1995 toyota corolla won't start

Ok I got a 1995 toyota corolla 1.8l dx … So this is my back up car I went out started it up let it set and warm up and took it around the yard to run it a little well it ran fine then all of a sudden it lost all it’s power well I finaly got it back to the drive that was only 50ft away took almost 30mins just to get it there. I cut it off let it sit started it back up and still no power well now it won’t even start it has new plugs… Wires… Cap button. Help me cause I really need my back up car like last week thank you for any info or help

Well it does start for a min but hard to and when it does it wants to die if you give it has it don’t do nothing

How long had it been sitting before you started it? Mileage?

Like 2 weeks I stop driving it to run my truck for a little while and it has 226xxx miles and I had the timing belt replaced at around 200xxx

So what exactly happened when it lost all its power? The engine stayed running but the car wouldn’t move? Did the engine run rough? Any noise changes?

When it does NOT start, does it at least turn over with the key, or do you hear just a click, but no starter motor turning, or do you turn the key and nothing at all…no noise at all.

I’d guess though that you have a corroded battery terminal and post, or the cable itself is too corroded under the insulation causing no connection.


Yes it stayed running just lost all it’s power. And yes after it lost it’s power it started to run Rough

Also it has a new fuel filter and took the cat. Off and nothing changed about how it ran. And cleaned the throttle body

Battery is fully charged, clean connections, and working ok? Has it had a fuel pressure test? This sort of sounds like a fuel problem. If the fuel pressure is ok, you could have water in the gas tank. Bad gas, etc. If you have a bad fuel pump, that would usually show up with the pressure test.

Battery is clean and charged. And fuel press. Is at 55 and I try spraying gas in the body didn’t really to help to start at all

You don’t spray gas into the throttle body

You spray starting fluid . . . ether, usually

I don’t really know. It’s getting fuel and spark and sometimes it will crank up but when it does it’s running rough and you can give it gas and it won’t rev up at all

Ray suggested on the Car Talk NPR show today to use a timing light as an easy method to check for spark. Seems to make sense, if you have one you could try that when it won’t start.

For a car to start it has to have these function working

  1. spark
  2. gas injected
  3. air entering engine with the correct ratio to the gas
  4. exhaust gas leaving the engine
  5. compression
  6. ignition timing

Sometimes all 6 of those work, but it still won’t start. But usually one of those 6 is the problem. It’s just a matter of which one.

To fix your car, it has to be determined which one of the above 6 is the problem. This is where a pro mechanic can come in handy, as a pro likely has experience with this problem on this make of car and knows which is the most likely cause, so that’s the place to start. You might consider taking it to a good inde shop and ask for a diagnosis, then you can fix whatever’s broken if you like.

Since you say it’s getting spark and gas ok, maybe there’s a compression problem. Worth a check anyway. Sometimes cars that sit for extended periods, the valves will stick or not move freely, and that will affect compression.

If you hadn’t told me that you had good spark and plenty of fuel being delivered, my first guess would be either the fuel pump (or fuel pump relay) or a problematic ignition igniter, the latter is a part usually found inside the distributor.

On a 1995 Corolla, the igniter is external of the distributor. But the coil is inside the distributor, under the cap

Yea I was told it maybe the distbutor but didn’t want to spend 230 bucks on a maybe

How are you determining you have a good spark?

With a spark tester or one of your spark plugs?

You should have a bright blue spark with the spark tester

I’ve seen bad coils that would cause a no start

They would fire off the regular plug . . . but not the spark tester

I used to have a 1995 Corolla 1.8 . . . one day it wouldn’t start. I measured coil secondary and primary resistance. Was good. Then I took out the coil to examine. It was physically cracked. Impossible to see until it was removed. Replace it, and engine lit right up

Inside the distributor there may be a signal generator (AKA pickup coil.) If it fails you’ll have your symptoms.

Are you weeping any oil out the front of the engine?
Do you have the knowledge to test your valve timing? Can you use a vacuum gage? This sounds like the timing belt may have jumped a tooth or two.