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95 Corolla won't start when warm


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blat88
Novice

Apr 11, 2015, 11:09 AM

Post #1 of 12 (1204 views)
post icon 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

I have a 1.8L 95 Corolla that's been giving me issues for the past 2 weeks. (The wagon edition so I'm reluctant to give this baby up)

Problem:
After driving the car for 15 + minutes, I have to wait anywhere from 10-25 minutes to start the car back up again. Depending on how long I've driven for. So the car is having trouble starting on a warm engine is what I'm saying.

At first the car started normally in the morning, but as of late the first start of the day is a little rough. It'll crank normally for a second, do a very quick pause, crank again and start right up. It always starts cold though.

I've played around with it a little and after letting the car sit for an hour after driving is when it starts best; and by best I mean like normal. If I let it run for a minute then try starting it again the second start isn't as strong and takes a second longer.

3 weeks before this started happening I forgot to put my oil cap back on... Drove for half an hour and when I got out I noticed Oil was all over the front of my car. It was also all over the engine. I wiped off what I could, but not sure if this could have affected the wiring at all.

Next time I'm out I'm going to hit the starter with a hammer to see if it's the starter solenoid getting stuck. I've also ordered a new coolant temp sensor since it's a cheap part.


Keep in mind I'm not familiar with the engine, so I don't know where some things are. However I've done all the work on the car myself up until now, and I'm not planning on paying a garage. I did take it to a shop and they said it was the distributor, but they also didn't test anything and gave me a $600 estimate to replace it...

Any help / advice is greatly appreciated, Thanks!

Update:

Car wouldn't start at all this morning after sitting for 2 days. Cranked normally but never fired up. Took off the distributor and there was no crack in the ignition coil as someone else suggested might be the problem


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 11, 2015, 12:44 PM

Post #2 of 12 (1191 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

Quote">>Next time I'm out I'm going to hit the starter with a hammer to see if it's the starter solenoid getting stuck. I've also ordered a new coolant temp sensor since it's a cheap part.


Keep in mind I'm not familiar with the engine, so I don't know where some things are.<<"


That and you're about to hammer on a maybe of a starter which isn't the problem IMO right now. You need to find out what is missing when it doesn't start first. Generally lack of spark or lack of fuel delivery. Probably is something to do with oil soaked at distributor and if you find no spark and it cranks well it could just be a distributor cap and or wires but check more not just toss things you hear about from someone.


How much oil was lost when you found the oil cap off? Way, way too low (the level) may be the most important problem right now?


Another and you can rent the tool is to take a compression test to make sure if this engine is timing belt driven that compression is at least OK while it doesn't start as I suspect that belt could be jumping if soaked in oil may have harmed it?
Two engines possible I chose the 1.8 and says to refer to owner's manual for replacement interval. I'll guess about every 6 years and 60-70,000 miles or so. Engine will crunch with valves hitting pistons if it goes way off time or breaks! So whey was the last of several at this age done?


That's high on the list trying to figure out what's happening and funky cranking right away with a second start.


Time to get some of this checked out for real and done or this car is going to easily have more troubles than you'll want to fix,


T



blat88
Novice

Apr 11, 2015, 1:12 PM

Post #3 of 12 (1186 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

Thanks for the response, I replaced the oil right after I saw the cap was off. Oil light never came on.

I also just checked it for spark, and it does have one. Should I check all 4 of the wires for spark, or does 1 with spark mean that all of them will have spark?

Timing belt was replaced once at 60k miles, I'm at 190k now. Can't afford to take it to a garage though, so whatever the problem, it's my problem to fix

How do I check to see if it's getting the proper amount of fuel?


(This post was edited by blat88 on Apr 11, 2015, 1:18 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 11, 2015, 1:43 PM

Post #4 of 12 (1178 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

OK - Gotta save up for that timing belt or you'll just have no car at all.


Oil lights are NOT checking the oil and not a warning of it being low but rather pull over and shut down NOW warnings or it will do that for you - period. Even if this has a plain "check oil" warning/suggestion don't trust it - check real level on a routine.


