94 camry 2.2 was running i seafoamed it like i have for years and it dies like it has for years went to restart it fired up ran rough a sec which they do but then died now has no fire at plugs at all?

Asked by Jul 27, 2015 at 11:42 PM about the 1994 Toyota Camry DX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

94 camry 2.2 was running i seafoamed it like i have for years and it dies like it has for years went to restart it fired up ran rough a sec which they do but then died now has no fire at plugs at all,i know it has nuthin to do with the seafoam it has to be a coincidence but it sucks. I cant find anything online on how to test coil and or pickup at all? any idea what could have happened?it is the fed emission one with coil in dist.

30 Answers


You can buy a spark plug wire tester to check for spark at the plugs. Spray some starter fluid or throttle body cleaner into throttle and try to start. I believe your plugs are fouled need to replace spark plugs but best to check for spark to each plug first.

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since iv been a mechanic iv always just grounded the plug to check for fire, I have a couple testers but prefer the ground method. I also have in the question that ithas no fire at the plugs,and I tried starting fluid first thing to try and dry plugs out.thank u for the ideas though.

You might want to pull the dipstick and check for gas in the oil before you attempt another restart. BTW...what is seafoam?

I did its all clean oil. And i thought everybody had used seafoam? Its a complete engine internal cleaner,iv used it in my mechanic shop for over 20 yrs and dad before me.i just did our 2001 town and country van cause mileage had got down to round 18 and after runnin seafoam thru it it jumped to 23 consistant and they run much much smoother.i try to do it at least once a yr with the horrible quality gas we are all getting now.youl be amazed how much it helps. Heck youtube ,how to seafoam your vehicle and it shows u all about it.great stuff

I would be inclined to go back to the basics. I prefer a ST125 spark tester to check for spark. This type of tester loads the ignition system to produce 25k volts. I would test for spark at all 4 SP wires. If indeed you have no spark...I would pull the dist, cap and do a good visual inspection. I would then.... with the dist. cap removed, crank the engine over with a 12v test light connected from a good ground to the neg, side if the coil. The test light should blink while cranking. I would definitely pull all the SP's and inspect for fouling. Of course while the SP's are removed ..perform a compression test. Let us know your results.

ok just for the sake of doing it I checked with spark tester and no spark it was time for a tuneup so I put all new plugs wires and a dist cap and rotor,i can hold the plug wires and crank it with no shock.i have good compression cause its low mile car and my wife drives it every day, it was running great up til it died.i have 12 volts to pos coil wire, tomorrow when I have a second person ill do more checks for power on things,but I went ahead and ordered a new coil, and a confirmed good ignitor. as of now its all new except those .and ecm.the old plugs are fine as I put them in other engine and they run it great. so they were good. the cap was good the rotor was worn a lot.i will post the results of the tests tomorrow. I just don't understand this one. once in awhile I get these kind that just really piss me off. after mechanicing for almost 35 yrs now on everything from small engines to huge tractors and semis, I still get these that just try you to the end and you need outside help. I will never ever say I know everything because I tryto learn sumthing new every day,i appreciate all the input and ideas.

Just about anything out there that has Dist Ignition can be checked with a 12v test light. If you ground the test light and probe B+ terminal on the coil...the light should be on steady with the ign. key turned on. When you crank the engine over....and probe the NEG. side of ign. coil...the test light should blink. This proves the PICK UP Coil and IGN. Coil are triggering...and...the igniter is functioning. So...what you have proven is the Primary side of the ignition system is functioning properly. The secondary side of the IS.. is the problem. .......which includes the ignition coil secondary....rotor cap wires and SP's. If you ck. NAPA on line....you can most likely buy a complete Dist. for about $100.00

the complete dist at local napa was over 250. and I have put new rotor cap plugs and wires on?what if I have voltage on positive side of coil with key on but no flashing while cranking? coil bad right?

ok I checked voltages and key on I have 12 volts to pos side of coil, and on neg side? shoudnt yet? but I do,when I crank it nothing changes,stays lit all the time? is that shorted coil?


I wonder if the Seafoam crap fouled the plugs and overloaded the coil, taking it out?

If the test light is not blinking on the neg. side of the coil with the engine cranking...you either have a bad pick up coil or a bad igniter. Next step in the diag. is to test the pickup coil. Disconnect the 2 wires coming out of the PC and attach a volt meter set for AC volts. crank the engine and see if you have at least .5v AC. That's 1/2 volt AC. If you want to test the igniter...you connect the alligator clip of your test light to B+ and the probe to a ground. The light lights correct? Now if you "tickle" the green wire terminal on the ignitor...the coil should fire WITH OUT cranking the engine. What your doing with this little trick is simulating a good pick up coil. Good Luck.

to test the ignitor what b+ wire do I hook to, the coil b+?, I feel really stupid having to ask all these questions after mechanicing for yrs but im on lots of meds now and they are messing with my memory and thinking abilities and just makes me mad. so excuse me if they seem stupid or anything, I really appreciate the help ur giving.

the coil is hot on both pos and neg. neg side doesn't flash when cranked it just stays lit up.if I unhook the 2 wires coming out of the ignitor how will I get any reading? im so confused,its all the dam meds.i cant afford to take it anywhere on disability and I should be able to fix it with no problem!

