Jump to content

  •  

Photo

Can Bad Fuel Pressure Regulator Kill The Engine?


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 mrbutz1

mrbutz1

    Advanced Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Model: 94 ES300
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:05 AM

I was told after a routine oil change at Midas that I needed my fuel pressure regulator (1994 ES300) was bad and the tubing was cracked. I replaced the tubing and the car's been working fine but a couple days ago after driving for about 15 minutes it seemed to run out of gas, CEL came on, and car died. Two hours later I was able to drive it home 15 miles. Then it sat for a week, this morning I drove it to work, 15 miles at about 50mph for the most part, got to my parking spot and it died again...just like it's running on empty (which it isn't).

Question is: can a bad fuel pressure regulator cause the engine to sputter and die? It seems unlikely to me, but I never actually replaced it.

Any opinions would be truly appreciated before I call AAA and have it towed home. >:(

THANK YOU!

Have something to contribute?

Sign in or register to start a topic...

 

#2 George_Jetson

George_Jetson

    Dedicated Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts
  • Model: 93 es300

Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:42 PM

When it sputters before it dies it is very possible that the problem is fuel related, and would be one thing to keep in mind while troubleshooting. The first step is to read the codes. What type of mileage do you have on the car? and does it have the original fuel filter?

#3 mrbutz1

mrbutz1

    Advanced Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Model: 94 ES300
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:42 PM

When it sputters before it dies it is very possible that the problem is fuel related, and would be one thing to keep in mind while troubleshooting. The first step is to read the codes. What type of mileage do you have on the car? and does it have the original fuel filter?


I know, gotta get the codes but I'm afraid to drive the damn thing to the AutoZone a few miles away!

Car has about 150K miles and I don't know if the fuel filter is original or not, but I suspect at some point it's been changed.

#4 George_Jetson

George_Jetson

    Dedicated Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts
  • Model: 93 es300

Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:17 PM

My guess is that it is probably the original filter. If you are afraid to drive it, I would suggest checking the filter.

#5 mrbutz1

mrbutz1

    Advanced Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Model: 94 ES300
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:45 AM

My guess is that it is probably the original filter. If you are afraid to drive it, I would suggest checking the filter.


Well I pretended to be a mechanic yesterday after having the car towed home, got my knuckles all bloody (kinda cool actually) and all that, but managed to get the regulator out and replace it with the new one. I drove it for about half an hour around my house, no issues. Drove it the 15 miles into work this morning at highway speeds, no issues. Will let it sit while at work today and see how she goes home. If smooth, I believe I may have solved the problem.

CEL is now off.

Anyway, could the fuel filter or the fuel pump fail in such a way...intermittently I mean? Sometimes it works, but then it doesn't, etc... That part isn't an all or none part?

#6 George_Jetson

George_Jetson

    Dedicated Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts
  • Model: 93 es300

Posted 24 March 2010 - 12:57 PM

The fuel filter would be a constant failure, you would gennerally start notice it starting under hard aceleration. The fuel pump couldnvery easiliy start off as a intermitent error. At 150k, it is a little early for the pump to fail, but not unheard of. I would still recommend getting the codes checked (do it real soon, or the error will clear).

#7 mrbutz1

mrbutz1

    Advanced Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Model: 94 ES300
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 24 March 2010 - 01:07 PM

The fuel filter would be a constant failure, you would gennerally start notice it starting under hard aceleration. The fuel pump couldnvery easiliy start off as a intermitent error. At 150k, it is a little early for the pump to fail, but not unheard of. I would still recommend getting the codes checked (do it real soon, or the error will clear).


Okay, I'll get the codes checked today on my way home (if I make it!) Even if the CEL is out but was on yesterday, will the codes still be in there?

#8 George_Jetson

George_Jetson

    Dedicated Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts
  • Model: 93 es300

Posted 24 March 2010 - 02:06 PM

Yes. Inactive codes are stored for a set number of drive cycles (I do not remember how many), the codes will then clear automatically. It is a good idea to know what is stored in case the light comes on again.

#9 mrbutz1

mrbutz1

    Advanced Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Model: 94 ES300
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 24 March 2010 - 07:38 PM

Yes. Inactive codes are stored for a set number of drive cycles (I do not remember how many), the codes will then clear automatically. It is a good idea to know what is stored in case the light comes on again.


I had it checked out with a reader and it passed, no codes. Probably been like four or five starts and stops since the CEL came on, though. It appears to be running well now. I put in a fuel injector cleaner and a tank of high octane (I usually use reg).

