Toyota will NOT idle

My toyota will not idle. The last time this happened, it needed a new battery. The idle is controled by the battery. The alternator doesn’t kick in untill 1500 to 2000 rpms. The battery checks out OK this time. Any ideas? It’s an 03 4cyl.

Actually, your Camry’s idle is controlled by a device attached to the throttle body called the Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve.

You might be able to remove this part, and clean the moving parts using carb cleaner.


Yep. Ditch the guy who sold you a new battery based on the idea that the battery controls the idle.

Is the CEL (Check Engine) light on? Usually, a problem like this kicks a code.

And I second the notion of never using/listening that guy that told you about the battery controlling the idle ever again. He either knows nothing or knows you don’t and takes advantage of you and your wallet.

"The alternator doesn’t kick in untill 1500 to 2000 rpms."

This statements needs to be clarified. How do you actually know what the alternator is doing? What is it doing under 1500 rpm - nothing? Is the light coming on for the charging system?

As noted your idle is controlled by an idle air control valve. But that along with your ignition and fuel injectors - just to name a couple of things - all need power from the alternator to run.

So maybe you should tell folks a lot more about what has been said to you - and by whom and on what basis - about your charging system.

To a certain degree, I could see how someone could say the idle is controlled by the battery. If the battery kicks the bucket and starts to damage the alternator, causing voltage fluctuations, the car may not idle, and lots of other interesting things could happen. To this degree, I suppose someone could say the battery controls the idle, but they would have to be speaking in extremely generic terms or total ignorance.

If your alternator does not do anything until 1500-2000 rpm, it is not functioning properly, plain and simple. Your alternator will probably hit peak amperage output somewhere around that speed, but should be producing sufficient power to charge the battery and run the electrical system at idle speeds. If someone told you this, they are either ignorant to how these things work or are lying to you. Same with the whole battery controlling the idle thing.

As far as your idle problem, the most common cause of this problem is, as mentioned before, a carboned up or non-functioning idle air control valve. They can usually be cleaned up with carburetor cleaner and reinstalled to solve the problem.