Q: My car cranks and seems to fire once but won't start - 1991 Toyota Tercel

asked by on November 01, 2016

some difficulty starting one morning. weather has been damp but not very cold 40 degrees started and ran well the rest of the day. in the morning, in a few days at first on cranking about six times would seem to fire like one cylinder on first crank tn nothing on continued 5-6 cranks. tried 5-6 times was parked on slight hill. pushed to my shop. dark plugs with little carbon. replaced with new plugs, rotor and cap with wires. old plugs had yellow spark New plugs had brighter yellow spark. wet and odor of fuel on old plugs on crank, same thing as before. found fuel was very low added ~ two gallons fresh regular. same results on cranking. charged battery to 100% between cranking just for full power healthy cranking at all times. Air cleaner ok. pushed gas pedal to floor and up one time at most cranking trys.
does not appear to be diagnostic terminal. What now?

My car has 260000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, these symptoms need to be properly diagnosed. Replacing parts, without diagnoses, can be expensive and time consuming. Assuming the engine is mechanically sound, the description you provided about the spark plug condition (dark plugs, wet with odor of fuel) leads me to believe that the fuel pressure regulator is leaking fuel.

Disconnecting the vacuum line and seeing fuel while the engine is cranking would prove the fault. It could be a low ignition coil output with the description of yellow spark, as it should be bluish white. There are more possibilities, of course, so I recommend having your vehicle’s cranking problems be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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