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Won't start in cold - cam seized?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by metz2112, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Dec 4, 2009 at 3:52 PM
    #1
    metz2112

    metz2112 [OP] Member

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    If anyone has any ideas about how to check if your cam is seized let me know. Here is what happened:

    I had 5W30 in my car, but it had been burning oil (1 qt/2weeks or so), so I switched to 10W30 a few weeks ago and added some really thick oil treatment that said it was supposed to stop it from burning oil and leaking oil. Was running fine but...

    It was really cold this morning (25 degrees F) and it wouldn't start. I thought maybe the battery was cold so I took it inside to let it warm up, then put it back in the car and it still didn't start. Had a friend help me jump it and it still wouldn't start.

    Plugs, plug wires, alternator are all new, battery was tested not long ago and is in good working condition, and it ran perfectly fine yesterday.

    I am worried that the thick oil and low temperature did this (which I found on another website):
    I drained most of the oil (4.5qt) and refilled it with fresh 5W30, also bought some starter fluid and tried that, but still no start. I am afraid I permanently damaged my car by seizing the cam.

    How can I be sure what happened and how can I (hopefully) fix the problem? Will take any suggestions. :confused:

    (4-Cylinder 2.4L 1996 Tacoma Xtracab)
     
  2. Dec 4, 2009 at 3:59 PM
    #2
    83cj

    83cj Well-Known Member

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    Are you getting spark at the plug? How Cold?
     
  3. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:04 PM
    #3
    metz2112

    metz2112 [OP] Member

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    I am getting spark. It was about 25 degrees F outside when I was trying to start it this morning. The car is parked in the street outside now (in the city, outside my girlfriends apartment where I am now stranded).

    Any ideas please!
     
  4. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:07 PM
    #4
    swise

    swise TRIFECTA!!!

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    if your cam is "seized", then your engine would not turn over at all.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:13 PM
    #5
    metz2112

    metz2112 [OP] Member

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    Well it sounds like the starter is working and it is cranking fine, it just won't start.
    Does this mean that the seized cam is not the issue?
    What do I check for now - fuel -- and how, without a garage or tools?
    It was working great yesterday and has about 1/2 tank of gas.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:18 PM
    #6
    higherlux

    higherlux Well-Known Member

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    sounds like the starter to me
     
  7. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM
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    83cj

    83cj Well-Known Member

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    It would have to be thicker than that do do damage a 25deg.
     
  8. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:29 PM
    #8
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Don't use the starting fluid. It's extremely bad for the aluminum head.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM
    #9
    want1bad

    want1bad Well-Known Member

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    while your turning the engine over, get someone else to bang on the gas tank and see if it trys to start. if it does then its your fuel pump. i had this happen with my s10 i use to drive and hit on the gas tank and fired up so i could get home but would not start back when i shut it off. had to replace the fuel pump
     
  10. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:40 PM
    #10
    metz2112

    metz2112 [OP] Member

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    higherlux -- do starters just die suddenly, or do they sporadically work until they finally die? It hasn't given me any starting issues in the past. It makes the good cranking sound, not just a clicking or anything. Is there an easy quick way to test the starter?

    Also this is happening today, the first really cold day we have had (here) so far, while the car just happens to be parked outside.


    -- I am gonna try kicking the gas tank while trying to start - at worst it will allow me to let out some frustration! :mad:

    Great ideas - keep the helpful tips coming! Should I change the title / have I ruled out the frozen cam thing?
     
  11. Dec 4, 2009 at 4:56 PM
    #11
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    You don't have a frozen cam. If you did, the motor would sound like it wants to jump and take off running down the street.

    If the truck sounds "normal" when you turn it over then the starter is fine. Verify this by having some one watch the belts as you turn it over. If the turn, the starter is working.

    Have you checked anything on the motor itself? Like looking at you vacuum lines,
     
  12. Dec 4, 2009 at 5:15 PM
    #12
    higherlux

    higherlux Well-Known Member

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    when mine went out it did it sporadically
    but once i changed it it worked fine
    somthing else you might wanna check if this it the first time is the bug 80a fuse in your fuse box under the hood
    if its blown the truck wont start
     
  13. Dec 4, 2009 at 6:23 PM
    #13
    metz2112

    metz2112 [OP] Member

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    The 80amp alternator fuse looks fine, and the alternator was replaced only 4 or 5 months ago.

    I tried kicking the gas tank - didn't seem to help, but it did make me feel a bit better.

    The belts turn and it sounds normal when cranking, just won't catch.

    I suppose I'll have to try squirting some more starting fluid in there tomorrow and seeing if I can get it to sputter even. (Is ether really bad for the aluminum?)
     
  14. Dec 4, 2009 at 6:25 PM
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    want1bad

    want1bad Well-Known Member

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    yeah its bad i wouldnt reccomned using it and it is highly flammable also. it can do some bad stuff to an engine
     
  15. Dec 4, 2009 at 6:36 PM
    #15
    Yoytoda

    Yoytoda The Little Truck That Could

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    Correct

    If it was the starter the engine wouldnt turn over.

    correct 25 degrees isnt "cold"

    eh... its ether. Ether wont hurt aluminum but it burns hot...probably wont do any damage since you using it to start the vehicle just dont keep spraying it to keep the truck running.

    If the cam was seized the engine wouldnt run rough, it wouldnt run at all.


    Vacuum lines... maybe, but the truck should start, just run terrible.



    Try taking one plug out, leave it connected to the wire and ground the electrode. Have someone turn the engine over and verify you are getting spark.
     
  16. Dec 4, 2009 at 6:49 PM
    #16
    kg4ghn

    kg4ghn Well-Known Member

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    I might be showing some ignorance here, but couldn't it be a broke timing belt?

    I had a timing belt break on an old ford ranger I used to have and it did as the OP is describing.
     
  17. Dec 4, 2009 at 6:52 PM
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    Yoytoda

    Yoytoda The Little Truck That Could

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    Its chain driven.
     
  18. Dec 4, 2009 at 6:54 PM
    #18
    kg4ghn

    kg4ghn Well-Known Member

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    I just now seen his truck specs at the bottom of his post. :eek: I was looking under his name and didn't see it there.

    Carry on...
     
  19. Dec 4, 2009 at 6:58 PM
    #19
    higherlux

    higherlux Well-Known Member

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    i thought he said it wasnt turnin over :eek:
    well then thats eather a fuel or a spark prob
    and since he said it has new wires and plugs im leanin towards fuel
     
  20. Dec 4, 2009 at 7:09 PM
    #20
    metz2112

    metz2112 [OP] Member

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    • It has spark, so I think it is a fuel problem.
    • It won't start, or even sputter.
    • Starter cranks but doesn't get anywhere
    Also, very high mileage vehicle. It ran perfectly fine yesterday and hasn't been giving me any problems like it would if "something was going".

    and its a 1996 2.4L 4-Cyl and is my only means of transportation.

    I just want to get it started so I can get out of the city, and back to my dad's house where I can keep it in the warm garage overnight and have access to some tools.

    For checking fuel pressure, where is this shrader valve on the fuel line? I was hoping I could do a quick fuel pressure test by putting the key in the ON position, listening to hear if the fuel pump primes, then press the shrader valve and see if anything squirts out. Does this work as a fuel pressure test? I'm just searching the internet for cold starting problems.

    Also, should I try disconnecting the temperature sensors (either the one in the air filter box, the one in the radiator, or both?)
     
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