OK - would be nice if you had even just a spark detector. Cheap (I hear you bucks are tight) just to see spark in line between plug wire and plug and more that one or at cap coil wires - so you know it has spark. I suspect yes and maybe jumping from one plug wire to another either wires, boots at distributor cap, cap itself no matter what it looks like, or inside if all oily now not a good thing and I'm thinking on what I might do? Probably air blow the heck out of it and only wipe any oil carefully no cleaners inside cap.


Some raw tools you should have. Spark tester, starting fluid or carb/throttle body cleaner. Said compression tester would show if a couple were low then came back up after running well that belt is jumping now!


If you think (likely) spark is jumping out of wires to one another you might see it when dark or be worse when just dampened with like windex works to make bad high voltage items show up. Coil too.


The oil alone isn't really all that harmful except too much on hot exhaust could catch fire.


There's only so much you can do without some testing and some tools before you need some real help. Put the hammer on starter idea away for now - that isn't it and yes that is a last ditch trick but know it's a desperate last try to a dead starter and you aren't saying that and you can kill a good one. Think money is tight now keep whacking stuff you don't know what to or where and you'll have less $$ and be walking,


T



blat88
Novice

Apr 11, 2015, 2:10 PM

Post #5 of 12 (1170 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

I tested spark with an extra spark plug I had lying around. Spark was good

I'll look into getting a compression tester next.

Is the timing belt something easy enough to do myself? I could sink like $200 into parts but can't afford labor..


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 11, 2015, 2:30 PM

Post #6 of 12 (1168 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

OK - Testing spark like grounding one while hooked up to a wire is something but limited. Nice if you can see how far you can make spark jump or if in doing so it finds another wire or place to jump to instead.


Timing belt? NO, get that done and perfectly but compression test now so you know now if you do or don't have a problem. Belt controls valve timing so if it jumped and didn't break all would be low or too low to run. If broken it would damage engine.


Hard to know but might see slack now if you turned engine watching distributor rotor while turning engine by crank bolt or if a standard shift nudge it in like 2nd gear - keys out and in a safe spot. Might see movement inside of that oil cap as well.


I'm trying to find things you can do with few tools and bucks. Do check what is rentable, for free now is common but with a full deposit either credit card or in cash and you get that all back for safe return. I'll name one, Autozone but no doubt others also like that type parts chain and brag about it.


See what you can do to be both fast and efficient to find the source of this problem. Again, timing belt if it broke is a real mess. How much done professionally - ask a real shop you like for the final costs up front like most anything,


T



blat88
Novice

Apr 12, 2015, 11:59 AM

Post #7 of 12 (1150 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

Compression Test Results:

1: 140
2: 105
3:120
4:105

This is when the car is currently not starting at all, but cranks well.

any suggestions on where to go from here? Could that signify a bad timing belt?


(This post was edited by blat88 on Apr 12, 2015, 12:02 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 12, 2015, 1:38 PM

Post #8 of 12 (1145 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

Good job so far and careful running this until timing belt is known on time. Those pressure suck as you should know. Why still at large but could be anything to some bent valves now just slightly.


General on compression is you want the high and the low within about 10% - they aren't as you know. Then you put a squirt of oil in to see the difference if any which if all came up substantially would have strong meaning for how worn like rings are and if nothing much low is caused by something else usually valve something. I know it's tough but you check with engine warm and quickly - mark plug wires, pull all plugs, hold throttle open at least some and count the pulses for I like the 4th pulse as the final pressure it's going to do for you. Give it some slack for age and miles but needs compression to run at all and better than that which wouldn't really start but might give a phart of a try.


Checking that belt! A clue with little is to watch distributor rotor while turning engine one way then back the other and see how much engine turns at crank (bottom pulley) before rotor in distributor moves. Not much. I doubt you can check but rule is close to none up to 5 degrees if you can catch it that accurately. Over that something isn't right turning camshaft/distributor with the crankshaft and doubt you should really see any with a belt vs a chain type on other whole set up, not yours.


OK - other test would be to get each cylinder right on top dead center (TDC) and pressure with air noting if it comes out tailpipe or intake with low compression might be some of each. That may be hard for you to do without some air available and knowing that the cylinder being checked is in fact on TDC.


