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Newly Grownup Corolla Owner.



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Hi there!

Im having issues with my corolla.

I don't know much about cars and I don't have a user's manual - I bought this car used 160k miles back.

Couple questions:

1) Seafoam. Where do I put it in?

2) My car has lost it's sense of urgency on the accelerator.

3) The car stalls out while startup after a length of time turned off. It's getting worse, as it's a lot harder to startup now.

4) Where can I find a user's manual?

I've found pleasure working on my car recently. I feel some sort of accomplishment working on my corolla. But while I was with my grandparents, my grandfather did all the work.. which meant taking it to the garage.

This is my corolla.. back when the engine light was off, when it didn't have the pleasure of driving the interstate multiple times for 13 hours one-way, and didn't get car doors slammed into it. Apparently before I put in my CD players... phew... 5+ years ago!

Seafoam awesome stuff. They say add 1/3 to the fuel and a 1/3 to the oil. But you are safe doing half and half. I swear by seafoam great stuff! Make sure that you change the oil after a few weeks. They say 100 miles or so, but I just added seafoam and I'm broke and can't afford all the oil change crap so you'll be fine just make sure you check it often. It'll be real dirty cause the seafoam cleans everything up. But change the oil soon enough.

As for you acceleration...have you checked or changed your air filter? Your airfilter is probably the problem. Then next thing to think it might be is fuel filter or fuel pump if the prob isn't fixed with air filter. Fuel filter and fuel pump are under the rear seat on the driverside. It's relatively easy to remove. I just did it this afternoon actually. But I never replaced the filter or pump, I just emptied the gas tank.

But, 9/10 chance it's the airfilter start with the easy fix first!

Thanks for the reply, Oneton95. I'll add seafoam tomorrow at work - since more of the people will be away during this time.

I just bought a Haynes Repair Manual for the corolla default_biggrin Nice to see that it covers what I got.

I bought replacement spark plugs, and with this paycheck, ill be buying wires to try to help it along.

Im pretty sure the air filter is decently clean, but I'll check.

I have to ask, I heard that putting seafoam in your car will get you a large cloud of stuff out the exhaust, will putting the seafoam - the way you told me to do it (1/2 gas and oil) will do the same thing?

I just checked the air filter, it looks clean enough to eat with.

I kind of want to seafoam my 94. Heard it does wonders... but I also heard you're supposed to do 1/3 in the tank, 1/3 in the crankcase, and 1/3 through a vacuum line (PVC or brake booster)... that way it cleans out the intake as well.

As far as the stalling goes? I dunno maybe you have a vacuum leak or something...or maybe either fuel or ignition problems?

From what I understood is if you use the seafoam thru the vacuum lines that's when it'll smoke for a minute or so. It doesn 't smoke if you add to oil or gas...there is a video on youtube of a dude who spoke with a guy who works for the company who makes seafoam. He said the best results happen from adding to oil and gas. I've never added to vacuum lines..so I don't know about it.

Okay, so it's gotten to the point where it'll stall out early on when I press down on the Accelerator. When I startup, and try to go forward, it feels like it's choking, slumps down and the car feels like it's just seizuring until I let off the accelerator.

Okay, so it's gotten to the point where it'll stall out early on when I press down on the Accelerator. When I startup, and try to go forward, it feels like it's choking, slumps down and the car feels like it's just seizuring until I let off the accelerator.

User manual / repair manuals look on ebay for them.

Your car looks just like mine--mine's wrecked though. To me sounds like fuel filter stopped up. Did you ever run it out of gas completely?

Okay, so it's gotten to the point where it'll stall out early on when I press down on the Accelerator. When I startup, and try to go forward, it feels like it's choking, slumps down and the car feels like it's just seizuring until I let off the accelerator.

User manual / repair manuals look on ebay for them.

Your car looks just like mine--mine's wrecked though. To me sounds like fuel filter stopped up. Did you ever run it out of gas completely?

