RANDOM~ dying, starting, running great and dying again 1993 TOYOTA CAMRY LE 6 CYL 3.0

CAR REPAIR~ POSSIBLE electric issue.
I have a 1993 Toyota Camry LE 6 cylinder 3.0 liter
1st issue- random stalling, first when at idle, died after 5 minutes running in park, took 20 minutes to start and drive again.
Ran for few days fine.
2nd time, driving after 2-3 errands, died in transit. Just lost all power to accelerate/full lights on dash/accelerating went from great to no power in 5 seconds. took 20 minutes to start again!

Went to 1st mechanic, changed the main relay, checked fuel pump and it was fine. His computer did not diagnose 1993 models so on to the next~
2nd mechanic~ changed TPS, (said tps was shorting out main computer) found a used PCM for my model and added timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt and same problem happened upon departure from mechanic. died at idle in the driveway…before accelerating fully. started up 20 minutes later though!
He said he had no problems driving for a couple days before asking me to pick it up.

Took out remote ignition switch, left mechanic feeling great! No issues! Ran fine, started GREAT! for 2 days:) and now same thing but more of it. Ran 2-3 errands, drove home after sitting for about an hour, started fine, went 2 blocks, sputtered, pulled over, put it in park and accelerated and it slowly died again when revving it up, all power goes down like a candle is being blown out, poof, no power. 20 minutes later…started! died in transit though! 25 minutes later, started again, got home on NEw YEars EVe. Waited till morning to take it back to mechanic, wont start at 9 am, 10-11-12-1-2-3 but at 5 pm started. Did not go to the mechanic, did not drive, it just started on New Years Day, now this morning, no start:( Any thoughts before I take it to the mechanic to actually FIX it? I cant get a full diagnostic of checks that were made from the mechanic. He has all necessary gadgets, but I just want to see what you guys think and I can be more informed this time when I talk to him. I would REALLy appreciate it. Someone said to take the positive off the battery, replace and start the car, if it starts then it would suggest the new(used) PCM might not be working as well as we thought. I think its an air intake issue, but I dont know enough to even check for this.

The problem might be caused from a failing ignition control module.


But you want to make sure that’s the problem as these are not cheap. Or you could try getting a used ICM from a car at an auto recycler.


Concur w/@Tester, to me this sounds like an ignition problem, most likely the module inside the distributor. There are other possibilities, fuel delivery being one, but that seems less likely given the symptoms. Could just be a defective battery or ignition switch too, or one of the engine’s main relays on the fritz. If this was a late 70’s VW Rabbit I’d say it was the fuel distributor was clogged with sand, but you car doesn’t have one. hmm … well, you could have a plugged fuel filter I suppose. Has it every been changed in the life of the car?

I have a 92 Corolla, and you car is probably very similar to mine. It is OBD I, so it won’t work with a normal scan tool. But your PCM (ECM I think is the term Toyota uses) has built-in diagnostic software that will test everything testable and output all the trouble codes detected. It would find a faulty TPS for example, and output a code for that. This may sound complicated but it is all very easy for a mechanic to do, no special equipment needed. Takes 5 or 10 minutes. Similar to how an OBDII scan tool does it. Only, since there is no scan tool involved, the code numbers are blinked out on the check engine light instead.

BTW, if you disconnect the battery, it will erase all the codes. So read the codes before disconnecting the battery.

With a 93 almost anything is possible, but I think this will prove fixable. Best of luck.