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Camry 93 2.2L Won't Start after idling

My 1993 Camry was running great until it died while idling to warm up during cold weather. Now it won’t start cold. Starter turns over but no ignition. What should I do? Thanks!

Has the timing belt been changed?

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I’m going to ask a dumb question - could it have run out of gas?
I’ve had a defective gas gauge before, thought the thing was barely using any fuel for two weeks til it up and died on me.


I don’t know about the timing belt. Maybe not, is there a way to tell?

I’m pretty sure there is enough gas, but I will add a gallon and try it.

You say ‘it won’t start cold’. Do you mean it won’t start at all? And this happened after an unexpected stall? First guess is the timing belt.

I’ve had the car for about a year. About a week ago, it died after running
(driving it) for about 5 minutes, but then started up again after sitting
for 15 minutes or so.

Then a couple of days ago, it was idling to warm up, then died. Now it
won’t start at all. Battery seems fine, starter runs turns over fine. If
the timing belt is the wide belt on the passenger side of the engine block,
it looks in good shape and maybe even new.

Thanks again for your help and suggestions! Any other things to consider or
look at?

sounds like this could be a fuel pump. Can you check fuel pressure?

Is the engine spinning WAY faster than normal, when it cranks over?

If yes, the timing belt probably snapped . . . the good news is you have a non-interference engine

You can NOT see the timing belt without removing the plastic timing case cover(s)

Do you have spark? Spark testers are only a few bucks, and available at any auto parts store

Does it start and run briefly, with a shot of ether? Also cheap, at any auto parts store

Fuel pressure is a pain to check on this car . . . no test port. You have to tee in. Not a problem for me, but probably not easy for a DIY guy, such as OP

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To check for a snapped timing belt, remove the distributor cap and then have someone crank the engine over.

If the rotor in the distributor doesn’t rotate, the timing belt snapped.


I have a 1.6 L 4afe Corolla of similar vintage. On that engine I can remove the oil filler cap and peek in and see if the camshaft is turning or not during cranking. If the camshaft seems to be turning ok, the timing belt is probably ok.

Other than the timing belt, cranks but no start is almost always either a fuel or spark problem. First step is to ask your shop to check for a visual spark at the spark plugs during cranking, and if spark seems ok, do a fuel pressure test.

I sprayed starter fluid down the throttle bore. It did nothing. :frowning: Ok, next I’ll test spark and timing. Peaking at the camshaft sounds like a good trick.Thanks again all!

The way I check for spark is to remove a spark plug lead, and install a spare spark plug onto it. Then I hold the spark plug against an engine ground to complete the high voltage circuit and watch while a helper cranks the engine. You should see a healthy blue-white spark jump clear across the gap. Careful you don’t touch any live contacts or any grounds yourself when doing this, b/c it is possible to get a nasty shock . Good idea to wear some thick-ish rubber globes just to be safe.

I think I’ve seen some of those thickish rubber globes at the beach!!!



It was the timing belt. Broken. Had a local shop replace it and the water pump with some other recommended seals/gaskets. $614 parts and labor.

Thanks for all your help.

Thanks for the update

And I’m glad to hear you got the car running again!

I’m assuming those “recommended seals/gaskets” were the cam and crank seals. I hope you also got the oil pump resealed, because those seals get hard as a rock, and before you know it, you’ve got a niagara falls sized leak, anytime the engine is running

Sincere thanks for taking the time to let us know the result. It’s always good to hear a happy ending.
Happy motoring.