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1992 Corolla wont start
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March 29, 2007, 1:02 AM
My daughter's 1992 Corolla with 110K miles all of a sudden has been very hard to start if at all. It has a little bit of an exhaust leak back by the muffler. The last couple of days on two occasions the car was very difficult to start one time and now it will not start at all. I turn the key and the starter engages; however, it does not want to start and once I turn the key off it will sometimes backfire once. Also sometimes when turning the key off it sounds as if it wants to start. The problem first occurred on a damp morning after a night of some rain. This morning was damp and again and it happened again.

We just moved and I cannot locate my repair manual for it. Can someone tell me where the fuel filter is as that is where I think I am going to start and replace it?

Thanks for any help.

March 29, 2007, 2:21 AM#1
Fuel filter is by the driver side fender - just forward of the master brake cylinder. One of those inline canister types - might need to soak it first with some pentrating lube, like PB Blaster, as those fittings are usually quite corroded.

But since you got a pop or backfire after you cranked it for a while, sounds like more like a timing or ignition issue. Might help to pull the plugs after you cranked it for a while to see if the plugs are gas/oil fouled or completely dry. That will indicate if you got fuel. Now to check on fire (ignition) - might be helpful to crank the engine over with the hood up in complete darkness to observe any arcing that can occur with bad plug wires or faulty ignition systems. MIght have to pop off the distributor cap and check cap and rotor for significant carbon deposits, arcing, burned contacts, etc.

Any restrictions in the induction system (intake manifold, air filter, etc.) can also give you a hard starting condition. Make sure the filter is clean and nothing seems to be amiss with that system.

Timing is the last thing to check - but I would check the easy "free" stuff first.

April 7, 2007, 3:30 AM#2
Thanks for the info.

I pulled off the distributor cap and it had never been replaced and the posts to the cables were covered with a white material. I replaced the distributor cap, plugs, and plug wires and now it starts fine.

I tried 3 or 4 rotors and none fit. I'll goto the dealer and see if they have a rotor that works. The others would not lock onto the shaft. I put the original back in but want to replace it as it is worn and pitted.

Thanks again for the help.


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