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engine keeps missing

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by lou5850, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Oct 3, 2011 at 4:47 AM
    #1
    lou5850

    lou5850 [OP] New Member

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    Hello, I have a big problem with my 1995 tacoma. It is a 4x4 2.7 liter and has 215,xxx miles. One day last week I was driving down the highway during rush hour traffic, stop and go. They suddenly, with absolutely no warning, my truck died. I was going about 20 mph, and at first I thought I killed it by putting it in 5th gear instead of 3rd. I tried to restart and it turned over but it wouldn't fire up. I don't even think it sputtered at all.

    I had it towed to a nearby shop, they said it was the ignition coil, and that I needed new plugs and wires. I had them change the coil, and said I would change the plugs and wires. (they wanted 350$) When I picked it up from their shop, it seemed fine for the first 2 minutes of driving. Then the missing started. It is very random but very frequent. Every ten seconds it misses for about a second or two. The whole truck shakes because the engine is braking the truck. So obviously the truck is barely drivable. It seems to happen the most when there is a load on it, like going up a hill. It doesn't seem to miss at all at an idle in neutral gear, or when I am driving and the rpms are above 4,000. (maybe I just can't notice it)

    I changed the plugs and wires (NGK) and nothing changed at all. I brought it back to the shop thinking they didn't install the coil right, or maybe it was a faulty one. They said I needed a new cap and rotor. But what do you know, that didn't fix it either. A few days later the shop finally called me back (this is my work truck) and said that the main computer (ecp?) was bad and I needed a new one. 1,200$ for a new one (that is just the parts cost) but he could get a used one and install it for a grand total cost of 900$.


    But I am not convinced that is what is wrong and here is why:
    1. truck breaks down instantly
    2. they change coil
    3. truck barely runs
    4. they change cap and rotor (doesn't change anything)
    5. they say its the computer
    So this means the coil and the computer crapped out at precisely the same time?? If it is the computer, why did the new coil get the truck to start and run (barely) after I couldn't even get it to fire while turning it over with the starter motor. It doesn't add up and after two failed attempts I am afraid the shop is playing trial and error with my truck, with me footing the bill. Although, the mechanic did say that he was 98% sure this is the solution. Why not 100%? Can't a test verify the computer is bad to 100% certainty?

    Maybe he is correct and somehow a faulty computer ruined the coil and this is how both went bad at the same time. But I can't afford to pay 900$ and that not be the problem. So I am doing it myself starting with checking the grounds on the battery terminal and working my way up from there.

    Please help me with suggestions or comments. Anything at all would be greatly appreciated and very helpful as I am not the most experienced mechanic.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Oct 3, 2011 at 5:05 AM
    #2
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Did the CEL light come on?
     
  3. Oct 3, 2011 at 5:16 AM
    #3
    hawker25

    hawker25 Well-Known Member

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    sounds like you need a new shop. They are just guessing and changing parts then charging you for them. Don't know if you've done this but check the throttle body really good. My future father in law got a taco like yours in a trade that was doing the same thing and it was just some gunk and rust inside that was making the butterfly stick sometime.
     
  4. Oct 3, 2011 at 5:19 AM
    #4
    2008taco

    2008taco Well-Known Member

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    If it is the computer it should throw a check engine light or code.

    Check all your intake to make sure there are no cracks or major leaks. Check your air filter to make sure it is not clogged.

    Could also be your fuel filter and or pump. If the filter is clogged it will starve the engine of fuel and you will have a rough idle, and it might even die when you're on the gas. Pump would be a similar effect.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2011 at 6:19 AM
    #5
    lou5850

    lou5850 [OP] New Member

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    yes the CEL is on but it had been for a while due to an exhaust sensor. I will have it scanned and check the codes for additonal information due to the computer.

    I have noticed that the gas pedal is kind of sticky, maybe you are right and it is rusty or gunky. I am going to check that.

    I do have a small crack on the corner of the intake where the bolt is. Looks like the bolt had maybe been tightened to much at one point or the intake warped because it is right through the corner.

    I know the air filter is clean. But I haven't checked the fuel filter or pump yet. I will do so. But the idle is the one thing that seems to be normal while running.

    p.s. I wont be returning to this shop.

    Thank you for the suggestions!
     
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