Won't start when damp or has rained overnight


lucasland
10-29-2003, 09:51 AM
I can't figure out why I can't start up my camry. It won't start when it has been sitting all night and the next morning it is real damp outside or it has been raining. If it becomes a sunny day and everything dries, the car starts up just fine.

Does anybody know what is wrong? I think some part is getting wet or damp and preventing the engine from igniting. I tried to look through my haynes manual and theonly part that caught my eye was the electrical control unit. Would this be the problem?

krebsr
10-29-2003, 01:03 PM
It sounds to me like it is a cracked distributor cap. The small cracks allow the moisture in and causes a short when you try to start it. If that does not do it The spark plug wires may have a similar problem. The distributor cap is the cheapest option. If you take it off you may be able to see some hairline crack inside but you also may not see them.

Good luck

89CamryV6
11-07-2003, 09:37 PM
change the plugs cap, rotor and wires. that will more than likely fix it but if it doesnt get a new coil

AndyM1978
11-25-2003, 12:32 AM
I just recently started having the same problem with my 92 Camry XLE (2.2L). Works fine in dry weather, but the car refuses to start if there is moisture in the air (unless the engine is hot). There wasn't even a hint that any cylinders were firing at all. I checked my ignition system by removing each plug wire, inserting an old plug in the wire to test for a spark, and then having someone watch the plug as I cranked the engine. To my surprise, I WAS getting a spark on all 4 plug wires.

Desperate to get the car started, I used a hair dryer to blow some heat on the wires that connect to the injectors in the back of the engine. I did that for a few minutes and tried to start the car again... The engine fired a few times, sputtered alot, and then finally started.

My belief is that the hair dryer removed moisture that was causing the failure. My best guess was that my injector wires (or injectors themselves) where at fault, but cannot confirm that since I blew hot air on all the wires I could find around the engine.

It seems to me like my problem is a fuel delivery problem since I didn't smell alot of raw fuel around the engine (where my previous Oldsmobile had a terrible stench of raw gas when it had an ignition problem). Unfortunately, I have not much experience yet with this problem so cannot be even remotely sure.

I hope this helps and if anyone has a solution, I'd be very grateful. I'm going to try cleaning my distributer cap tomorrow to try and eliminate some factors from the equation.

rjeanes
11-25-2003, 12:36 PM
A couple techniques I've used with these problems:
1. Observe engine running in the dark. Sometimes you'll be able to see where the problem is by arcing wires, cap, coil, etc.
2. Put water in an old spray bottle that can be adjusted to a fine mist. With the engine running OK, spray the mist on various areas one at a time. When the engine starts running rough, you've found the problem area.

chbark
01-02-2004, 01:40 PM
I can't figure out why I can't start up my camry. It won't start when it has been sitting all night and the next morning it is real damp outside or it has been raining. If it becomes a sunny day and everything dries, the car starts up just fine.

Does anybody know what is wrong? I think some part is getting wet or damp and preventing the engine from igniting. I tried to look through my haynes manual and theonly part that caught my eye was the electrical control unit. Would this be the problem?

I have an 89' Camry that is doing exactly what you are describing. I changed the distributor cap/plug wires and this did not help. Did you ever solve your problem. I could sure use some advice.

Luckynumber5
01-03-2004, 02:35 AM
this could be related to the air temp sensor couldnt it?

Bossman
01-03-2004, 07:17 AM
I'm a little surprised that changing your distributor cap and spark plug wires didn't solve the problem. Doesn't the Camry have something called the "cold start switch (sensor)?" You may want to have that checked. There's no doubt about it that your Camry is getting moisture in somewhere in which it doesn't belong.

Mike Gerber
01-17-2004, 05:41 PM
lucasland and chbark,

89camryV6 was right on the money with his answer. This is a know problem with your generation Camrys. If changing the distributor cap, rotor and wires do not solve the problem then the problem most likely lies with the coil inside the distributor. My niece experienced the same problem on her 91 Camry. After changing the wires, cap and rotor with no help, I talked to a friend who was an ex-Toyota tech. He told me of the problem with the internal coil inside the distributor. If you take the car to a dealer they usually want to replace the whole distributor for around $400 to $500, but you can get an aftermarket coil for around $45, take the distributor out of the car and replace just the coil yourself. I got a Borg Warner coil at Pep Boys and did just that. The problem was solved. You can get a Chiltons or Haynes manual to help you through this. By the way, mark the distributor position of the distributor and the housing below with a sharpie so you won't have to retime it. The distributor has a piece on the bottom that only goes back in the right way or 180 degrees off so it should be pretty easy to get it back in properly. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself take it to an independant mechanic and ask him to replace the distributor coil. The job shouldn't be more than a half hour or an hour of labor plus the cost of the coil.

Good luck.

Mike

AndyM1978
01-20-2004, 10:24 PM
I posted here in this thread earlier with a similar problem on my car (92 Camry 4cyl). The car got so bad that it started bucking and hesitating upon hitting the gas, even after the engine was warmed up.

It was ultimately my distributer that was toast. After the $500 repair, my car now runs great (though I think I sense some minor missing when it is in high idle mode during warmup). I wish I had tried changing the distributer coil first. Oh well...

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