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'93 Toyota Corolla hesitating, almost dying with clutch in


My girlfriend has a 1993 corolla, with a little over 200,000 miles on it, manual transmission. It has been running great until a couple days ago. Driving back from Seattle, we noticed the car hesitating while driving. With the gas applied, it seemed as if the car was hesitiating forward and backward, it seemed as if the engine wasn’t getting enough gas. This happens in all gears, but less so in 5th I think. The next morning, while stopped with the clutch in, the car seemed to be always on the verge of dying out, with the RPMs dropping, and then revving back up constantly, right before it seemed the engine would die. The engine hasn’t actually cut out yet, but it seemed very close. We shifted into neutral and the same problem was happening, so I don’t think it’s a clutch problem. I’m wondering what the problem could be, and the fix for it.

Thank you for reading, if there is any other information I can supply, let me know.

Follow up: there is a strong gas scent as well, noticeable when starting from a stop. There were no leaks underneath the car after it sitting overnight. It’s also difficult to get it started from a stop, it needs a lot of fuel before it kicks in, then there is a huge gas smell.

The one time I experienced symptoms like these, it turned out to be a throttle position sensor, and a fairly cheap fix.

Is the smell raw gas or rotten eggs? If it is a raw gas smell you may have a gas leak and I would not drive it. If it smells like rotten eggs you probably have a misfire.

Leaky fuel injector would cause the strong smell of gas!

Thanks for the input! It’s being taken into the shop tomorrow, do you guys have any good metric for judging a fair price on the fuel injector, or,say, throttle position sensor?

I could also be your fuel filter if it is dying in neutral or your clutch could be misaligned

Fuel pressure regulator failing can also cause your problems. Simple to diagnose with a high-pressure fuel pressure gauge.

Mechanic said there was a crack in the exhaust manifold next to the O2 sensor, but they are keeping it an extra day (mostly for parts they said). Does this sound plausible? The mechanic did check out OK in the mechanics files on this website, which is reassuring.

I appreciate all the help!