What Could Be Wrong With a 1998 Camry?

I thought they were indestructible. Anyhow, here’s my problem: sometimes when I start the car, it just dies. It’s been doing that intermittently for the past three years or so, mostly when the car has been out in the heat. Recently it has been happening more often; alarmingly, it happened while driving a couple of weeks ago.

Additionally, it seems to rev irregularly at times while driving, the rpms going up & down in small spurts when my foot is evenly pressed on the gas pedal.

I have taken it to three different mechanics, none of whom know why it’s happening. Naturally, it doesn’t happen when a mechanic is in the car.

I change the oil every three months, all fluids have been changed, all known regular maintenance has been done, & the battery is only two years old. Why is my poor car dying? It has 127,000 miles on it & I thought it would last forever. I am very sad. Anyone know what’s up?

Thanks…Cathy J.

Did you check the distributor? I’m not familiar with Camry, but I know if oil gets into distributor, it could foul the camshaft sensor and cause random RPM as you described.

Is the ‘check engine’ light on? If so, that should point to the trouble spot. If not, then there are certain systems that are not monitored by the ECM. One of those are fuel system problems. If there are flaky fuel pressure problems, some of these will not set a trouble code. Change your fuel filter ever? This is not a part of a regular tune-up anymore, since these things tend to last past 60K miles. Plus a flaky fuel pressure regulator or pump will cause these problems. A simple fuel pressure gauge check can spot a problem quickly sometimes.

I’m planning on bringing the car to a local mechanic & all leads help. Thanks for responding. Wish me luck!