 

It's gotten pretty close a few times, been told it's a good idea to drain the gas tank - then put in the expensive gasoline to help clear out the insides a little bit.

It's gotten pretty close a few times, been told it's a good idea to drain the gas tank - then put in the expensive gasoline to help clear out the insides a little bit.

That was OK back in the day - but not recommended for modern cars. The fuel pump in our cars is an immersion type - meaning that it is cooled and lubricated by gasoline. Driving to point of almost running out of gas will really shorten the life of these pumps - hence the reason why there is a generous reserve in the tank, even when the gauge indicates empty.

Same way with premium gas - in most cases, it doesn't contain any more or less additives than regular gasoline, sometimes the refiner will "cheat" and add more alcohol to boost octane rating. Won't make the car run any better, but the alcohol can absorb moisture that is in the bottom of the tank, which could be beneficial - which is where this urban legend of sorts, probably got started.

As for the stumbling when you step on the accelerator - I'd say double check that the throttle body is not gummed up, has a lot of varnish/carbon buildup. Double check that the PCV valve is clean and working properly, double check for vacuum leaks - especially if you recently Seafoamed the car - real easy to introduce a vacuum leak or forget to put a vacuum hose back on after Seafoam treatment.

Also this being a 2000 Corolla? Check and clean the MAF/IAT sensor. These are pretty easy to get fouled, and many have found great results by just cleaning them. Check online for MAF cleaning - lots of DIY guides out there for reference. There should also be one on this forum as well.

Since the longer the car is sitting, the harder it becomes to start - could be related to a leaky injector or oil fouling from leaking valve seals. Do you notice a puff of smoke after the successfully fires up? If there is, what color - bluish white smoke, black soot like smoke, white smoke, any odors?

Plugs - stick with OEM style iridiums, this engine seems to be pretty picky about plugs. Double check chassis grounds - a ground loop can cause problems down the road, as the ECM is very sensitive to noise.

It's gotten pretty close a few times, been told it's a good idea to drain the gas tank - then put in the expensive gasoline to help clear out the insides a little bit.

That was OK back in the day - but not recommended for modern cars. The fuel pump in our cars is an immersion type - meaning that it is cooled and lubricated by gasoline. Driving to point of almost running out of gas will really shorten the life of these pumps - hence the reason why there is a generous reserve in the tank, even when the gauge indicates empty.

Same way with premium gas - in most cases, it doesn't contain any more or less additives than regular gasoline, sometimes the refiner will "cheat" and add more alcohol to boost octane rating. Won't make the car run any better, but the alcohol can absorb moisture that is in the bottom of the tank, which could be beneficial - which is where this urban legend of sorts, probably got started.

As for the stumbling when you step on the accelerator - I'd say double check that the throttle body is not gummed up, has a lot of varnish/carbon buildup. Double check that the PCV valve is clean and working properly, double check for vacuum leaks - especially if you recently Seafoamed the car - real easy to introduce a vacuum leak or forget to put a vacuum hose back on after Seafoam treatment.

Also this being a 2000 Corolla? Check and clean the MAF/IAT sensor. These are pretty easy to get fouled, and many have found great results by just cleaning them. Check online for MAF cleaning - lots of DIY guides out there for reference. There should also be one on this forum as well.

Since the longer the car is sitting, the harder it becomes to start - could be related to a leaky injector or oil fouling from leaking valve seals. Do you notice a puff of smoke after the successfully fires up? If there is, what color - bluish white smoke, black soot like smoke, white smoke, any odors?

Plugs - stick with OEM style iridiums, this engine seems to be pretty picky about plugs. Double check chassis grounds - a ground loop can cause problems down the road, as the ECM is very sensitive to noise.

Okay, I can live with that being an urban legend. I heard that if your car wasn't made for the higher stuff, spening the cash on the higher octane won't matter. Is that true or somewhat true? Not that this question matters all that much to me at the moment...

