Hi All, this is the first time that I am reaching out to this group. I have a puzzle. I drive a 1994 Toyota Camry with 170K miles that is a two-door and five speed. Last year it began occasionally stalling in certain situations-specifically on hot days when I was driving for more than 15-20 minutes, arrived at a stop light, removed pressure from the accelerator and idled at the light. After stalling it was hard to restart…my typical approach of whisper swearing, trying to restart it, putting the hood up, more whisper swearing often while pushing vehicle out to of the traffic malay has always resulted in the vehicle restarting. The issue was clearly not related to power. Note, I got very good a keeping the car from stalling by putting the car in neutral and depressing the accelerator to keep an idle-after this the car drives rough for a bit.) My sense was the problem was related to fuel? I used stabil and a fuel injector fluid on suggestions of friends. After finally resorting to my trusty mechanic he said that he wasn’t sure, he could walk down the line, probably a sensor or something but that he did not have a diagnostic kit to test it. “Bring it to the dealer, they can test it and narrow down the problem.” August 2011, they ‘solved’ the problem by replacing a cracked ignition coil. The vehicle did stall once-It restarted-after this repair but I chalked it up to my own error-releasing the clutch a little too quickly. Then winter in Maine. And then May and warm weather again, the radiator failed and I had it replaced along with two fresh front tires. I also received an inspection and a to do list. About two weeks later amid a heat wave here in Maine I stalled at a light (I have already described my process). This continued in a generally predictable but not completely reliable stalling pattern. Once again my local mechanic balked at the repair after replacing fuel and air filter, and suggested that I drive with the gas cap loose, “seems to be related to fuel and or pressure or…not really sure, you should bring it back to the dealer if it stalls again”. It did. Now it is June 2012, the dealer contact, who is not the technician but a customer service rep (hopefully not his greatest strength) relayed that it was a thermostat issue that was causing the car to not use coolant to cool the engine. He also loosely summarized the other $3500 dollars in repairs that the car needed. Most of which I was aware of but had been quoted at more like $2000-$2500.
(1) Is the thermostat going to solve the problem? The ignition coil replacement did not. I just ok’d the repair and vowed to keep in touch about the long list of engine, strut, front brake, etc.
(2) How big a sucker am I? What is my course of action when it stalls on my way home after picking it up?
(3) Does anyone have any other thoughts about this?
Thanks for your interest and input.