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Car stalling problem

I have toyota avalon 2001 xls. 3 years ago I had problem with fuel injector and michanic help me to change it, since than I had problem with stalling car on and off.
When ever it is hot or cold or sometime pulling out from drive way. It starts good, just doesn’t keep ideling. And as I take of foot from gas it stalls. In order to get going I have to use both foot tachnic. One on gas one on brake, for stoping I use brake and keep pressing gas padle, so it doesn’t stall. After 2-3 minutes it works fine untill next time car sets somwhere for few hours.
I did two three times fuel system flush. Change all spark plugs.
I kind of accepted this, but I like to know what is it that cause this problem?

How many miles on your Avalon?

Has the fuel filter ever been replaced?

As is now 168,000 miles. Yes I did have change fule filter, right after second time same problem occurred.

Problem started around 85,000 miles. I am living with that since, first few time it was very frustrating, but one time I have to take it to pepboyes for this, and I figuerd out that stalling last only few minutes. So i didn’t bother any more to worry about it.

168,000 is a lot of miles for any vehicle. There are too many possible reasons for your problem to list, and I’m not a professional mechanic.

The fuel injector problem three years ago may or may not have anything to do with your current problem.

Do you have a local mechanic you trust?

Idle speed is controlled by the Idle Air Control (IAC) valve. If the IAC valve is dirty or sticking it can cause poor idle condition.

Has anyone checked or cleaned the IAC valve?

No. I never thought of it. There was code for bad injector, and friend of mine who is mechanic help me at that time, he also help me with timing belt, water pump. But I will look for this now, see if I can do it my self.

I’m going to go out on a limb here… But PepBoys may NOT be the correct place to take this to. You may need to find an actual mechanic who repairs cars, not just changing oil and wiper blades.


Oh I didn’t mean for that, I thought at that time that my fuel injection system needed to be flush. But by the time car was running fine so I left. But thanks for that piece of advice too.

So here is update. I remove air filter hose near by throtal body, throtal plate wasn’t that dirty, only inside the plate some carbon. I even remove throtal body from intake, remove IAC valve. Not much dirty. Clean throtal body, put back togather. Only thing I didn’t do is chack electric conector on IAC valve (didn’t have ohmeter). Thanks to haynes manuals. But problem is still there.
Although another thing I notice I have very low enigne oil level, and colant. I all ready added one quart last month. I never saw any oil pudal on my drive way. But looks like i have bad likage problem too. Any suggestion ?

If you’re waiting for a problem to occur before you change the fuel filter…then you’re waiting too long. You want to change the filter BEFORE there’s a problem.

PepBoys does fix cars…but I wouldn’t trust the high-school flunkies…find a good independent mechanic…you’ll be better off.

What do you mean Linkage problem???


fuel filter has been changed already.

First thing I’d check would be the IACV. You said you had changed the spark plugs, how about the plug wires? How long since the timing belt was changed? I’ve noticed sometimes on my '88 Escort when the timing belt is about a due for a change I have a stalling issue when the engine is cold which I assume comes from the old belt being stretched and there have also been times I’ve seen teeth strip off the timing belt allowing the timing to be off, but the car was still running.

timing belt was done about 105,000 miles also water pump same time, but not thermostate. Spark plugs about 121,000 miles. No plug wire change.

Shouldn’t be a problem with the timing belt, water pump or plugs. Could be bad plug wires?? I failed to notice in the above post that you were losing oil and coolant. Have you checked the oil for coolant contamination (possible blown head gasket)? Of course it you have leaks in both the cooling system and lubrication system it could just be leaking, but if you’re losing both at a high rate I’d have the head gasket checked out.

I had pretty much the same thing happen in my 2000 Chrysler Cirrus. It would start up, but if I didn’t give it gas, it wouldn’t stay on. For a while I thought it was bad gas (seemed to happen when I would get gas from a certain brand). I looked into the IAC, etc. I thought about adjusting the idle to give it more gas. Thought it was the fuel filter, etc.

This may be completely coincidental (I’m no mechanic, just a regular guy trying to figure out my car’s problems) but the battery on my car died. 2 years earlier, I bought a cheepo Wal-Mart one, and out here in AZ with the heat, they last about 2 years. I replaced it with a better grade battery from Auto Zone, and the problem hasn’t happened since, knock on wood.

Maybe give that a try?

Well, I have bought mine five years ago from sams club (anothre big brother of wal mart). But it runs fine. Even alternator is good too.
About the leak though I haven’t chacked yet but one time I took it to mineke guys for exhaust clamp, when they have on lift, guy saw me some drop of oil on exhast, which looked in dark brown colour. That made me think of that I get some time smell in side campartment. So reason I never saw any oil drop on my drive way is oil leaks out side of joint or wall of engine and drips on catalytic converter or on exhaust and burns.

Your idle is controlled by the cars computer (ECM) via the Idle Air Control (IAC) motor. Before the ECM can take over the idle, it needs to know that you have taken your foot off the gas. It gets this information from either the throttle position sensor (TPS) or Idle Position Switch. Most cars of your era just use the TPS.

Now there are a couple of things that could be preventing the TPS from telling the ECM. One of them is a dirty throttle body, but it appears that you have already cleaned it. The gunk could be keeping the throttle plate from fully closing.

Another thing would be the throttle stop screw. Some mechanics, even today, think this is an idle adjustment screw like the ones used on carburetors. Not so, it is only there to prevent the throttle plate from damaging the bore of the throttle body. If someone used this screw to “adjust the idle”, they could be keeping the throttle plate open just enough to make the TPS think your foot is still on the gas.

The next causes could be a defective TPS or a defective ECM.