: problem with fuel line, problem with idle, problem with thermostat. My husband is the one who has talked to the mechanic. He says the mechanic said: no problem with fuel line; they replaced the idle valve (? is this correct term); drove car still cannot replicate problem; he says it is not the thermostat. They are stumped because all systems appear to be working fine.

My husband starting pouring the water; he says he knows where he is pouring it but says he doesn’t know what part of the engine it is. By the way, he just got home and the car died just now when he was on his way home when he was stopped in traffic. He did the water thing again; he says “I don’t have anything particularly in mind; I am just pouring water all over the engine. It might not be good, but it is working.”

We can’t really afford a new car right now because our daughter just got married and we think if we can figure this out the car will last a long time. Other problems: dome light doesn’t work and when we replaced the bulb it burned out in a minute; car beeps when you get out of the car even when you have removed the key–put the key back and turn it on and turn it off and take the key out and the beeping stops. I don’t think these are related, but as you can tell I know nothing about cars (and my husband doesn’t know much more).

There’s some chance that he is cooling down the ignition coil by pouring water on it. But what you have to say is confusing. First you implied that he knows where he is pouring it. Then you implied that he doesn’t. If he knows exactly which thing works in terms of restarting the car, he should go to the mechanic (not the dealer) and show the mechanic what he is doing.

Sorry about being confusing. He is confusing me, too. He acted as if he knew where he was pouring it, but he told me just now that he just sort of pours it all over. I will tell him to go show the mechanic what he is doing right now. Thanks so much for your input. If you or anyone else has any other ideas, please let us know.

We just talked to our mechanic. He says another mechanic there suggested: ignition coil (this sounds promising). Other ideas I have got from reading about a similar problem on this site (on a 2005 Malibu): leaking fuel injector, defective fuel pressure regulator, coolant sensor, sticking thermostat. What do you think? We are taking the car on Monday.

I’m thinking he is cooling the coil down, but he also could be cooling the fuel rail down from a vapor lock due to a poor performing fuel pump. The simple test when it doesn’t start would be to check for spark, then for fuel pressure but if he doesn’t know what he’s pouring water on, he is unlikely to have the tools or knowledge to check these. Take it to the mechanic and let it run till it stalls, then they can check it.

Thanks for your help. I can guarantee neither of us has the tools or the knowledge to check much of anything.

As usual Cigroller stole the words right outta my mouth. The water on engine idea…wherever you got it from…is Cooling down a failing or cracked coil most likely…or distributor cap. Ignition components will or usually begin to fail in this manner…when they get hot they quit…when they cool they work again. Usually due to voltage leaking…thru a cracked casing or what have you. But the failure when hot is almost always an ignition component on its way out. In your case I’d do some checking around your coil.

You can also see if you can get her running when cold and let her warm up…AT NIGHT IN THE DARK…less light the better…Se if you get lucky and see a fireworks show near the coil, wires, distributor cap… If so…you will know what to do or what to replace.