OK...understand the situation. IF you have a digital volt ohm meter...set it up for AC volts. Attach the leads from the DOM to the wires coming from the pickup coil. Crank the engine and you should see at least 1/2 volt AC. To test this igniter....attach the alligator clip to the positive side of the car's battery. Now..the tip of the test light is hot. Tickle the terminal of the igniter that has the green wire on it with the ignition key turned on. That tickle simulates the activity of the pickup coil. The coil should fire. If it does not fire....the igniter is bad.

my ignitor don't have a green wire on it? im sorry I know its very hard almost impossible to do this without being here touching it.i have a dvm.

OK...understood. Lets go back to checking the pick up coil. Set the dvm to ohms and attach to both leads. The reading should be about 500 ohms. We would have to look up the exact specs. Then switch the meter to read AC volts. Crank the engine. The reading should be at least 1/2 volt AC. BTW what are the color of the wires coming out of the pick up coil?

the wires coming out of the pc that I can see are one is lite green the other is lite tan with blk stripe. the ohm reading across those two is .230. with it cranking and on a/c volts I get is very verying, I have the meter set on 2 volt a/c and cra\nking volts go from .024 to .097 and everything in between?

OK....097 is less than 1/10th of a volt. NFG. I hate to tell you this but there are 2 pickup coils in this dist. I do not know which one you are testing. You might notice there are 2 reluctors (spoke wheels) on that Dist. Shaft. One high on the shaft and a 4 spoke reluctor on the bottom. This is one reason most techs. replace the entire Dist. I seem to recall both pickup coil wires go to the computer(ECU). The ECU now knows the engine is turning over and what position the crankshaft is in. The computer then sends a signal to the igniter to fire the ignition coil. Checking these signals can get somewhat complicated and you need a wiring diagram to pinpoint the root cause of this no spark condition. Soooo...If you have power to the Pos. side of that ignition coil...that tells us that the ign. key is sending power through the fuse to the coil. The primary of the coil must be OK because you indicate you also have power on the Neg. side of the coil. If you Ohm out the primary you should see about 1/2 Ohm. If you Ohm out the secondary windings you should see about 7-11k ohms. There should also be a condenser down in that Dist. somewhere. When that shorts out....no spark. Well....if you have parts coming why not go ahead and give that Dist rebuild a try. If you still have a no start.....you might want to consider a junk yard Distributor. Good Luck.

1 people found this helpful.

ok thank u very very much for all the time you spent helping me on this,i have the coil and ignitor coming,they should be here tomorrow, I just got them cause I found them really cheap and garunteed, new coil used ignitor. I was seeing that second set of fins at the bottom of the dist, I am checking the top pc.i read that it is hard to diagnose thses and that's why they say replace whole dist, but after I got the cost I bout had a malfunction,.i found a schematic for it but I cant read them anymore with this dang confusion from meds going on, they just confuse me and I use to work at a electronic repair shop.lol.it sucks to need meds.i wonder if that condenser is replaceable?

id be happy to paypal u some money for helping me on this? just let me know,i cant pay much but I could some. but I appreciate it a lot.

you know how the engines bog down like they are flooding real bad when you put anything into the carb or throttle body? that's what they do when u seafoam them and you should really keep em sped up enuf not to do that but I couldn't I was by myself, so it chugged like that a sec before it died? do you think that could have sumhow burnt up whatever is? it did start and run rough for just a second after it died the first time but then it died and never fired again?

I cannot make a connection between the seafoam procedure and a no spark condition. These down the throttle body cleanings are a little scary for me considering we have O2 sensors and Catalytic converters to worry about. I cannot see how this procedure would result in damage to the Dist on this vehicle. Let us know the final result.

Oh...one more thing. That Dist shaft DOES turn when you crank the engine ...right? Sometimes when you load an intake system with to much cleaner.....it could damage a timing belt

ya it turns that's bout the 2nd thing I checked I took upper timing cover off to check and belt is all ok.i was kinda hoping that's what had happened its easy on this car to change belt, but no luck lol.i will definitely post here what I finally do. thanks again, you sure I cant send u a little money for ur time? thanks so much. I should be able to do thisd all but at times we all need help and the guys that don't ask are the fools ive learned,.

Financial rewards for attempting to help someone in need is not necessary. I gave that up years ago when I retired from the Auto Service and Repair Business. This on line help site keeps my 79 year old brain tuned up. I really owe you! Good luck

1 people found this helpful.

well thank u much

hey guys ,good news! I got the ignitor and coil today and I thought id try ignitor first,it didn't do it,so I tried coil, wow that did it,yeah!no more pullin my little hair out.tthank you for all your ideas and help and last chance thank you for sticking with me thru all the questions and thoughts I cant thank you enuf, to firebird338, yes I accidently pushed best answer button, but that by no means ,means that I don't appreciate or didn't take into consideration your advise, thank u all.m very much

HooRa....I assume you mean Ignition Coil. Good Job. another learning experience. Don't you just love it when you are able to help someone fix something? Take Care.

Yes ign coil in dist. And thank u very very much for helping me and taking your time to do it.that was great.cant thank u enuf.you take care


Good deal, glad you got it repaired.

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