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1998 Camry will turn over but wont start

11-24-2005, 07:29 PM
hi everyone, i have a 98 camry le 4 cyc. two days ago i was pulling out of the driveway and my car died on me. it will turn over, but will not start. the check engine light is not on. i had a problem similar to this about 15,00o miles ago and it was the timing belt. ( at that time i put on a new timing belt, new idler pulleys, and a new water pump)
so i assumed this time it was the same thing. i pulled the old belt off, and it didnt look bad, but since i had it off anyways i put a new one on. i readjusted the timing, and it cranked right up.
but as soon as i put it in drive and turned my stearing wheel it happened again- the engine died and now it wont start again. still no check engine light. any ideas?

your help is greatly appreciated,

Joe W
11-25-2005, 07:33 PM
Probably should start with the basics. Is there spark, and fuel?

11-25-2005, 09:44 PM
I agree with Joe W....spark and fuel. My 93 had similar problems about a year ago. Though the plugs, wires and fuel filter needed to be changed, it turned out to be the ignition coil. I didn't have a check engine light either. Just my p.o.v.

Brian R.
11-26-2005, 03:16 PM

11-26-2005, 08:23 PM
yeah i checked it for spark in the plugs and fuel- it has both.

the CEL is on now and the two codes on the computer are as follows:

P335, P340 - Camshaft and crankshaft position malfunction.

i checked the wires to the sensors and the tested the sensors with a meter. they both checked out ok. could this be something as stupid as the belt has slipped a tooth?

also, sunday i will check and see if both of the idler pulleys are ok, or if they have seized up. I wouldnt know why though. I just changed all of this stuff 10,000 miles ago. to tell you the truth, i dont know why the timing belt already messed up again to begin with. i thought they were suppose to last 90,000 miles, not 10,000.

any help you can lend fellas would be appreciated.


Brian R.
11-26-2005, 09:43 PM
Is it possible you damaged (scratched or dinged) the sensor portion of the crankshaft timing pulley (signal plate) when you installed it or removed it? It doesn't take much to cause the sensor to give an inconsistent signal.

Check your compression. If the compression is fine, your timing belt is probably fine.

Did your replace the idler pulley tension spring?

11-26-2005, 10:07 PM
what would be (if there is such a thing) as a normal compression reading over all four cyclinders. when i was positioning the crankshaft to TDC, i checked the compression at the same time, both times i got different readings, let me know your thoughts on them :

1 st time i checked

cyclinder 1 : beginning pressure was 90 psi with a quick build up to 120 psi

cyclinder 2 : beginning pressure was 90 psi with a quick build up to about 115 psi

cyclinder 3 : beginning pressure was 65 psi with a slow build up to about 85-90 psi

cyclinder 4 : beginning pressure was 90 psi with no build up

2 nd time i chcecked

cyc 1 : beg pressure was 90 psi with a quick build up to 110 psi

cyc 2 : beg pressure was 85 psi with a quick build up to to 110 psi

cyc 3 : beg pressure was 90 psi with a quick build up to 110 psi

cyc 4 : beg pressure was 80 psi with a quick build up to 105 psi

now, i dont mean to sound stupid but i really have no idea what those numbers mean, i was asleep that day in shop class. ha ha all i remember is to have good compression you want the numbers to be consistent. so cyclinder 3 may have a problem, do you agree?

also, another stupid question- the sensor plate, is this built into the crankshaft pulley? because i bought this camry 2nd hand and the crankshaft pulley has been beat up pretty good.


Brian R.
11-26-2005, 11:54 PM
Those readings are low, but you didn't take them at operating temperature, so I wouldn't put much stock in the absolute numbers (at operating temp, the compression should be at least 142 psi normal being 178 psi.). Differences between cylinders should be less than 14 psi.

The sensor plate is the rear part of the crankshaft timing pulley - (not the accessory belt pulley)

If you (or anyone) used a claw puller on the crank timing pulley, they probably damaged it. You should use a puller that bolts to the pulley.

11-27-2005, 12:06 PM
alright, i am heading out now to start working on the camry. i will check the sensor plate to see how it looks, and try a couple of other ideas. ill let everyone know tonight how things went.

oh yes, Brian, one question you asked previously that i didnt respond to, i never did replace the tension spring. ill measure it today and get back with you.


Brian R.
11-27-2005, 02:45 PM
If you can't measure the tension, replace it. They are too cheap to reuse if there is any question at all.

11-27-2005, 06:11 PM
well, just got in from a successful test drive of the car. the problem was the tension in the belt, (thanks for the tip Bryan) so I bought a new tension spring and torqued the bolt on the idler pulley to specs, and it worked great. i appreciate all the suggestions fellas.

one other related question though : any ideas why the timing belt failed at 10,000 miles instead of 90,000 like it is suppose to?


Brian R.
11-27-2005, 06:46 PM
You're welcome.

You answered your own question. If the tension on the belt is inadequate, it will be loose and not meet the pulleys consistently - wear on the teeth will be very high.

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