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  1. #1
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    Default Started fine, a little while later wouldn't start at all and still won't.

    So I'm in the process of repairing my celica to get it roadworthy to start driving it again, after it sat there doing not much at all for 2 and a bit years (i know, I know...). Anyway, after getting a new battery for it (I'll go into that later) I located the keys and gave it a test start. It started with not much hassle and revved smoothly. I didn't take it out for a run due to the aforementioned nonroadworthy condition, but revved it in my driveway, reversed in it, drove forward in it a few feet, and all seemed well.

    Until I went to start it again a few weeks later prior to having it looked at to determine what repairs it'd need. It wouldn't start at all. Oh, the engine turns over and gives it it's best shot, but it won't catch and actually start running. The CEL isn't throwing any error codes (damn thing is convinced all is well), and it can't be the fuel as even though it's kind of old, it started on the same stuff the first time around, and since then I'd dropped some new premium stuff in there to try and convince it to go.

    No dice there, I'm afraid. So I've basically got to figure out if the problem is in the fuel supply or the ignition system, but I haven't a clue as to where to start looking. In addition to this problem there seems to be some fault somewhere that slowly kills a battery if it remains attached, but doesn't cause any other noticeable problems.

    Can anyone lend a suggestion as to what the problem may be, if there's a "known issue" with ST184s that can cause this to happen, or if I should just start with trial-and-error and see what shows up? I want to get this car repaired and running again as, even though it had its issues, it was a good ride and fun to go zooming down the highway in.

    Engine is a 5SFE, that's important information I would imagine. It has a mongoose MR20 in it (the horn/squealer has died though) as well which has an immobiliser, but I haven't tinkered with that so it's in the same state it's always been, and it ran fine previous - although I have no issues replacing that if it's part of the problem.

  2. #2
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    Start with ignition -- check for spark on each cylinder. If you've got spark, then you're more likely to be looking at fuel.
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  3. #3

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    When you first started your car up, how long did you let it run for? This sounds almost exactly like what happened to my ST after it had been sitting for a while. I started it up and let it run just long enough to move it back and forward a few feet, then turned it off and left it sitting again for another week. The next time I tried starting it, it cranked and cranked but wouldn't do much else. Turns out I'd actually flooded it.

    Try this: Pull the EFI fuse, then start the car. Let it crank for 5-10 seconds or so, then turn it off. Do this a couple times, then put the fuse back and try starting it again. If it fires right up, you're golden.
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  4. #4

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    I had the same issue. fuel pump here. after letting her sit a few months just like you guys. ran fine first start, second start was good but then stalled for no reason. wouldn't start, sprayed starting fluid in, and she started. then died again while idling and wouldn't start back up. Threw gas in the throttle body and cranked and she started again and died within seconds. no fuel confirmed. pretty simple.

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  5. #5

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    The other similar problem I had turned out to be the dizzy pickups. went through three rebuilt ones to get a good one :/

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  6. #6
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    So after a bit of ingenious jiggery-pokery (that's a technical term btw) I've determined that the ignition system seems to be doing just fine - I connected a spark plug spare to one of the high-tension leads, grounded it, and got my gf to turn the engine over. Sparks confirmed, quite lively from the looks of things.

    So it's the fuel system. Yay.

    How difficult/costly is it to replace the fuel pump of this kind of car?

  7. #7

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    How do you know the fuel pump is at fault?

    If you feel you have good ignition, and you feel everything except fuel delivery is OK, just pour a couple tablespoons of fuel into the throttle body / intake manifold and try starting it. Does the engine start momentarily and then die? This would directionally tell you what is going on.

  8. #8
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    I would go through some of the checks listed above by Unarmed - make sure it fires when you spray some starter fluid into the air cleaner.

    I don't think you specified what year your car is - so I will assume here it is a 5th gen.

    You could then jumper the FP to B+ terminals on your diagnostic connector - this will bypass any relays and apply battery directly to the fuel pump.

    You might also check if you have pressure in the line going into the fuel filter when you have the jumper in.

