Hesitation or No Start Due to Internal Distributor Fault on Toyota Corolla

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The ignition coil inside the distributor may fail. Our technicians tell us this may result in a hesitation on acceleration, especially when the vehicle is warming up on cold, rainy days. The pickup coils inside the distributor can also fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributors, which can short out. Our technicians recommend replacing the whole distributor with a complete, genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 161,151 (25,000–300,000)
Engines affected: 1.6L 4 Cylinder, 1.8L 4 Cylinder
9 model years affected: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, more1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2011
49 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 14 of 14 comments
I have a 1994 toyota corolla just died while I am driving two weeks ago.I changed the ignition coil and started to work, but after two weeks, ignition died again.
car cranks but doesn't start... replaced fuel pump and fuel filter and also the distributor cap.... moving onto changing the ignition coil.
i replaced the ignition coil,it idles great,runs good,until i test drove it,after the transmission shift its first gear,car start hesitate/stalls but never stop running.
Car stopped. 3 garages couldn't figure it out. Even Toyota dealer couldn't solve it, *and* charged for their time.. Finally, a garage suspected ignitor/distrubtor, and their fix worked.

Four months later.. totally stops again. This time, I was near a garage I trust (Lozano Auto, Sunnyvale), and they puzzled for 8 hrs -- which tells me a hard problem. Finally, decided it was indeed ignitor/distributor *again*. Dropped in another new one, works again. I still have old one and it looks brand new (why fail? unknown..)

From now on, this year corolla, I suspect ignitor/distributor first thing on any fail.
Replaced distributor. We have had to replace the distributor 4 times in 20,000 miles. No one knows why it keeps failing. Another problem we have had the entire time is that the idle always drops, whether in gear or not. I think the 2 problems are related, but no one knows. We have had both problems ever since we bought the car about 7 years ago (about 20,000 miles ago).
I would notice sometimes when I would crank the car it would somewhat stall on me. It started not wanting to accelerate when I hit the gas. I ended up having the entire distributor changed out after finding out it wasn't the battery, starter, or alternator. I haven't had any problems since.
i steamcleand the engine and coverd the distributor with plastic bag and still got water in it. went 4 miles with it then it died and wont start now. took it apart and sprayed with wd 40 to no avail still wont start
They only replace one coil and in two weeks the failure started again! They need to replace the whole distribution! But now I know is a general problem failure of Toyota Corollas ... so guarantee hello!!!!!. Good to know! They will hear from me tomorrow at 8 am!
Not fixed, but from everything I'm reading the ignition coil is on the way out. Idles smooth, accelerates fine once at high revs. Bogs otherwise.
One day the engine quit and would not restart. Traced the problem to an open in the primary circuit of the ignition coil. Replaced the coil with an aftermarket part. Engine started and ran fine except it had a hesitation between 2500 and 3000 RPM's. Hesitation was worse going up a hill. Replaced the entire distributor with one from a wrecking yard. We lucked out. Found a low miles OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) distribute in good shape. Problem solved. Back running great!!
I drove my car into my garage to change water pump and timing belt. After a few hours later I'm done with the changed pump and my car will not start. I tried everything I knew to start a car with no luck. I then started sinking money into a bunch of new parts I didn't know if I needed or not. I did a complete tune up with no good results other than I have New parts. So a few weeks and $250 later I went to a pull a part and bought a sensor for $7 that originally cost $103 at AutoZone. Yes it worked like a charm. That is a helluva thing to go out during a water pump change. Fyi the first car I went to pull the part off of had a broke wire. The car had all new parts but the crankshaft position sensor had a broke wire. They sold a good car over a bad sensor. Food for thought.