The PCV value, MAF and the what now? I don't notice any odd smells, or smoke. I stayed with the original plugs. Im not sure what the chassis ground is.. I thought the chassis was grounded through the tires?

Ignorance is bliss at times. Ill darn darned if I stay in the dark. Feed me your brain, fishexpo101! Pronto!

...here's a tablespopon, shiny and silver.

Higher octane will not help the engine, power wise, unless there was some supporting modifications that required the higher octane. On a stock engine, it will run just the same, just cost you more at the pump. There is no harm in running higher octane, will not "blow" up the engine or cause excessive wear and tear. But there are some cases where running higher octane will yield better gas mileage - usually in cases where you have a little older engine or one that has some carbon deposits. In that specific case, the deposits may cause pre-detonation, which the ECM will respond to by pulling timing. When this happens, engine efficiency and power are reduced.

As for the PCV or Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve is one-way check valve that will allow gases that build up excessive pressure in the crankcase to be pulled via vacuum, into the throttle body assembly, to be burned in the combustion process. All engines will build up gases in the crankcase - some engines, especially ones that burn an excessive amount of oil or have leaking/sticking piston rings can have a lot of gas pressure (blow-by). If this is sticking or worn out - the car will run poorly.

MAF/IAT sensor or Mass Air Flow / Intake Air Temperature sensor sits on the airbox of the car. You can see it plugged into the top of the airbox assembly (where the air filters sits in). This sensor can be fouled by debris/oil/etc. pulled past it during normal operation. Many have reported good luck cleaning the sensing "wires" (our MAFs are referred to as a "hot" wire MAF design) in the MAF sensor. IAT sensor is on the side of the MAF, and can be similarly fouled. Their job is to determine amount of air volume flowed past them and the temperature - if they are fouled or the assembly is defective - the car will not know exact how much "air" it has sucked in. This will cause the car to run poorly.

Chassis ground - key points where various parts of the electrical system are "grounded" to the metal body of the car. The negative battery terminal is also grounded to the chassis (body). If there is a poor connection between those electrical ground points in reference to the negative battery terminal - you will have a greated chance to pickup electrical noise or produce ground loops. This will confuse the ECM and cause poor driveability.

Okay, so it's gotten to the point where it'll stall out early on when I press down on the Accelerator. When I startup, and try to go forward, it feels like it's choking, slumps down and the car feels like it's just seizuring until I let off the accelerator.

I just bought my 2000 Corolla VE a month ago and it came with a similar cold start problem as what you have described. I have yet to completely cure it, but I think I am making some progress. Here is what I have done so far with mine:

1. Had the tensioner replaced about a week after I bought it. The Serpentine belt had already been replaced by the original owner under warranty. Prior to the tensioner being replaced it idled very roughly, to the point that you could feel the vibration in the cabin. That eliminated the vibration, but did not eliminate the cold start problem completely.

2. Replaced the air filter (it was dirty) and tried a bottle of STP injector cleaner. Made no discernable difference in so far as that went. But there are much better and more powerful cleaners out there, and I too am contemplating trying something like seafoam just before my next oil change.

3. Did an early oil change with my own preferred dino oil (Castrol GTX). Juries still out on whether that, in itself or in conjuction with the above, helped. I think it did (possibly because the clean oil is getting where it needs to be easier through the new filter), but it did not cure the problem completely.

My next step is to, as others here have suggested, clean the MAF sensor and, if that does not cure it completely, either clean or replace the factory irridium plugs with new OEM ones. I also plan on sticking with dino oil, but will switch to a high milage oil when it hits 120,000 km; nothing against synthetics, but myth or fact, I prefer not to find out the hard way whether or not a change to synthetic will loosen any useful deposits that may be keeping 10 year old seals from leaking. Plus I dont mind doing 5,000 mile OCI with good dino oil, so the extended OCI that synthetic provides isnt a draw for me personally (sorry, little off topic there).

-Spyder