What causes a sticky idle?

Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
No I'm not talking about dripping honey all over engraven images.
My '90 Toyota Camry (4 cylinder, fuel injection) has what I would call a sticky idle. The car idles high until I tap the accelerator and it calms down. I have to do this all through traffic and stop signs/traffic lights or the engine really hums in idle.
What causes it and how can I fix it?
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Bill

 

Kevin P

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
1,439
The throttle plate is gunked up and isn't closing all the way. The best bet is to take it apart, clean it thoroughly, and lubricate it, and you should be in business again. Spraying WD-40 on the throttle assembly is a short term fix, but it'll get sticky again.
KJP
 

Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
Thanks Kevin. Now I just have to find the throttle plate. Anything I should look for?
I used to have a manual for this car that had exploded drawings of all the parts in the car and instructions on how to do everything. I've misplaced it and can't find it now. Is there a web site with such information?
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Bill

 

Jared_B

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 7, 2001
Messages
580
Hey Bill,
This sounds like something that is common for early 90's cars. I believe the emmissions system is causing it. I had a '90 Subaru 5 speed that did that too. You would be driving along, and come to a stop, push in the clutch, but the engine would spin at about 1200-1500 rpm. Mine would idle normally after about 20 seconds, of whenever I gave it a little gas. I was told this behavior helps the emmissions system, not sure how.
Jared
 

Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
Thanks for the help everybody. I found the problem. The throttle cable was a little sticky in the sleeve (more specifically the end where it comes out of the sleeve was dirty). I sprayed a little WD-40 on the cable to clean it off and that seemed to fix it.
And while I was doing the digging around I realized that my muffler is full of holes. I'm the only one that drives this car so I'm rarely outside of it when it's running. The muffler was making all kinds of noise so I went back to inspect and noticed that it's rusting out. Ugh! I changed that muffler 6 years ago when we bought it and it was expensive (well I had to change the entire exhaust system, not just the muffler). I'm not looking forward to paying for that again. Hopefully it's just the muffler this time.
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Bill

 

Charles J P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2000
Messages
2,049
Location
Omaha, NE
Real Name
CJ Paul
If you have a midas muffler, dont forget that you have a lifetime warranty. I have a whole new (about two years old actually) midas exhaust system on my 88 Acura legend (installed in three pieces at three different times) and it is making noise again. I havent visually inspected it yet, but if it is rusted out again, I'll be pissed. Damn midwest weather.
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Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
Ooo...thanks for the tip Charles! I think it was Midas that replaced it before. I'll have to dig through the glove box to find the receipt. That's where I keep all the car repare receipts should the need of a warrenty arise on the road.
Terry - My clutch pedal is doing the same thing. At least it was a few weeks ago, but I haven't heard it much lately. Maybe I just got used to it. I'll have to listen for it again to see if it still does it. I've made no attempt to fix it so far.
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Bill

 

Sean Conklin

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 30, 2000
Messages
1,720
Terry, you probably have a squeeky clutch cable(in need of lubrication inside the cable sleeve), which if your handy can be lubricated/or replaced.
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Sean
"I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
 

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