'96 Camry stalling at a stop sign: a solution

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Old 03 Nov 2008, 01:08 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Default '96 Camry stalling at a stop sign: a solution

The symptoms: coming to a stop sign / stop light, decelerating,
engine is warm, and the car starts to stall. RPMs fluctuate wildly
between 300 - 800 RPMs or so. You throw the transmission into
neutral, tap the gas pedal to prevent the engine from stalling
outright. If you do stall, you start the engine up again, then the
car is fine. Happens about once a month, maybe more often. Happened
to me when it was hot outside, dry (no rain).

In a nutshell, the ECT sensor appears to have solved it for me:

I got a replacement one from Napa Auto for just over $20.

I also noticed an increase in gas mileage. Before I'd been getting 25
mpg or less, 50-50 city/highway. Now I'm getting 29-30 mpg, mixed
50-50 city/highway. I can't remember the last time the mpg was this
high on this car. Gone 2 months, nearly 2000 miles, without a stall.
My '96 Camry is currently at 157,700 miles.

Before I'd been sidetracked by using the wrong ECT sensor - there
actually are two ECT sensors: the left one goes to the computer, and
the right one goes to the temperature gauge on the dashboard. I'd
replaced the dashboard one by mistake a year ago.

I'd also been sidetracked into looking into a stuck torque converter
solenoid (that wasn't it, countless transmission oil drain and fills
later), and EGR system work-arounds (yes, plugging the EGR valve hose
worked, but isn't such a great permanent solution).

Just an FYI.

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