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.

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.

Where To Buy A Fuel Pressure Test Gauge

The following fuel pressure test gauge kits are pretty good deals and include the M12 X 1.25 Banjo Bolt Adapter to test your 2.2L Toyota Camry (they also include all of the adapters to test GM and Ford vehicles equipped with a Schrader valve):

All of the fuel pump pressure test kits above have the fitting that will connect to your 2.2L Toyota's fuel system.

TEST 1: Checking Fuel Pressure With A Fuel Pressure Gauge

Using A Fuel Pressure Gauge To Check The Fuel Pump. How To Test The Fuel Pump (1996-2001 2.2L Toyota Camry)

The fuel pressure test gauge is connected to your 2.2L Toyota Camry thru' a fitting that takes the place of the fuel filter's union bolt (also known as a banjo bolt).

To be a bit more specific, you need a specific fuel pressure test gauge kit that has the correct adapter (fitting) to test your 1996-2001 2.2L Toyota Camry's fuel pump's pressure. This fitting is usually called the M12 X 1.25 Banjo Bolt Adapter.

You can see a photo of the location of the fuel filter's banjo bolt (that you have to remove) and replace with the fitting here: Location of Fuel Filter's Banjo Bolt (Union Bolt).

The fuel pressure specification on the 1996 2.2L Toyota Camry is:

  1. 38-44 PSI with the Key On Engine Running (KOER) and vacuum hose connected to the fuel pressure regulator.
  2. 33-38 PSI with the Key On Engine Off (KOEO).

The fuel pressure specification on the 1997-2001 2.2L Toyota Camry is:

  1. 44-50 PSI with the Key On Engine Running (KOER) or Key On Engine Off (KOEO). NOTE: On 1997+ fuel pressure is KOEO and KOER (fuel pressure regulator is mounted on the in-tank fuel pump).

NOTE: If you don't have a fuel pressure gauge, take a look at the section: Where To Buy A Fuel Pressure Test Gauge.

  1. 1

    Remove the fuel filter's union bolt. Careful the union bolt's 2 copper washers don't fall and get lost in the engine compartment. You'll need to re-install them when you get done with the fuel pressure test.

    NOTE: Wrap the tool and fuel filter union bolt in a shop towel. This shop towel will absorb and keep any fuel from dripping/leaking/spraying on the engine (if there's any residual fuel pressure in the fuel line) as you loosen the bolt.

  2. 2

    Install the fuel pressure test kit's fitting in place of the union bolt. Tighten the fitting. Your set-up should look like the illustration above.

  3. 3

    Cycle the ignition key on and off several times (but don't crank the engine) to activate the fuel pump without starting the engine.

    Check the fuel pressure gauge's fitting (on the fuel filter) for fuel leaks.

  4. 4

    Your fuel pressure gauge should register about between 33-48 PSI fuel pressure as you cycle the ignition key on and off and if the fuel pump is OK.

Let's take a look at what your results mean:

CASE 1: If the fuel pressure gauge registered 0 PSI: This confirms that the cause of your 2.2L Toyota Camry no start problem is caused by a lack of fuel.

Now, I usually take 2 more precautions, before condemning the fuel pump as bad:

  1. Making sure the fuel pump fuse is feeding the fuel pump power (if the fuel pump fuse is blown, then the fuel pump will not run).
  2. Making sure the fuel pump relay is feeding the fuel pump power (if the fuel pump relay is bad, then the fuel pump will not run).

CASE 2: The test gauge shows the correct fuel pressure specification: This test result lets you know that the fuel pump is working and delivering enough fuel to the fuel injectors. The reason your 2.2L Toyota Camry is not starting is due to another reason. The fuel pump is OK.