I’m trying to keep the old girl out of the boneyard, so any help diagnosing this would be great. Here’s the skinny. I have a 94 Camry, 4 cyl, with 262K on the body and about 180K on a replacement Toyota engine. Because I commute on a motorcycle, I rarely drive it lately, and she’ll often sit idle for weeks at a time, but she always started right up and ran great when I needed her.
The problem surfaced one morning on the way to work. Because I hadn’t driven her in quite a while, I pulled into a gas station about 4 miles from the house to check the tire pressures. As I turned into the station, she shut off. Dash lights on, but no go. I initially guessed she had maybe just idled too low and stalled, so I tried restarting. Cranked strong, but no ignition. I pushed her into a parking space and walked home. Came back later to tow her home, but she started up just fine, and I drove home.
About a week later, thinking maybe the problem was a fluke, I took her to work again. Same thing. About 4 miles from home (different route), the engine quit. This time I was going in a perfectly straight line down a highway. Again, I coasted into a parking lot and stopped. Having my laptop with me and things to do, I decided to try waiting. Sure enough, after about an hour, she started; and I headed for home. Didn’t make it.
I made it, in fact, to almost home. She died again one block from the house. Again I waited, and again, she started after 45 minutes. Apparently there was a finite and predictable distance she could go. About 4 miles was it.
Discussions with a few frinds suggested it might be a bad fuel filter that allowed me to drive as far as the downstream fuel would take me. Waiting allowed more gas to get through until she’d start again. I replaced the fuel filter. That wasn’t it.
Now she won’t start at all. Cranks strong, but won’t fire, even with ether sprayed into the intake. Nothing, not even a pop. So now I’m wondering what component of the ignition could have gone bad. I’m also thinking that the symptomatic distance limitation was a result of engine temperature.
Any help here? It’s not as if this car owes me anything, and 262K isn’t bad run; but if I can swap out an electrical part for not much $$, I’d do it.