    Else if you think it is the pump it is mounted in the tank - and as I understand it accessible through a bolt on plate under the rear seat.
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  9. #9
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    It is a 5th gen, yes. Sorry I neglected to mention that in this thread. It's an ST184r (australian version) 5SFE.

    I shall try jumping the diag connector tomorrow - I'm assuming there's nothing inherently dangerous in jumping that particular circuit, I wouldn't want to blow my car and half of my house up. How would I go about checking for pressure?

    I guess at this stage it's premature to assume it's directly the fuel pump at fault, so I'll go over what I know:

    - it started once, a little while ago as I explained, but since then hasn't, so something has clearly faulted.
    - the ignition system appears to be fine - everything as far as the ignition cables themselves seem to be doing their job.
    - there are no obvious fuel system leaks - I haven't picked up on any petrol odor and there isn't any liquid forming obvious puddles or stains below the car, besides the minor oil leaks I'm already aware of.

    I'll try getting some starting fluid tomorrow as well. Nulon have a product here aptly named "Start ya bastard!!" (quintessentially Australian name, don't you think?) that would appear to be aimed at situations like this.

    Thanks for all the help, guys. You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to the day my car is mobile again.

  10. #10

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    No danager in doing what Klapa suggests. He gave it all to you at once. I was thinking about taking a stepped approach. Either way is good.

    You could just use petrol instead of starting fluid in the throttle body, if you want. That is what I typically would do.

    When you successfully jumper FP & B+ terminals, your fuel pump will turn on when the ignition key is turned to the ON position. You can listen for the sound of your fuel pump running if you are in a very quiet area with the car (like a garage). If you hear it running, that is a good thing. Checking for fuel pressure is a bit more difficult to do on these cars, as their is no pressure gauge tap on the fuel rail.

    Remember also that your fuel supply may be good, but something may be wrong with your fuel injector system (preventing them from triggering). Hopefully not though. Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Ok so I jumped B+ and FP on the diag connector and turned the ignition to "on". No noises from the fuel pump, but after a few seconds the jump pin I used started glowing red hot.

    I'm not sure what that means. But I have the feeling it's not good.

  12. #12

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    It is not good. That means either your fuel pump is short circuited, or your hot wire going to your fuel pump is grounding somewhere. I would have thought there would be fuse somewhere that would have opened if your jumper pin got that hot though.

    Now it is time to pull the seat bottom out from your back seat. Under that, in the middle, is a cover held on by screws. Remove the screws & cover. Under the cover is part of the top of the fuel tank with the access hatch to your fuel pump. You should have a wiring connector that you can access from below the cover. It contains the power for the fuel pump and the wiring for the fuel gauge sending unit. Disconnect that wirng connector, then try the FP & B+ jumper process again. If the jumper pin gets hot, you have a wiring harness issue that needs to be corrected. If no problem, reconnect the wiring harness and try the jumper process again. If it gets hot again with no fuel pump running, the problem is in your fuel pump.

  13. #13
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    Ok when you say there might be a wiring harness issue, do you mean in the harness that the fuel pump connects to, the one that will be near it? Or do you mean something somewhere else?

    I just hope this is a reasonably easy problem to fix

  14. #14

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    It could be a problem anywhere in the wiring involving the fuel pump. But, if you disconnect the the harness connector at the top of the fuel tank (you wouldn't have removed the sealed lid on the fuel tank itself yet), and if you do the jumper test and the jumper gets hot, it would be a problem upstream of the connection point (from the connector back to the front of the car).

  15. #15
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    You know, come to think of it, an intermittent fault somewhere in that circuit could cause the battery to drain slowly even if the car was off, yeah? Provided it's an active short circuit, of course. I may have just killed two birds with one stone there.

    Anyway, as I couldn't be arsed this weekend to pull the chairs out of the back, I instead opted to siphon some fuel out of the lawnmower (PSA: fuel tastes like shit and feels like fire and death if you get it in your mouth) and get my girlfriend to crank the engine while I manually injected fuel with a spraybottle into the air intake.

    SHE LIVES AGAIN!! But only whilst squirting. However, I now have proof that the thing that is stopping it from starting is the fact that it isn't getting fuel, for whatever reason. This gives me hope.

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