1995 Toyota MR2 starting problem.


Asked by Apr 10, 2012 at 04:22 PM about the 1995 Toyota MR2

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Was driving my 1995 MR2 GT 2litre fairly hard (close to red line in 1st. then into second. Then brake) Engine died at the end of the road as if the ignition had been turmed off.
It now refuses to start. I've let it cool down totally (45 minutes or so). It turns over, sounds/feels like it WANTS to start. Very occasionally a dull thud from (below?) the engine, like a backfire possibly? Or a buildup to one, but quiet. Sometimes when I turn the key back having failed to start it the engine burbles as if its still trying to start for a split second (hard to explain these noises!)
Battery indicator shows a very healthy charge.
It has fuel, I put Super Unleaded (95) in it 10 miles or so ago when it was close to empty (I'm now worried perhaps this is the problem and I should have stuck to regular unleaded? Ive not had the car for many days) Has started first time within a few engine turns at all other times.

Any ideas what it could be or what I should do/check?

6 Answers


Hiya Matt I own a mk2 mr2 myself is yours a turbo or an n/a either way first things i would check would be the timing belt make sure it hasnt slipped any teeth or snapped! and if it is a turbo make sure no intercooler hoses have popped off as too much air taken in will make the car run lumpy and try and stall, if that all checks out ok the next thing to check is that you have a spark,fuel and compression. also if you get a paperclip and bridge the terminals te1 and e1 in the diagnosis box in the engine compartment you should see the engine management light flash on your dash these are your diagnostic codes which might lead you to finding your fault. if you need any more help try posting on mr2oc.co.uk and see if anyone else has any ideas hope this helps.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Hi Chris. Thanks for the swift response! My car is a non-turbo model. Thats very intersting info regarding the Diagnostic codes. Do you know of anywhere I can access a list of them? (presuming it gives me something to decode) The car is currently 1 mile away in the local Doctors (well lit) car park. near where it broke down. I can perform some checks first thing in the morning however. I do not have a workshop manual (cant find one in print here yet) So will have to do some additional online research regarding location of timing belt. -Checking the spark I can do. - I'm not sure how to check the fuel though? - Is testing compression just a case of listening/feeling the pressure when a plug is removed and engine turned over?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

timing belt is under the plastic cover on the offside (drivers side) of the engine to check for fuel crank the engine giving plenty of throttle and then remove spark plug and see if it is wet and smells of petrol and compression test is done by a special tool that you can buy from halfords and you screw it into spark plug hole and crank the engine and read the gauge and also for the diagnostic codes if you a general search for them on google you should be able to find a list quite easily

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Ok had a look, ht lead looks fine both ends from what I can see. No error codes, light just flashes to indicate no malfunction. Checked every fuse (you never know!) and all are fine. Checked timing belt and its still tensioned and doesnt appear damaged at all, turns fine with the engine. Unfortunately I've not yet been able to check fuel, spark or compression. My 'long reach' plug spanner that has served me so well over the years is about 4 inches too short to get to the plugs! Going to have to borrow or buy one that'll reach. Frustrating to say the least. Someone has recommended trying easy-start sprayed sparingly into the air intake. To see if it fires, indicating a fuel problem. I shall try that tomorrow morning. Car shop is shut at the moment.


yes easy start is a good way of diagnosing fuel faults thinking on another possibility is the distributor cap or rotor which is the where the ht leads plug in on the other end from the spark plugs and also check the one in the middle is securely on both the cap and the coil the other end. but yea see what you get with easy start and let us know and we can see from there

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Pretty EZ to figure it out. Fuel or ignition problem. If it's a fuel problem, check fuel pump relay. I've seen this occuring on those cars. Check the fuse too. Also, I've seen the EFI Resistor (located on the left hand side in the engine compartment near the coolant overflow tank). Those are some resistance wich protect the injectors. I've seen those getting blown. You won't get any check engine light when this problem occurs. I've also seen bad computers hapening.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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