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2002 Toyota Avalon starts when it wants

I have a 2002 Toyota Avalon XLS. Starts when it wants to, not my idea in a car. After an episode, I sprayed ether into the air intake and it wanted to start, but died when the ether bunny fumes died. Figured it was the fuel pump. Replaced it, ran fine, until I drove to my Dad’s, he is 87, irrelevant, 20 minute drive there and then to the hardware store, 5 minutes. Cranks but wont start. Got back to his home to fix the sump pump and woudn’t start athisi home. After several attempts, finally started. What’s up?

Does it always fail to start after you’ve driven it for awhile and shut it off? i.e., is it warm when it won’t start? Or does it also fail to start the first time you try to start it for the day?

Can you always hear the fuel pump run for a few seconds when you turn the key to Run (not all the way to Start)?

I would guess an intermittent fuel pump relay. Since it’s intermittent, replace it for $5-$10 and see what happens.

A bad Crankshaft Position Sensor can cause an intermittent no-start problem.


It cranks over but won’t start

I usually started I can drive it for a short period of time generally less than 5 miles turn it off come back out shortly and it won’t start seems as though it will start if it sat for a while. I took the gas cap off thinking it could be vapor lock but it didn’t help. I was using the valet key what had happened and I saw something about programing keys

It’ll crank over but not start because if the crank sensor isn’t sending a signal to the computer, the computer see’s no reason to operate the fuel and ignition systems.


Is that located in the gas tank with a fuel pump

No, it’s on the engine probably near the harmonic balancer (big pulley driven by the crankshaft) maybe under the timing belt/chain cover. There’ll be wires coming from it even if it’s hidden.

Thanks for the response. Can the crank sensor be intermittent? The car does eventually start, but then it happens all over again

Read this.


I don’t think it’s the crankshaft position sensor since you get it to fire using starting fluid when this occurs so you have spark. I believe the fuel pump relay is called the EFI Main relay, under the drivers side kick panel? If you go buy one at a local parts store, look in a manual.