Toyota Tacoma Stalling at Idle (1997 2.4L auto.)

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  • #838134

      I have a 1997 Toyota Tacoma 2.4L automatic that stalled on me at a stop sign (3 miles from home; so it was just getting up to regular operating temp).
      I have do a LOT of work to fix this issue, and still have not been able to cure the issue. It is better, at least now the stalling is unpredictable, instead of ALL the time.

      First, everything that I replaced since the start of the issue:

      1. All Spark plugs
      2. All Spark Plug wires
      3. Distributor Cap and rotor
      4. Fuel Filter
      5. Fuel Pump
      6. Fuel Pressure Regulator
      7. Ignition Coil
      8. Throttle Position Sensor(tested bad at idle position)
      9. Crank Shaft Position Sensor (added this after suggestions in thread)


      1. IAC
      2. Throttle Body
      3. MAF Sensor
      1. Added a can of SeaFoam to the gas tank and a little to the crankcase as well.
      2. ODB2 Codes that I have received during this saga.. P0300 multiple misfire and P1300 ignition coil cylinder 1 misfire.
      3. I have not pulled the EGR, however, I have pulled the PCV valve hose off (and it dies.. which is what it should do).
      4. [il]Tested the Crankshaft Position Sensor with a multimeter, tested good, so did the wire harness[/il]

      Since all of this work, I have been able to get it started and keep an idle, drive it a short distance, then it will stall out and not idle afterwards. Then the next day, without doing anything to it, it will start and run again. Now, Sometimes it Stalls, sometimes it doesn’t. I have been working on this issue for nearly 3 weeks now, with no certain fix.


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    • #847632

        [quote=”peshewa” post=155007]I feel your problem is solely electrical. I have seen numerous situations where a car runs far worse when its raining or humid and every one it was electrical.
        You’ve done a lot already and its all good stuff. Now it’s time to find the bad connections. All ends of all battery cables need to be inspected. Clean the ends if you must. How did the connection on the crank sensor look? If it’s hobbled together that will cause issues. Is the ECU in the engine bay in the elements? If so, disconnect it and look for corrosion in the connections.
        I’ve seen your problems also in a car with a starter that was on its way out. The car started fine and the starter made no strange noises, but it was shorted out internally. Getting one of those free charging system checks may help there.
        If you have an eprobe you can go thru critical wires looking for internal breakages also. I would trace critical sensor wires like crank, cam, tps and coil connections then to the ECU as well.
        I hope you get it fixed man. Also, are you sure your truck was never under water? These issues sound a lot like a flood recovery vehicle as well. Look under the seat and floor mats and even under the dashboard for signs of fine silt like dirt and a musty odor. If that’s the case you may have even more work ahead of you.[/quote]

        I agree. Check connections and make sure that you clean all that oil from the wires.


          OK, I changed the Valve Cover Gasket.. It was like Hard Brittle Plastic, and had a 2mm gap in it where the oil was leaking out. New one went in and sealed that thing back up. I also cleaned a bit of the bock and exhaust manifold shroud of leaked oil. There is a wire bundle that is wrapped in red electrical tape and inside a wiring tube along the edge of that valve cover… but it looked to be ok. I wasn’t able to get the wires out of it to really get a good look.

          Also, I was able to get a Idle Air Control Valve for pretty cheap online, so I replaced that today as well, that was really the last thing that had been suggested to me that I didn’t change out.

          So… Still no Joy. At this point, it will crank up and idle. I can put it into drive/rev. and it will go, but when I give it gas, it sputters and stalls out. I have changed everything I can think to change, as far as sensors go. I have tested the Wires to each of those sensors and others both at the Sensor End and at the ECU end. All get the proper voltage. I have tested the sensors resistance and all test OK via the Manual’s specs.

          The only thing I haven’t done is change the ECU. Is there a way to figure out if the ECU is actually bad without replacing it first?


            Was there any job you did to the truck BEFORE it showed the problem? Also, just for the heck of it, check the catalytic converter to see if it’s clogged… And check your grounds too.


              The Catalytic Converter I was told was needing to be changed when i bought the Truck some 3 years ago. I had a engine light on for that when I got it. I have a welded in converter, and have not had the funds to change it out. Can that be the culprit? I have been able to drive the truck on and off during this saga. It is just recently that I have not been able to go anywhere with it (last 2 weeks).

              When I give it gas, it stalls and dies.


                Ok so the truck stall right when you hit the gas? Or when is idle? I got confused because Inunderstand that it stalls randomnly on the road while idling. A clogged cat creates a lot of preassure in the combustion chamber causing it to stall. Using a infra red thermometer you can check it. Also hit the cam sensor with plastic hammer or the back of a screwdriver while the engine is running just for the heck of it. I know you already used a lot of resources…


                  Hey there! Just passing by to see if you solved the problem, please let us know!


                    Well, I moved to GA, and left the truck with my Father-in-law in LA. He brought it to a mechanic shop and told the guy it was no hurry. After some 5 months of it being there, they mechanic convinced my Father-in-law that the Fuel pump was bad because of low fuel pressure… swore that 99% of the time, this was the problem. So he had him change it out.. The mechanic changed the Fuel Pump, Fuel Injectors, and Fuel filter. Well, I went to pick it up this weekend, and it now runs worse than it did when I brought it to him, and we are out $678 for the work he did., UNREAL. Even after explaining all the stuff that we did to it, he convinced a 82-year-old man to let him change a part that had already been changed.

                    Truck WAS before mechanic, Idoling great, revved ok in Park, then died as soon as you put it into Gear. How it is sputtery and spitting out a bit of black smoke. Hopefully, that will subside and is only due to sitting up for nearly 2 years.

                    My next two things are going to be the ECM and/or Cut out the Catalytic Converter.

                    I will keep you posted. This may be a while before that work happens.


                      So, I had the truck brought to me in GA. Changed out the Catalytic converter and the ECU/ECM (Computer). Changed the TPS again as well, seems that’s help as well. It runs with no stalling now, but still a bit sluggish at slow speeds and up hills, like it just doesn’t have the Get-up and go power it should. Once I’m at cursing speed, its great, it will go 70 MPH on flat roads. I have also noticed a kind of bubbly sound from the muffler, could the muffler be clogged or holding water or insects build a nest in there, or something?

                      • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by CraigCraig.
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