Starts fine then just dies


Asked by Jan 15, 2007 at 01:28 AM about the 1994 Toyota Previa

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Help Please: I was driving my van last weekend and it just died out, no warning sign what so ever. The van said “your not going anywhere today buddy”. It will start up again at any time, the problem is that it only stays on for 3-4 seconds. It does no difference if I step on the gas to try to keep it going, it’s like not registering that command. I replaced the fuel pump because a friend suguested that was the most likely culprit but problem is still the same (the gas filter was replaced in mid summer) .It’s not staying on long enough to register any trouble codes (I have an OBDII scanner).  I checked the fuse & most of the relays (main relay, EFI relay, fuel pump relay, function relay?). I have been Poking here & there after work and notice the Air filter some what dirty and replaced it. Now it starts and stays ON a few seconds longer starts to idle rough, bucks, hesitate and dies. About the 3rd attempt, I did revved it up upon start-up and it did hold high rpm but when I left go the gas it hesitated and died. It was late and cold and the battery lost it’s charge, so I went inside with my head down with still no clue.  Need some straight forward advice on this one. Thank you for your time

4 Answers


I should mention That the spark plugs, cables & cap & rotor are pretty new. I did more looking and tested the coil, still the same problem. One more thing that came to mind is the pickup coil that is inside the distributor?. Still need help.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

I have the same problem It starts fine and runs abuot 3 sec Did you find out your problem?

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

yes it was the MAF sensor on my van. It's a long story but to make it short, a tiny piece of paper from my air filter (that got shreded by a field mouse) got sucked into the sensor blocking the sensor wire. Make sure you dont have a vacume leak in the intake body,hose,etc, good luck

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

There is a fuel pump resistor located on the frame behind the drivers side front bumper. It has a tendency to open/burn out. when it opens it will shut down the fuel system thereby shutting the engine off. It cost about $60.00 bucks from the dealer.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

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