If you don't hear from me on this again it means the fix worked!

Otherwise...

THANK YOU, I so appreciate your help.

--mrb

#10 mrbutz1

mrbutz1

    Advanced Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Model: 94 ES300
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:42 PM

Well the issue has returned unfortunately. In the past week twice the engine has cut off during driving (not hard acceleration, city driving) after about 15-20 minutes of operation. Oddly, if I let it sit for a few minutes I can re-start it and it works again. Once the CEL came on the other time it didn't. This morning was the most recent, driving about 20 mph, just OFF. I rolled to a stop, opened the hood, looked around, nothing evident, got back in and started her up.

What on earth is going on?? It's been suggested that it's the fuel filter (could that be intermittent, though) or the fuel pump and I just replaced the fuel pressure regulator.

Any and all replies are truly appreciated! Thanks.

Yes. Inactive codes are stored for a set number of drive cycles (I do not remember how many), the codes will then clear automatically. It is a good idea to know what is stored in case the light comes on again.


I had it checked out with a reader and it passed, no codes. Probably been like four or five starts and stops since the CEL came on, though. It appears to be running well now. I put in a fuel injector cleaner and a tank of high octane (I usually use reg).

If you don't hear from me on this again it means the fix worked!

Otherwise...

THANK YOU, I so appreciate your help.

--mrb



#11 George_Jetson

George_Jetson

    Dedicated Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts
  • Model: 93 es300

Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:40 PM

With 150k,I would change the filter, it is cheap enough. I would also change the pump. Unless you have the proper tools to check the pressure and volume from the fuel pump you are just guessing. With what a professional mechanic charges per hour you could just buy a pump and install it yourself.

#12 mrbutz1

mrbutz1

    Advanced Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Model: 94 ES300
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 06 April 2010 - 03:33 PM

With 150k,I would change the filter, it is cheap enough. I would also change the pump. Unless you have the proper tools to check the pressure and volume from the fuel pump you are just guessing. With what a professional mechanic charges per hour you could just buy a pump and install it yourself.


I'm considering that as I fearfully watch the clock tick towards 5pm and my drive home.

In your opinion is swapping out the fuel filter and/or pump serious work? If you know of a good thread here with DIY instructions I would love the link to it.

How would a mechanic diagnose the problem? Could it be anything else in your opinion, like a fuse or electrical? Thanks George Jetson!

#13 George_Jetson

George_Jetson

    Dedicated Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts
  • Model: 93 es300

Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:58 PM

The fuel filter is normally considered routine maint, just as a air filter would be (only not as frequent). It is easy to change, just make sure that the engine is cold. The fuel lines remain under pressure all of the time, so when you disconnect the lines a little fuel will spray out. As long as there are no ignition sources (like a hot exhaust) it is not a problem.
The fuel pump on these cars are much easier than most, most cars require that you drop the gas tank. You can reach the fuel pump from the back seat on these cars. To verify a bad pump, you need to measure the pressure and volume of the pump delivery. Since Toyota did not feel it was necessary to install a test port, you will need adapters to install a gauge. The gauge and adapters would run you a couple bills.

You could swap the Fuel pump relay, it is cheap and easy.

Download the factory service manual (at the top of this page), with common sense precautions this work is easy for a junior mechanic.

#14 Ray Garlington

Ray Garlington

    New Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Model: ES 330
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:37 AM

In tank fuel pumps will often bind occasionally before they freeze-up completely. When they bind fuel pressure drops to zero and the engine will stall. It seems likely that you are experiencing this.

#15 mrbutz1

mrbutz1

    Advanced Club Member

  • Regular Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts
  • Model: 94 ES300
  • Location: Please Select

Posted 07 April 2010 - 10:14 AM

Thanks both of youse for your replies.

The car did indeed die on the way home, rush hour traffic on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago...not a great place to have a stalled car. I pushed that beast for about 100 yards to get it out of traffic and had it towed home. Then, of course, when I got home it started up just fine!

I will investigate the fuel pump, fuel filer, and relay this week and let you all know. Hell, I may try to do the repairs myself I had fun replacing the fuel pressure regulator! All to avoid having to shell out the bucks for another car. Nooooooooooo!

THANK YOU again for helping me out, I really appreciate your sharing your knowledge with me.

Have something to contribute?

Sign in or register to start a topic...


Not what you're looking for?

Register now, we have a huge community of enthusiasts to answer any questions you might have