Loss of power while accellerating


I have a '95 Camry with 140K miles… Recently I experienced a loss of power when I accellerate onto the highway. This usually occurs when I switch into 4th or 5th gear. The car kind of stutters, and loses power, then I downshift and kind of nurse it back up to speed and it does fine. Once up to speed, it does not have a problem. I find that if I accellerate very slowly, I don’t have the problem. I used to have a similar problem a couple of years ago - then it died altogether, and a mechanic replaced the coil-distributer-module, and it solved it - he said the coil went. Thanks for any ideas.


When was the last time that your fuel filter was replaced? My best guesses are that you need to replace that filter or your fuel pump is weak and is on its way out.

Smells like a dirty fuel filter, to me. A dirty fuel filter would drop the fuel pressure and lessen acceleration. Your mechanic needs to check the fuel pressure with the engine UNDER LOAD. He can do this by driving the car with a fuel test gauge attached, or with the car stationary, gearshift in DRIVE, and engine rpm held at 2000+ rpm.

Thanks - do you know where the fuel filter is located on this vehicle?

The fuel filter is in the engine compartment. Getting to it is a piece of pie. Click on this link for some show and tell > http://www.autozone.com/shopping/repairGuide.htm?pageId=0900c15280073f40

One other thing to check for:

I have a friend with a Mazda 626 that had the same symptom. Turns out the outside of his spark plugs and the plug boots were sitting in a pool of oil due to leaky valve cover o-rings, which caused weak spark. If your Camry is DOHC and the plugs are located through the middle of the valve cover gasket this is a possible cause.

Thanks everyone - I replaced the fuel filter last evening, and it seems to be running fine (although the problem was intermittent). I cut apart the old filter, unravelled it, let it dry overnight, and looked at it this AM, and the bottom half (inlet side) of the filter medium was discolored, so perhaps it was creating higher than normal pressure drop and starving my cylinders during high load… The other two possibilities I can think of (if I ever experience the problem again) are electrical, or vacuum leak. Both are easy to eliminate, so, if it comes back, I’ll replace wires, plugs, cap, rotor (these are about 30K old), then all vacuum hoses, then the expensive fuel pump. I love the way Toyota though of putting a removable cover under the back seat for fuel pump replacement - so much better than dropping the gas tank.