Pressing gas pedal seems to fix starting problem


We have 2000 Toyota Camry. It has 86,000 miles and we bought this used car with 72K miles. We didn’t change the battery and not sure when the previous owner did.

Off and on, the car seems to have starting problem. When I tap the gas pedal while I start, it fixes the issue.

We are wondering about the reason.

You guys have a great show.


Thanks for the compliment, but none of us have a radio show.
Tom & Ray, who do have a radio program, do not frequent this forum.
Those of us who do frequent the forum are “shade-tree” mechanics, those who are employed as mechanics, and retired mechanics.

But, to return to the question that you posed, you will have to give us more information.
“The car seems to have a starting problem” is not very descriptive.

What happens when you twist the ignition key?
Do you hear the starter motor turning the engine?
Do you hear clicking noises?
Do you hear nothing?

When it starts on those difficult days, how does the engine run once it does start?
Does it idle smoothly, at its normal RPMs?
Does it idle roughly and/or at RPMs different than normal?
Does it make any unusual noises while idling?

Is the Check Engine Light illuminated?

Also–and this is a question that you likely cannot answer–When was the last time that this car had its spark plugs, plug wires, air filter, fuel filter, and pcv valve replaced?

If you don’t know when these normal maintenance procedures were last done, then it is time for you to do it. With any luck, just bringing the car up to date with maintenance will resolve this mystery starting issue.

While getting it tuned up thoroughly clean the throttle body and idle air control valve and ports.

Thanks for the reply.
Here are some more details of the issue.

When I twist the car ignition key, I hear the whirring sound. It appears that the battery is ok as I tested the battery at Walmart this morning. The cold cranking amps was close to the rating.

We just had a Check Engine light diagnosis - which was due to a EVAP system issue relating to charcoal canister.

The vehicle runs smoothly under normal conditions. There are no unusual observations.

In the instances when the car wouldn’t start by the simple twisting of the ignition key, a couple of half way presses of the gas pedal, seem to do the trick. Will the issue be related to fuel injection? or is something blocking the fuel injection? If it is a blocked fuel injection, I don’t experience any noticeable accelaration issue.

A more basic question - during ordinary conditions, will there be some residual fuel in the engine to start the car? or does the fuel injection come on the moment I twist the ignition key?

a related question - I was pitched a fuel injection service at WalMart. He was saying that by adding an additive to fuel, he claimed it clears the FI system.

Thanks for the help.