THIS IS NOT A GREAT TIME FOR YOU NOT TO HAVE FAST ACCURATE HELP AND ALL TOOLS NEEDED - IT NEVER IS.


Rather than me going nuts looking for pics of what happens check for "images" in your device for an "interference engine" to see what happens with valves and pistons when valve timing is way off or none from a broken belt on a running engine.


At the age, with other issues this could be the end of this car cost vs its cash value with a blown motor if you will and cost of the repair would likely take out this car. You are right, I don't see many wagons of these or Camrys either when new never mind now!


In short it's crunch time for help or high risk of really messing up the valves and might be too late now?


T



blat88
Novice

Apr 12, 2015, 1:45 PM

Post #9 of 12 (1141 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

Appreciate all the help so far!

I just checked the fuel pressure and it went up to 60 psi before falling back down. Book says it should be 31-37. I checked it on the return line though, would that matter?

And shouldn't a car still be able to start if compression is over 100? I have air, spark, and fuel

And are you saying you still think it's probably the timing belt? Is there anyway I can visually confirm that with just removing the cover?


(This post was edited by blat88 on Apr 12, 2015, 1:55 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 12, 2015, 2:01 PM

Post #10 of 12 (1138 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

Forget fuel pressure testing that way and probably not the problem.


Compression needed to fire? Hard one to say precisely but this is too low which is why I said the one that showed 140 might phart in some feeble try to run. I think more like 135 or better but might react to starting fluid if too low and run as compression would be higher if just plain worn once at some higher RPM. That isn't consistent with this starting sometimes and not others now with compression like that this should be a valve timing issue at least must rule that out. If lower end (meaning pistons, rings worn) it wouldn't change instantly day by day or try by try but should show all much higher compression with an oil squirt test of compression.


Again, this needs some help now. Even if I'm wrong at what I'm thinking it has to be known as it's like I already said that it could crunch the valves into the pistons and those don't heal on their own,


T



blat88
Novice

Apr 12, 2015, 7:29 PM

Post #11 of 12 (1127 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

How would I go about checking if it's a valve trimming issue? And also can I use just any oil for the compression test? (As in some 10W-40 I have in my garage)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 12, 2015, 8:21 PM

Post #12 of 12 (1124 views)
Re: 95 Corolla won't start when warm Sign In

Yes - any engine oil but just a squirt. If you put too much in it would "hydraulic" lock and you don't want that. In fact if you can turn engine without compression tester in a turn or two before the oil test.


As said that seals up worn rings, piston to cylinder walls so expect it to make more compression. If way up to say 155+ PSI from those 105 readings that's either too much oil used or worn engine. It really can't be plain worn intermittently.


Idea is if not much change or still too low it's not wear but higher like valves or other. For example a hole in a piston would show very low to nothing and might make noise just cranking as well and blow out say - oil dipstick tube (put a baggie over it) or back a lot into crankcase and also out oil cap when removed. I don't think this is a hole if you got 100+ PSI.


Other ways would be to look inside with a scope for damage or plain take covers off and see the belt able to move too much and be ready to go with new belt but compression can't be that low or head has to come off and fixed before it would be the best it could be if bent valves. That gets costly and might find head is no good when doing that. Not a fun place to be in as you really can't be 100% sure until it's off, inspected and fixed, new belt on properly and run again to see what you have.


Sorry this is happening to you as even if it was that at all and all fixed a so called new top end (head and valves) on the original lower end (block, pistons etc) can stress out the less of the two so problem don't necessarily end there even if you went nuts.


I'm not real thrilled about running or turning this engine at all right now for even testing more with no real telling if damaged now and still ok to go or could get disastrously worse cranking or running it more at all.


Tough spot to be in sorry to say. As said, quick help ready with all tools and tests possible at the ready still not sure if this is that at all if any testing so far failed also.


Sorry for the novel on this but lots is at risk. If that belt could be seen loose enough to jump you have to ask yourself then why can it also jump back a run OK and mechanically speaking that makes little sense but some can and do. Most just fail totally right away without warnings like this one being "part" broken like this isn't helping at all for being sure,


Tom







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