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Toyota Repair/2002 Camry Idle Issue - Out of Nowhere


Inspector wrote at 2008-07-23 23:15:01
Just had the alternator and battery replaced on my 02 Camry (4 cylinder).  Same issue.  Ran great before the work, now it doesn't want to idle right.    I took it to a reputable shop for the electrical work so I don't think there was any funny business.  Will try cleaning the throttle body.  I used to have a Plymouth Van years ago that eventually would not idle right unless the throttle body was occasionally cleaned.

Candice wrote at 2008-10-10 01:23:27
I experienced the exact same thing with my 2002 Camry.  Battery was replaced. Car wouldn't idle. I have had throttle body cleaned for $200 TWICE at the dealership and it still runs rough.  Good luck!

2002 Camry Idle Problem wrote at 2009-10-15 00:14:42
10-14-09 This happened to my 2002 camry today! Bought new tires and mechanics cleaned around and tightened battery. When I got it back , it started to idle funny. Then it would stall right after I started it up. I managed to get back to the autoshop and they couldn't figure it out. One mechanic suggested cleaning the throttle body so they did; and it worked! Cleaning TB gets my vote (saves you about $800 from the replacements).

Jane wrote at 2010-05-24 13:06:10
My WONDERFUL son-in-law cleaned my throttle body and put in a new air filter and solved my idle problem.  The same exact thing happened after replacing the battery.  I took my car to the nearest Toyota dealer and they wanted $1,200 to do the necessary work, which was to replace the idle control valve (I think) and my model of car (Camry SE) required a new throttle body because the actual necessary part alone could not be replaced.  

JMZ wrote at 2012-11-28 19:36:18
After replacing a corroded battery cable terminal, my 2002 Toyota Solara (2.4L) idled poorly with RPM drifting below 250's. The idle quality had been fine beforehand.

First I suspected that I did a poor job on replacing the terminal (too much resistance from not crimping tight enough?), but I later ruled that out.

I then replaced the spark plugs since it was slightly overdue (115K on the original plugs), but because the old plugs still looked fine, I suspected it was not the root cause.

Sure enough, after starting it with the new plugs, the idle quality was unchanged--still poor.

Baffled, I searched the Internet and found this article. The explanation was plausible (I'm an avionics engineer and am familiar with using operational offsets stored in memory).

I cleaned the Throttle Body with B-12 TB spray cleaner (it was cheap, under $5 and Ididn't want to risk damaging anything else by using old carb cleaner that I had on hand from working on my old cars).

Because the throttle is electronic (i.e. no mechanical linkage), I had to have the ignition 'On' and my daughter pressed on the gas pedal to open the plate 50% and 100% so I could clean its edges and the backside. Also the TB throat.

After reconnecting everything, the car started on the second crank and the idle quality was fine.

Disconnecting enough of the airway assembly to gain access to he TB throat took a hour, but requires no special tools (just patiently undo enough to move the airway a bit to the side.

Thank you, Mr. Ritter.  

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Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


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