Toyota Camry 1999 died while driving, within 2 minutes of pulling out of driveway

My Toyota Camry CE (1999) died while I was driving it. Right as it came to a halt, the “oil,” “battery” and “check engine” lights all came on (more or less simultaneously).

The engine turns over, but doesn’t start. The lights turn on and off, the windows still operate, and other electrical functions seem normal.

The only possible warning sign was that a week or so earlier, there were a couple of occasions in which the engine briefly juddered and shook while idling.

Have replaced the spark plugs, nothing has changed.

The alternator is new (replaced about a year ago).

Odometer: ~ 160k miles.

Timing belt was last replaced at 100k miles.

Any ideas what this issue could be? Am wondering if it is:
-faulty crankshaft sensor
-fuel pump


Spray some starter fluid into the intake and try to start it. Of it starts and runs only while you spray, it is a fuel problem.

If nothing happens, won’t even try to start, could very well be the crank position sensor. If that goes, there will be no spark or fuel injector pulse.


+1 to @Mustangman The reason all the warning lights came is because the engine stalled.


Is the engine cranking over WAY faster than normal . . . ?!

If yes . . . your timing belt is broken


You check engine tight must be on. Have the codes read, they might give you a clue. You will either need a code reader, a tow to a mechanic or a mobile mechanic.

1 Like

UPDATE: It was the timing belt. Luckily the engine is non-interference – the mechanic is looking into it and let me know the damage is minimal to zero, as far as he can tell so far.

Lesson learned: get timing belt replaced at exactly 60k miles, don’t risk waiting longer.

Thanks everyone for the input!