My Toyota Will Not Start Sometimes

distributorI searched your web site and really did not find this situation. The 1993 Camry has 84,000 miles and runs very good when it runs. The maddening problem is it may decide to start or not start today. The starter turns the engine over so no problem with starter or battery.

So far this 1993 Camry not starting problem has stumped a good local mechanic and a Toyota dealer.One time it was loaded onto a wrecker and they tried the key once more for grins and it started.

The Toyota dealer dove in and replaced the fuel pump and it worked OK for 1 month. Two days ago it made a 200+ mile trip plus several local trips around town – no problem.

Then, that night it decided it was tired and would not start. The local mechanic replaced the fuel filter, started the car, test drove it for several miles (ran great), parked it. The repairs were paid for and it would not start right there in front of the mechanic.

The mechanic was highly embarrassed and feels it is an electrical problem. He says they have checked every connection, module, wire, book, etc. and so far the car is winning.

His diagnostic computer is not picking up anything. Do you have any idea what could cause this intermittent no start problem??


Thanks for your email Thomas,

I would suspect you have an intermittent electrical problem. I would be highly suspect of any of the following.

1. Igniter
2. Ignition module
3. Ignition coil

6. On board computer (my last and final “guess” rarely do the computers go bad)

If all these components are located INSIDE the distributor on your vehicle I would buy a remanufactured distributor assembly from your local auto parts store and install it

I think they made two different types of distributors for your year model, so you might need a part number or manufacture name from the old one to purchase the correct new one.

I have had good luck with the brand “A1” rebuilt distributors and computers if they are available in your area.

If these parts are external to your distributor, I would probably take a guess at the igniter and or ignition coil first.

Please share this with your friends,
Austin C. Davis

Posted in: Won't Start Issues

2 Comments on "My Toyota Will Not Start Sometimes"

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  1. Angelica says:

    1993 Camry turns over but won’t start I just burly got it out the shop course the to timeing chain mest up what could be the problem now?

    • By Austin Davis says:

      Well, it could be one of three basic things that are missing…

      1. Proper fuel pressure at the engine
      2. Lack of spark at the spark plugs
      3. lack of compression inside the engine…like a broken timing belt.

      If the timing belt is broken or there is a problem with it, the engine will spin over MUCH faster and sound very different than normal, because the engine is not doing anything internally…no pistons are moving.

      IF the engine SOUNDS pretty normal as it turns over, then you are missing fuel or spark.

      These vehicles rarely have a fuel pump problem, but are pretty notorious for lack of spark problems.

      The “ignitor” in these vehicles is pretty common failure, and it is inside the distributor. If you can check for spark at the spark plugs, do so. If you can not…then you are going to have to call that mechanic again 🙁

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