How To Test The Fuel Pump (1996-2001 2.2L Toyota Camry)

The fuel pump on the 1996-2001 2.2L Toyota Camry can be accurately diagnosed with a fuel pressure gauge. In this tutorial I'll show you where to connect it and how to find out if the fuel pump is bad or not.

I'm also gonna' explain a simple and easy way to confirm a ‘lack of fuel’ condition by using starting fluid.

Contents of this tutorial at a quick glance:

  1. Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump.
  2. TEST 1: Using Starting Fluid To Confirm Lack of Fuel.
  3. TEST 2: Checking Fuel Pressure With A Fuel Pressure Gauge.
  4. Where To Buy A Fuel Pressure Test Gauge.
  5. Location of Fuel Filter's Banjo Bolt (Union Bolt).
  6. Where To Buy The Fuel Pump and Save.

En Español You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar La Bomba De Gasolina 1996-2001 2.2L Toyota Camry (at: autotecnico-online.com).

Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump

From personal experience, I can tell you that fuel pumps usually fail in one of two ways. The most common type of failure is total failure. In these cases, the fuel pump stops working completely. The end result is a car that won't start.

The other type of failure is a fuel pump that seems to work, but that isn't sending the correct volume of fuel to the fuel injectors. In these cases, your Camry will usually start but not run optimally.

Taking a closer look, when a fuel pump completely fails in your 2.2L Toyota Camry, you'll see that:

  1. When you turn the key to start the engine, the engine turns over but will not start.
  2. All 4 cylinders are being fed spark (as checked by a spark tester).
  3. Your Toyota Camry's fuel injection computer is activating all 4 fuel injectors (as checked with a Noid light).
  4. Fuel pressure PSI is 0 PSI when checked with a fuel pressure test gauge.
  5. Engine starts, although momentarily, if you spray starting fluid into the throttle body and then crank the engine.

When the fuel pump is starting to fail and under-performing, you'll probably see one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Lean air/fuel mixture trouble codes.
  2. Rough idle.
  3. Engine starts after extended cranking.
  4. Lack of power when accelerating the vehicle down the road.
  5. Back-fires thru' the intake manifold when accelerating your pickup or van down the road.

Both of these conditions can be tested with a fuel pressure gauge. Alright, with this info under our belts, let's get testing.

TEST 1: Using Starting Fluid To Confirm Lack of Fuel

Using Starting Fluid To Confirm Lack of Fuel. How to Test the Fuel Pump (1996-2001 2.2L Toyota Camry)

One of the fastest ways to find out if a lack of fuel is behind a ‘cranks but does not start’, on your 1996-2001 2.2L Toyota Camry, is by doing a starting fluid test.

The most important thing to keep in mind, about the starting fluid test, is that you need to first check that all 4 cylinders are getting spark. This means that you first have to spark test the ignition coils with a spark tester.

IMPORTANT: This is a very fast and easy test but you do have to take one very important safety precaution and this is to reconnect the air intake duct after spraying starting fluid down the throttle bore (although you don't have to fasten it). This will prevent any backfire, that might occur, from scaring the heck out of you when cranking the engine.

This is what you have to do:

  1. 1

    Remove the intake air duct from the throttle body. You don't have to completely remove it, since you'll have to reconnect it in one of the next steps.

  2. 2

    Open the throttle plate and spray starting fluid down the bore.

    As a safety precaution reconnect the air duct after you have sprayed a good squirt of starting fluid (but you don't have to tighten the air duct's hose clamp).

  3. 3

    Crank the engine once the air duct is back on and you're clear of the engine compartment.

  4. 4

    The engine will start momentarily and after a few seconds will die if the fuel pump is not working.

    If the fuel pump is working, and thus sending fuel to the fuel injectors, then the engine won't start at all.

OK, let's find out what your results mean:


CASE 1: If the engine started and ran for a few seconds: This test result tells you that the no start problem is due to a lack of fuel.

Your next step is to check to see what the fuel pressure is with a fuel pressure test gauge. Go to: TEST 2: Checking Fuel Pressure With A Fuel Pressure Gauge.

CASE 2: The engine did not start, not even momentarily: This usually means that a lack of fuel IS NOT the reason your car is not starting.

Now, remember what I said about this test not being very accurate? Well, I suggest you do one more test and this is to check the fuel pressure with a fuel pressure test gauge. Go to: TEST 2: Checking Fuel Pressure With A Fuel Pressure Gauge.