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Got a 95 Corolla 1.6L / 4AFE that worked great one day and then crank/no start the next. Checked all fuses and relays OK. Didn't find any broken wires or disconnected hoses or connectors. Plenty of gas in the car. The car ran great one day and literally crank no start the next. So I checked and got spark on all 4 plugs. I sprayed starter fluid up the intake and the car didn't even try to catch. Checked compression and it was waaayyy to low on all 4 cylinders. Did some research and finally had a mobile mechanic come out and he said the timing was off. Since I was going to open it up to check & correct the timing, I got a a new timing belt and water pump. Had another mobile mechanic come out to change the timing belt and water pump & he said the timing was definitely off. Got the car all back together and timed correctly (at least the mechanic said it was timed correctly) and we still have the crank/no start. The mobile mechanic said there was compression, but he didn't check it with a compression tester. Tech sprayed the starter fluid up the intake and it didn't even try to catch (just like before). Tech pulled a spark plug wire off and put a brand new spark plug on the end and put it near a ground. I cranked the engine and the tech told me that the spark was very weak?? Mobile mechanic said that the distributors on these Toyota models had this kind of problem. Did some research on the weak spark and main cause reported was a bad ignition coil inside the distributor. `Got a new coil just in case, and then removed & bench tested the existing coil--Got the same readings on he existing coil as on the new one. I am told this model doesn't have an external crank position sensor - it must be in the distributor. Going to recheck the timing and compression again but before I replace the distributor, can anyone here offer any help, advice, or suggestions. Wife and I are seniors and on a limited income so we can't take the to a shop. We need the car to get to the church, doctors, and grocery shopping. Thanks in advance!


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Location: Oregon
so, did you check your spark with an incandescent test light?

you need to remove your distributor cap. then using the test light, hooked up to a good ground, check for a good spark when you crank the engine over. you should have a blue/white spark that can jump at least a half inch. Unless you have a coil testing machine or a tool that will actually fire the coil, testing by measuring ohms or voltage drop through the coil, those tests don't work well. You have to check the coil to see if it will fire.

Did you try the new coil in the car?

there are two wires that connect to the coil. If the new coil doesn't fire when you crank the engine over or you have a weak spark you need to check the wires at the coil. Disconnect the two wires from the coil in the distributor. turn the key to the run position. One wire should be power (battery voltage) the other wire will should be nothing. It may be a ground but probably not. If you check them with the wires connected to the coil both wires will show power. (because the power will go through the coil and will still light up the test light.

A logic probe with power and ground LEDs can do the tests easier because you can see the power and the ground in the circuit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsabz9wNiYI

the signal to fire the coil is a ground signal. the power should always be present with the key in run or start. Let me know what you find out.


   
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