Toyota Corolla - won't start when hot (weather and car!)


#1

I have a 1992 Toyota Corolla that will not start in the summers when the engine gets hot (and summer weather doesn’t seem to help.)
This is the 3rd summer it has happened as I attempt to run errands on the weekend and make several stops. After the 2nd or 3rd location, the car will not start. I must wait 30-45 min. for the car to cool down.
I have called tow trucks before and by the time they get to me they are able to start the car. They always check the battery and tell me it is fine. I even bought a new battery just to make sure the first summer it happened.
Obviously something is heating up, but what?


#2

Most likely the coil. Depending on the engine option, this coil could be mounted on the side or built into the distributor. The 1.6L 4-cyl is one of the engines with the coil in the distributor. I’d recommend replacing the entire distributor if that is the case. Taking it apart to replace just the coil could cost more than just replacing the distributor with a remanufactured one.


#3

Replacing the distributor is not a bad idea. The problem could be due to a worn distributor shaft bushing. It could also be the ignitor. It seems that when one goes, the others follow and pretty soon, you’ve paid more than a reman distributor would cost.

BTW, even though the coil is built into the distributor, it’s pretty easy to change.

Before sinking this kind of money in it, first determine if you have a spark problem or a fuel problem. When it doesn’t start, pull a plug wire, stick an old sparkplug in and lay it on the engine, or put a screwdriver in the end and place it close to a metal part of the engine. Have someone crank it and look for a spark. If you see one, then you need to look for a fuel problem.


#4

Thanks, guys. I appreciate your suggestions and knowledge!


#5

I’m wondering what “will not start” means.

You could be turning the key and the car just cranks & cranks & cranks but won’t fire up. In that case, the comments given are the places to start.

Or you could be turning the key and getting nothing - or maybe just some little noises. That’s a whole different kind of no start and a whole different set of potential problems to troubleshoot.