I have a 95 Toyota Camry, she's been having some problems lately. The alternator and starter is new, and I just purchased a new battery(voltage reads fine on it).

If I take it for a short drive(just down the street or around the corner) it won't start. For the first while I could leave it for 10-15 minutes and it would start fine, last time it was 6 hours, now it's been sitting in a parking lot for over eight hours and still won't start. If I go for a longer drive (fourty-sixty minutes) leave the car off for 20 it starts fine after.

I have many suggestions that it may be the cold start valve, temp sensor, crank sensor, etc. But I would like to diagnose first incase I can do a simple fix myself.


  • 1
    What do you hear when you try to start it?
    – HandyHowie
    Jan 13 '16 at 8:14
  • Way too vague. The car won't start? There are 50 different possible reasons. I would suggest going to a mechanic. We can't write a book about how to diagnose a car here. Jan 13 '16 at 12:37
  • I'd write a book on how to fix it, but you haven't told us if you know how to work on cars or if you have the tools to do so. This is something best left to a diagnostician or professional technician.
    – cloudnyn3
    Jan 13 '16 at 14:48
  • Time to get back to basics. When it fails to start, does it have spark? Does it have fuel pressure? Do the fuel injectors actuate?
    – kmarsh
    Jan 13 '16 at 20:28
  • Can you update us with the problem if you find out? We'd appreciate it. Jan 22 '16 at 1:36

Could be a failing coil, which will inevitably lead to a complete fail at some point soon. Very easy to test. I think for you it's under the distributor cap. And I think they even reported a large group complaint for distributor-related components this model. If out of spec, that's your problem. What you explained was very similar to what happened to me once and this was the problem. It was very easy to diagnose so it's worth a try. Look at this site for details:


Next test fuel pressure from cold start to warm up. Then shut off, start again and recheck. Compare all results with spec.

You didn't mention if you got any codes...



Well in the Honda world, these are the classic symptoms of a failing PGM-FI (Programmable Fuel Injection) main relay, which controls power for the fuel injection system and the fuel pump. Vibrations cause the solder points on the relay crack over time, leading to intermittent failures. Failures can be exacerbated when the relay is warm, either through prevailing weather conditions, and/or the extra resistance introduced to the circuit by the poor connections, generating heat.

The relay (in a Honda), is under the dash, somewhere above the drivers knees. They can usually be removed in < 10 minutes with simple hand tools. You can either use a multimeter and test it, following the manufacturers procedure for doing so, or swap in a new one quickly and see if it solves the problem (You can always return the new relay afterwards if it doesn't).

  • Really? All the auto repair shops in my area have a sign saying "Electrical parts are NOT returnable".
    – TMN
    Jan 14 '16 at 15:11
  • In my experience that usually applies to small, locally owned stores. Chains like O'Rileys though, never had an issue. Jan 14 '16 at 17:14

Check fuel filter - if partially plugged it will produce this effect of not starting for about 20 minutes after it has been parked and allowed to sit for awhile. Eventually it will start again. My mechanic found it after about a week of other opinions - replacing the fuel filter might be the solution. It was for me.


I was having same problem and discovered that the main ground cable was not secured to the frame and was just dangling and making intermittent contact.

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