Won't start after replacing distributor and Ignition Control Module

I am having a hrad time determining what is the issue with my car after replacing the distributor and ignition control module it still will not hold a chrage for longer than ten minutes. Has anyone had this issue? The car has 114,000 miles.

Misspellings ignored (hrad, chrage), what is the actual problem? If it is that you can’t start the car because the battery is dead, then you need a new battery. For what reason(s) did you mess with the ignition system? You might get better help if you reply with the model year as well.

It is a 1994, I was driving in January when at a light the car just stopped and would not turn over. I had it towed and my mechanic looked at it thinking it was the distributor. The distributor was replaced and the same issue of starting and not holding the charge for longer than ten minutes occured.It was very nerve racking to drive to the store and have to pull over because my car died in the middle of the street, It was determined that the ignition control module should be replaced as my mechanic has had experience that was a common failing part in older Camrys.
so, after having both parts replaced, and the same issue of not holding the charge for more than ten minutes is ongoing. Looking for advice. Thanks!

By not turn over do you mean the starter would crank the engine (what we call turn over) but not start the engine?

If the battery won’t hold a charge, in other words, the engine stops and you can’t crank the engine (is this what you mean?), the battery is bad, the alternator is bad or there is a huge parasitic drain. The first 2 are very easy for any mechanic to check, the 3rd is a little more difficult.

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My apologies, I have stated the issue incorrectly. It runs for ten minutes then shuts off cranks but no start, thanks

The car is acting like the crankshaft position sensor is going bad. Gets hot, stops the engine. Cools down, it starts.

Have your mechanic check that or just change it, they aren’t expensive.


Is the replacement distributor used or new ?


Thanks @mustangman for your comment, I have let my mechanic know.
The replaced distributor is a new one.

If the mechanic needs to be told how to fix the vehicle then you need another mechanic. A good shop should be able to solve this without just changing parts to see what happens.


Point taken, thanks. Does anyone recommend a decent Toyota shop in Brooklyn that isn’t over priced?

This is when you ask friends , relatives , coworkers and use the online reviews of your area .

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I agree with @Mustangman

And heads up . . . a huge percentage of bad crankshaft position sensors never generate any fault codes

Don’t let the absence of a fault code make you think everything’s okay

Alright, thanks. I have already done that but was hoping this community might be able to provide educated suggestions.

A 1994 Toyota with a distributor probably does not have a crankshaft position sensor, per se. Instead there’s a component inside the distributor that could be called signal generator, pickup coil, or ignition control module. Like a CPS, it is heat sensitive and tends to fail when hot, work OK when cool, and eventually fail completely. And like a CPS, it tells the rest of the ignition system exactly when to fire a spark at which cylinder.

The issue of the battery not holding a charge needs to be solved first.

Rockauto shows a crankshaft position sensor for the 1994 4-cylinder Camry

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That’s a good source for parts and info. I wonder if that part is mounted outside or inside the distributor - and if there is more than one electromagnetic part involved in ignition timing on this car. I had a couple Toyotas years ago that also had an “igniter” as part of the ignition system.

crankshaft position sensors aren’t mounted inside the distributor

the “igniter” IS the ignition control module

And lots of other brands also use(d) them

… and I knew two people who owned '80s era Toyotas in which the igniter failed–at highway speed. Not a pleasant situation, to say the least. I was a passenger in both cases, so maybe those old Toyota igniters were allergic to me. :smirk:

I will credit Toyota for owning-up to their igniter problem because in both cases the repair was free, even though both cars were well beyond the expiration of their warranty.

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I ordered a CPS from Rock Auto. Thanks for this information. But given that, replacing the distributor should have fixed the issue, wouldn’t you think?

You don’t have a diagnosis yet, so parts replacement is a gamble.

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