Still desperate for an answer on my 2001 Camry

I posted a discussion called “The Parkway Stall” over a year ago. Got some good advice from you guys. Have done over $2K in replacement parts (including IAC, Crankshaft Sensor, valve cover gasket, radiator, fuel pump, fuel filter, throttle body cleaning, THREE new coil packs). Brought my car to 2 mechanics and 2 Toyota Dealerships. Even sent letter to Toyota headquarters in Japan!! My car still has intermittent, unpredictable full stall. Used to start right up. Now it has to “cool off” first. Got some random misfire codes a while back, then most recent code that came up was P1310 (Igniter circuit). Car runs beautifully (and can run for days and days without incident) and then one day I’ll be driving along happily, come to a slow/stop and BAM the engine dies. Won’t restart. Now, I know Mr Tilted Tree said “EGR” valve, but it appears to be working properly. HOWEVER, on two occasions when the car stalled out, my husband got out, popped the hood, disconnected the EGR and the car started up and ran fine. NO mechanic says the EGR is the problem. Everyone has done some expensive guessing. I"M COMPLETELY FED UP and don’t know what to do. HELP!!!

An EGR valve can cause stalling and a no start condition. Since your husband “disconnected” the EGR and it started and ran fine…I’m going out on a limb here and say it’s not the EGR valve. The problem must be in the ECU because it sounds like the engine is getting bogus information from one or more components to keep the engine running as it should. Simply disconnecting the EGR will do nothing if the valve is stuck in the open position. The engine will run horribly because the EGR valve works by recirculating a portion of an engine’s exhaust gas back to the engine cylinders. In the open position…the engine is being fed exhaust gasses and raw exhaust is not a good combustion material. I think you need to get your codes read and forget about the mechanics and dealerships you have been using. They are not doing a very good job of troubleshooting. Find a good independent mechanic and get the job done and save money at the same time.

Respectfully, I cannot agree. The EGR valve is a “normally closed” valve. disconnecting the solenoid eliminates the EGR valve from the equation. If t he engine runs fine without the EGR valve operating and not with the EGR valve operating, that to me is a definite sign that the EGR valve is sticking open.

I think missileman is right.

If the EGR valve was “physically” stuck open (by some mechanical interference) then disabling the solenoid by disconnecting the electrical connector would not in itself make the valve close, and should not make a difference.

But if the valve was opened at the wrong time “electrically” (by a computer fault sending current to the solenoid to keep it open when it should be closed), then disconnecting the electrical connector would break the circuit and cause the solenoid to close, even though the computer continued to mistakenly send current to it.

It sounds like this is what’s happening. The computer is keeping the EGR solenoid energized when it should not be, causing the stall, and disconnecting it allows the solenoid to close and enables the engine to restart.

If that’s the case, the question is, why is the computer commanding the EGR open sometimes under incorrect conditions?

This would also explain why your mechanic says the EGR valve is fine. The valve is not the problem. The computer is.

I have to agree with missileman on this one. If you read his post carefully I think what he is saying is that if you you disconnect the EGR valve and the car runs normally it’s because it’s now allowing the EGR to close because it’s not getting the bogus signal from the ECU to open. This eliminates the possibility that the EGR valve is sticking.

I agree that the EGR valve is normally closed but all the bad ones that I have seen have been stuck open. There are probably bad ones out there that are stuck closed but it would probably never show up because the engine would run better without it. I know because I used to eliminate the EGR valve and put in a blocking plate on engines that I used when drag racing. Thanks @MY2CENTS for your succinct interpretation of my comment.

Doesn’t the computer get inputs to command the EGR valve to open from a vacuum sensor? Maybe that sensor is giving a false reading or is simply not sealed very well allowing a small vacuum leak around it. A false reading would open the EGR at the wrong time.

Here’s how to diagnose a P1310 code on a Camry.