1998 Toyoto Camry -WEIRD PROBLEM


Hi guys,

I have a weird problem with my 98 Toyota Camry. Bought it used in 2006 last year used and currently has 61K miles on it. Here is the problem. The car starts fine, say I drive it to the mall. After shopping I come back start the car and drive, at my first stop light, the engine starts vibrating, the speedometer starts vacillating up and down, and the car does not accelerate. I have to usually stop the car … in mid traffic and restart the ignition … and then it is fine. This has happened many times. The problem occurs after the car has been driven, parked and restarted after a short time. Not that it always occurs, but the sequence is always the same. Any ideas? Maybe the problem solver gets a Nobel Prize?


It may be the component and/or circuit which sends the vehicle speed signal to the engine computer and the dash speedometer. The wiring diagram will indicate if the VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) is common to both. Then, with a digital voltmeter you could check it out. A hot VSS can show erratic voltage or resistance. To get it hot enough, you could take the VSS out and place it in a pan of hot water, and check it.


Does the Check Engine light come on when this happens? If so, get the codes read, and post back here.


I had the same thing happen on mine…

Took awhile to pin down, but it turned out to be the Idle Air Control Valve… It only acted up when the engine was slightly warmed and then restarted after it had been sitting for a short while. There was enough crud in there to make it sticky and the valve simply couldn’t adjust itself properly… So when it went to idle, it wasn’t open enough… so computer ordered the valve to open more, then it would jump open, the RPM would fly up, then it would try to close a bit… but it would stick, and the valve would shut too much, and it would nearly starve itself of air. Up and down, up and down. Restarting the car would send it full open and for some unexplained reason, it would idle fine… Since I replaced mine, I’ve had no problems with that at all…

Not saying that this is your problem, but its something to look at…


Same with me in my 97 Camry a few years ago. A can of cleaner solved the problem and it never returned. My symptoms were poor idle and eventually no idle. A Toyota car forum gave me the place to look. Apparently this s common to this vehicle.