I have read some of the discussions here, and I have googled other discussions about it on other forums, but it didn’t seem like there was a definitive solution or answer to the situations that were most similar to mine. I wish people would post back the outcome if they get their problems solved or not.
I have a 1999 Camry. I just spent $1250 (half of it borrowed) to have some basic maintenance, diagnosis, and serious repair work done. More than half of the serious (translate: expensive) work involved replacing a charcoal canister and installing a thermostat. The check engine light had been on for at least 10 years. And I had a gas pumping problem by way of the pump shutting off after only pumping a few cents worth of gas. Needless to say it was a royal PIA to fuel up my car. As far as the check engine light, a friend would clear the code so I could have it inspected.
Then more than 2 years a shop took out my thermostat because a hose had sprung a leak and they rigged up a temporary hose until they could order the part. I never went back because I couldn’t afford it. I know it wouldn’t have been a terribly expensive repair, but at the time it was more than I could afford. So for almost 3 years I have driven with out a thermostat and also couldn’t get it inspected.
Fortunately I was finally able to get the necessary repair on my car–replacing the charcoal canister and thermostat–so that it could be inspected. I picked the car up yesterday and everything felt fine and the car ran fine.
Today I drove it about 12 miles from my home, made 3 back-to-back errand stops of not more than 15-20 minutes each and everything seemed fine. Nothing felt or sounded out of the ordinary. Then when I was leaving my 3rd stop, the car would not start unless I gave it gas. And it wouldn’t stay started unless I gave it gas. In other words, the car would go, but as soon as I would take my foot off the gas to press the brake to put it in gear, the engine would die. There was no problem restarting it as long as I gave it gas, but I could not let off the accelerator at all or it would immediately die. The car would go just fine, but if I let off the gas for any reason, even if I was driving 40 miles an hour on the street and let up completely off on the accelerator, the rpms would immediately drop to 0 and the engine would immediately die—no noise, no shuttering, no nothing—just die. This problem occured almost the whole 12 miles back to my home. Then when I got about a mile and a half away, it went back to behaving completely normal and did not die when I let off the gas.
Of course, I will check back with the repair shop, but I would really appreciate some advice and a bit of a heads up on the potential problem and cost. I don’t have much left to work with and this problem is significantly dangerous for the distance I have to drive to work each day.
Sorry this is such a long post. Thanks!