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94 camry check engine light flashing

I have a 94 camry 4 cylinder that I have recently been experiencing some electrical issues yesterday everything was fine tried to start it today turns over but won’t fire I have multiple indicator lights that stay lit when key is on CEL,battery, tail light, and oil pressure. When jumping TE1 and E1 terminals to get fault codes the CEL and O/D lights continuously blink and I have no idea what direction to go in right now can any one point me in a direction to continue to diagnose thanks

Do you have spark?

Go to your local auto parts store and get a spark tester . . . the spark should be very bright blue

If you have good spark, do you have correct fuel pressure?

Here’s something else . . . remove the air filter, spray one blast of ether towards the engine

Now try to start the vehicle

If it briefly runs, you may very well have a fuel pressure and/or delivery problem

Battery light and oil pressure light should be lit if key is on with engine off. The blinking CEL and O/D light, are they just blinking at a constant rate? It may be distracting to see both blinking, really try to concentrate on just the CEL and it should blink X times, then pause, then blink Y times and a longer pause. Is that not what you’re seeing?

Yes CEL AND O/D light both blink at a constant rate but only when jumping pins to read codes if not jumping pins CEL constant and no O/D light.

I have spark and tried to start with ether and got nothing just cranking making me think I may have jumped time?

Just confused as to why I can’t check the codes

Does this engine have a distributor? If so remove the cap and then crank the engine. If the rotor is not turning, you have broken or stripped the timing belt.

If it doesn’t have a distributor, the belt cover at the front of the engine should be in two pieces, the top piece is easy to remove so you can see if the belt is intact and if it is rotating with the engine when it is being cranked over.

Please elaborate

How did you determine this?

With a spark tester?

Is the engine spinning over WAY faster than normal . . . ?!

Both the belt and the distributor are turning. But I feel like the belt tension should be tighter than what it is I can pull the housing back and move it back and forth with minimal finger pressure. I haven’t done the belt in The 50,000 or so miles that I have owned it so I’m thinking that’s where I’m going to start.

The engine spins at a normal rate like it has compression and I determined spark by pulling the plugs and grounding them while turning over the spark tester that I have wont fit on the plug when it is down in the head

Instead of moving the upper cover, remove the upper cover so you have a clear view of the cam gears. Rotate the crankshaft until the timing mark is at TDC. I believe this engine has two cams. There should be two lines on the front of each gear that should be level with the cover rail of the head and if the crank is TDC for #1, there should be a dot or tiny circle at the top of the gear. If the dot or the circle is at the bottom, it is TDC for #4, but that is OK as long as the two lines are level with the cover rail. If they are not, then it has skipped time.

You could also look at the rotor inside the distributor and see if it is pointing in the general vicinity of #1 or #4 but that is not quite as accurate.

If the cam gears line up and you have spark and compression as you stated, then it sounds like you injectors aren’t getting their pulses or your fuel pump is shot.

Edit: might be easier to check for fuel pressure first.

When you jumper TE1 and E1 and turn the key on, the check engine light will flash the codes in a pattern of long and short flashes. If the check engine light blinks constantly at a steady rate there are no codes. So you have checked for codes and there are none. Simple.

A car that old will not provide fault codes reliably for a no start condition. The car simply wasn’t built that way. Diagnosis needs to be done based on symptom and pinpoint testing under the hood.

If you have spark at the spark plugs, check the fuel pressure, compression, and fuel injector operation.

My similar vintage Corolla uses that same code reading method. I have to step on the gas pedal first, to get the codes to display. How it is done exactly depends on whether it is a manual transmission and whether it has AC or not. On mine (manual, no AC) there’s always one code displayed, 51, whether there’s a problem or not. 51 isn’t really an error code. It says that the throttle position switch is working. If you have no codes at all, the problem might be the throttle position switch. But that cause for a no-start seems pretty unlikely.

So you have visually verified a robust spark at the tip of a spark plug during cranking, right? And it cranks robustly, right? Yet spraying a dose of starter spray into the intake manifold does nothing at all, not even a pop? hmmm … it seems like the next step is a compression test. I’d probably double check the valve timing first, as doing a compression test with incorrect valve timing might cause add’l problems.

The only other thing I can think of is the engine is flooded. That seems far fetched with this engine design, but is at least consistent w/these symptoms. I had that happen to my old VW Rabbit and couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t start. Spark ok, fuel ok. But if the engine is flooded spark and fuel ok isn’t enough to make it start. Had to remove the spark plugs and let the engine sit overnight to allow the fuel in the cylinders to evaporate. Then it started right up. Remove a plug. If the tip is wet w/fuel, that would confirm the engine is flooded. Sometimes fuel system testing will inadvertently result in a flooded engine.

Also try bridging the diagnostic terminals with the key “off”, then turn to the key to “on”. Maybe that’ll get the codes working. You should see one nominal code blinked out at least I think, besides the constant flashing.

Anything that blocks air flow into or out of the engine will prevent starting. Engine air filter clogged, cat clogged, somebody put a potato in your exhaust pipe, etc.

Isn’t that an indicator when there is a transmission issue? To retrieve the codes, I would invest $25-35 and purchase an inexpensive OBD reader. With that year car, I am sure it will come in handy in the future as well.

op’s car is OBD1, not OBD2

He’ll need a Toyota-specific adapter

Unless this car is one of those very early cars that has the 16pin d-shaped dlc . . .

obd2 wasn’t required until the 1996 model year

some 1995 model year cars had the obd2 dlc

very few 1994 model year cars had it

most code readers in the price range you’re talking about will only have the obd2 connector, not the various adapters needed for earlier cars


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