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I think I have piston trouble


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Ace97
New User

Sep 1, 2017, 6:32 PM

Post #1 of 2 (396 views)
I think I have piston trouble Sign In

okay so i own a 2002 toyota Camry SE with a 2.4L 4c engine
its got 103,900 miles on it and ive something happened i dont entirely know what but i have a good guess

so back before i changed my spark plugs around 103,300 miles every time i push the gas pedal the car would jolt and make a single or double bang sound then continue like normal also when im accelerating slowly around 2-3k rpm the engine rattles or claps

after i replaced the sparkplugs it felt like the car got new life it was just more responsive to throttle and the banging stopped but the clapping at 2-3k stayed
now 600 miles later
i was driving 7 miles to pick up my brother. It was 106F so i had the A/C on all the way
i noticed something was a miss because the engine felt off like id give it gas and it would choose to not do what i told it but it resolved it self so i didnt worry
i pick up my brother and hes driving with his permit back home about 3 miles back the car started to do funky things
so when it was at a complete stop the engine would rev up alittle on its own then settle down then feel super shaky when he put a little gas around 5 miles it gets worse so he pulls over and i take over to try and feel what it is
and its even worse like i know a little about how an engine connects but it feels like 1 of 2 things either the crank is screwed and its hitting misfire or that clutch piece or torque converter the one that gives power to the transmission then to the wheels.
the engine to transmission interconnect like that thing is slipping and catching randomly when the vehicle is at a stop
this only occurred when the A/C was on and around the corner to my house on a stop sign the car just stopped like i let off the brakes to roll forward to the stop sign after the guy in front of me left and nothing the car just sit there i gave it gas and the car did not respond i gave it more gas and nothing A/C still on radio on everything was on but it was like the engine shut off i restarted the car and got home opened the hood and saw what was going on

i parked the car then pulled the handbrake all the way and left it in drive so it wouldnt go anywhere
i turned on the A/C and the engine vibrates thats normal but what i saw scared me a bit i thought itd blow
so it vibrates gets violent for a sec then gets stuck and leans forward then settles down and repeats
by violent i mean like knocking and whatnot and vibrating more than it just was
it looked to me like a piston died or was messed up or stuck and the crankshaft would hang everytime it leaned forward then re catch it self

this was 2 days ago i called my mechanic to let him know he said to bring it in tomorrow then tryed to recreate it so my cousin could see and nothing like it never happened i drove it around for a bit A/C blasting the whole time and i slammed the gas to redline as much as i could while staying legal and nothing its like it never happened and it was hotter today

what could it possibly be i want to know before i take it in to give him an idea where to look

the car is unmoded or anything its a Camry what am i gonna do to it
its had semi regular oil changes and top ups since it was in my hands from my parents the first owners from about 94k miles
and like i said i just recently replaced the spark plugs myself and oil seems to be fine


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 1, 2017, 11:17 PM

Post #2 of 2 (375 views)
Re: I think I have piston trouble Sign In

Quoting you ">i turned on the A/C and the engine vibrates thats normal<"
No, that's not normal and a clue. If not you who has messed with the A/C along the way if you know? You had the plugs out so what did old ones look like?
That was a good time to do a compression check if suspected but doubt it's off if any care given to this car consider that low miles for this but this vibration and running anything but flawlessly isn't normal.


You must be up to date with routine maintenance on these like about anything. Timing belt suggestions are listed and most run the water pump will give clues or wont as early as each 5-6 years or about 70k mile intervals - time matters.


106F really shouldn't be way to hot for your engine for air temps by itself.


Do this as you should have codes to read now showing a few could confuse things. Weak spots with this and others - water pump and belts - all of them.
Check all fluids levels especially engine coolant AND that it holds pressure doubt it does. Coolant must be known full at radiator and system must hold or build pressure from normal engine heat from cold - can just feel that in like the upper radiator hose. If early to build pressure not good or if none you are boiling over inside and unseen.
If that either water pump leaking about to fall off or head gasket. Don't delay finding this as it's making noise now aggravated by A/C which shouldn't be too much for it is just a load on engine it expects and isn't covering it automatically or A/C working too hard - failing compressor or charge all wrong?


If you want a car this old and older fine - must keep up cooling system - all about it, belt(s) don't last 1/2 that long have to know up to date,


T







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