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96 Camry turns but won’t start

Help!!! I have a 96 Camry 4 cylinder that’s been sitting in my driveway for a couple of years. The engine turns but I’m not getting spark out of the coil when the key is in the run position. The only time I get spark from the coil is when I move the ignition switch from off to on and the spark is momentary. The I’ve replaced both the coil and ignition module and still have the same result. Any ideas what I can check next?

The gas in the tank is long gone bad. Even IF you find your problem, you may never know it because the car isn’t likely to run on this gas. Drain the tank, put it fresh fuel before you try any further.

Just how are you testing the spark? Are you cranking the engine over and holding the spark plug wire close to bare metal to witness the spark?

Have you checked or replaced the crankshaft position sensor?

@Mustangman The tank was almost empty and I had just added 6 gallons of fresh fuel last week.
As for how I checked the spark from the coil - yes, I held (with insulated pliers) the other end of the coil wire close to a bolt on the body while someone turned the ignition switch.
I haven’t checked the crank sensor. I can do that tomorrow and report back.

But the fuel in the pump and lines is junk so that new fuel may not be able to get to the engine.

So how do I drain fuel from the pump and lines? I should also add that I replaced the fuel filter last week as well.

I agree that fuel is going to most likely be a problem after the car has sat this long. However, if you’re truly not getting spark, it’s not going to matter. Will the engine attempt to fire if you spray a little blast of starting fluid in the throttle body? I wouldn’t really want to use ether on a modern engine, but if it’s been sitting a couple of years, I’d gamble using it as a test.

Plug an OBDII reader into the diagnostics port and see if there are any codes. 1996 is the first year of mandated OBDII in the US. This can be helpful in diagnosing problems. If they car wont’ run to set a code, you may not have any and this might not help. Rent one using a “loaner tool” program at a parts store and read the codes. You pay for the product with the full understanding you will be refunded the full price when you are done. All the big chain places do this nowadays.

Also, WHY did the car sit this long? WHY was it parked? That might explain something as well.

IF you get any fault codes, I would attack those problems first. They will be something like P0420. The CPS code is P0335. The cam sensor is P0340.

Maybe mice decided to make this car home and chewed some wires! Anything is possible when they sit this long.

If you already replaced those ignition components how do you know they were faulty? I hope the new parts are also functional. Does this vehicle have a security system? If so… look into that and be sure it is disarmed as this issue may be intentional. Then I would ensure that your ignition switch is providing the coil / ignition module with 12vdc when the key is in the run as well as in the start position. Does this vehicle have a distributor? If so how does the inside of the cap look? The rotor ?

If the issue is a sensor or something similar the OBDII port should have codes for you to go from…It may be trying to tell you something obvious.

Look into any engine codes, the distributor and rotor, a security system issue…and then verify that your ignition components are getting power when they are supposed to be. Amongst all these items you should be able to get spark back again if everything is functional otherwise.