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Won't start when hot

My 1995 4-cylinder toyota tacoma won’t start on hot days after I’ve driven it until it heats completely up if I let it sit for more than 5 minutes and less than 15 or 20 (until it cools down a little). I suspect some kind of vapor lock issue - this only started happening this summer. It has about 17,000 miles on it.

Sorry, I left out a zero - it has 170,000 miles on it.

Give us more information about this “no start” issue when the engine is hot. Does in crank normally? If not, it could be a starter or a battery problem. Some engines are hard to turn when the engine is hot and a weak battery will cause the problem.
If the engine does crank normally, then either it isn’t getting ignition or it isn’t getting fuel. You might try spraying a little starting fuel into the air intake while someone tries to start the engine. If it fires up, even for a few seconds, you have a fuel problem. You may want to turn the igntion to the “run” position for 10 seconds under the hot start condition and then turn it to start to see what happens.
If the engine doesn’t fire when given a shot of starting fluid, you probably have something failing in the ignition system when the engine is hot.

Thank you,

Yes it cranks normally and the battery is good.

To try the starter fluid test – do I have to take anything off or remove the air filter or anything? Or can I just squirt it in the intake hole. I’m very ignorant about this stuff so please forgive stupid questions.

Your “wait 10 seconds in the run position” Idea sounds interesting - what is the theory behind that?

If you turn the key to the run position, the fuel pump should come on and pressurize the fuel system. If the car then starts, you know that there is a problem in the fuel system.

Look for a tube leading toward the grille of the car for the air intake.

Seems like I heard this issue on Car Talk once…and they said that it could be a leaky fuel injector. Does this sound correct to anyone?
I am curious because my mother-in-law is having the same issue with an 88 Oldsmobile. If this could be the case, can anyone tell me how to check for a leaky fuel injector?