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'90 COROLLA STALLING OUT


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dreg
New User

Jul 11, 2013, 9:37 AM

Post #1 of 7 (1734 views)
'90 COROLLA STALLING OUT Sign In

I have a 1990 Toyota Corolla DX 1.6L with just over 195K miles. It has been in the family since it was new and has been an extremely reliable car until lately. It still runs well except under some very particular circumstances.

This is my daily commute car, but it will sometimes go undriven for an entire weekend. No problems on Monday morning except if we've had a lot of rain during her two-day rest. When this happens, the car usually starts normally and will run okay as I'm slowly driving through my neighborhood. The problem usually begins at the first stop sign. Whenever I accelerate from that first stop, she starts to shudder and will usually just stall out. Sometimes I can ease off the gas and the engine won't die. This is a continuous game of very slow acceleration from stops or even just slowing for speed bumps. I have to carefully creep back up to speed in order to keep the engine from stalling out. When it does stall it usually starts right up and runs when I put her back in gear. This will continue until I manage to get her out on the open highway and drive 60mph+ for several minutes. I presume that this burns out/evaporates whatever moisture is causing the problem. The car is parked under an open carport at home, so it doesn't get rain directly on it. It sits unsheltered in an open parking lot while at work. Even if it gets rained on during the workday, it usually runs fine on the ride home. It is only when it sits for a day or two with very humid conditions that the problem occurs. The problem does seem to be worsening with all the rain we've had in the southeast lately. The humidity has been at or near 100% for so many days straight that whatever it is hasn't been able to completely dry out. She still seems to run okay whenever conditions are dry.

Obviously, there is a problem with moisture getting in somewhere it shouldn't. I'm just hoping someone with some experience and knowledge might be able to tell me where to start. I've had someone suggest the distributor, although the acceleration issue seems to suggest a fuel issue or some kind of leaky seal. Cost is clearly a factor with such a high-mileage car and I'm not still driving her because she's a classic. I need to keep her on the road for a while longer if the cost of fixing her is not totally ridiculous compared to her value. I have the Haynes repair manual for it and might attempt a repair myself. Failing that, I'd at least like to have some information going in if I do take her to a mechanic. I will greatly appreciate any and all advice on this one.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jul 11, 2013, 10:08 AM

Post #2 of 7 (1724 views)
Re: '90 COROLLA STALLING OUT Sign In

Probably a good place to start is monitoring fuel pressure with a test gauge when the problem is occurring.





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dreg
New User

Jul 11, 2013, 11:42 AM

Post #3 of 7 (1691 views)
Re: '90 COROLLA STALLING OUT Sign In

Thanks for the suggestion. In considering that, I realize that the fuel filter has not been changed in as long as I can recall. Isn't that something that should be replaced every so many thousand miles or so? She's got almost 200K on her and the current fuel filter has been there for most of that. I'm going to replace it as a first attempt since that is somewhat regular maintenance anyway. I'll let you know if that makes any difference.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jul 11, 2013, 12:35 PM

Post #4 of 7 (1680 views)
Re: '90 COROLLA STALLING OUT Sign In

Filter should be changed at least every 30K miles. If that is the original filter, it is way overdue for service.

How about the plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and timing belt? Are they original too?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Jul 11, 2013, 12:36 PM)


dreg
New User

Jul 11, 2013, 12:57 PM

Post #5 of 7 (1673 views)
Re: '90 COROLLA STALLING OUT Sign In

I don't think it's the original fuel filter, but it has been in service for way over 30K miles. Same story with cap and rotor, etc. The timing belt was changed at around 100K if I remember correctly. Someone did suggest a problem with the distributor though, so that might be my next step. Doing general maintenance would seem to be a good idea even if it isn't the source of my problem and I might just get lucky and fix it. Again, I appreciate all suggestions.


dreg
New User

Aug 7, 2013, 6:41 AM

Post #6 of 7 (1575 views)
Re: '90 COROLLA STALLING OUT Sign In

Turns out she needed a major tune-up (no surprise) and so far, so good on the stall out. Could have been as simple as cracked plug wires that was causing it.

While I had her in there, I had them give her a thorough exam and I'm due for a new timing belt. Is it standard procedure to replace several other things at the same time when this is done including the water pump?

It also appears that I've got a cracked exhaust manifold. Haven't looked myself to see how large the crack is, but I was wondering if there is any risk of engine damage from this or is it just the danger of CO entering the cabin?

I don't have the $ for both the timing belt and the manifold right now and I'm assuming the belt is more critical.

Thanks again for your advice.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 7, 2013, 7:56 AM

Post #7 of 7 (1571 views)
Re: '90 COROLLA STALLING OUT Sign In

That cracked manifold will interfere with the fuel mixture by introducing oxygen the the 0/2 sensor.



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