Page updated on 06-18-2018

89Cam idles well/stalls on acceleration

12-11-2005, 10:34 AM
89' Camry 3S-FE engine, 128K one ower (myself) self maintained.
On initial cold start it idles well, also accelerates well. At normal operating temperature. In Park it stalls when I depress the gas pedal about a 1/4 of the way down. I restart with no problem and shift to drive and depress the gas again it hesitates to stall, shakes a little and goes back to normal. I feel like I have keep one foot on the gas and one on the brake in order to drive it. What could be causing this behavior?

Thanx for the help!!

FYI:18months ago I did a complete tune up, plugs, filters,(fuel oil air)cables, cap, points,. Don't drive it much, I do start it twice a week.

Mike Gerber
12-11-2005, 11:38 AM
Since it starts and runs well cold, 2 things come to mind. One is the O2 sensor. This is out of the loop until the engine reaches a certain temperature. Then it comes in to play. The other thing is the coolant temperature sensor. Toyota calls this an ECT sensor. It may be out of spec and telling the car's computer that the engine temperature is always cold. This would produce a rich mixture. A rich mixture is fine for a cold engine but could cause the problems you are experiencing on a warm engine. You will need a manual for the specs and a DVM to check these 2 things out.


12-11-2005, 04:00 PM
Hey Mike,

Thanks for the quick response. I have a Chilton manual on order for this car. I can't find my Haynes manual. I'm curious about this DVM that you mentioned. What is it? Where can I aquire one?


12-11-2005, 08:58 PM
DVM - digital voltmeter. Available all over the web, and at Radio Shack.

12-12-2005, 12:16 AM
I had that very same issue with my 93 5s-fe engine. Turned out to be the ignition coil buried inside the distributor. 40 bucks and a replacement later, and all was well. Been fine ever since.

12-13-2005, 05:08 PM
Appreciate the response InstallTech, that's a new one to look into. I still haven't found time to check all the posibilities but, I'll keep you guys updated ASAP........
Thanks Again!

12-24-2005, 02:52 PM
Great!!! This one is solved. Thanks everyone for all the imput. Very much appreciated. It was the O2 sensor..


01-02-2006, 05:56 PM
I went and bought an O2 sensor and put it in. At first it kind of acted the same then I got fed up with and let sit for a couple of days. I started it up, no problem, let it warm up took it for a spin and she rode well. Parked it for a couple more days then started it up again, warmed it up went for a spin and it stalled at the lite on acceleration. I changed the O2 sensor because the reading with the DVM came back at 0.86 - 0.65 it kept fluctuating between those readings. I'm still trying to figure out what is. Oh! It's also taking a little longer to start, 3 to 5 turns of the key.

* P.U.L*

Mike Gerber
01-03-2006, 01:44 PM

Is the problem you are experiencing worse in damp weather? Toyota had a problem with these generation 2 Camrys where the coil inside the distributor would develop a hairline crack and short itself out to any metal part inside the distributor. It was worse in damp weather. It may even act up when the engine is warm. You can check the coil with that DVM and the specs from most manuals. I notice InstallTech mentioned this part about a month ago.

In addition, you didn't mention if you checked out the ECT sensor. If you didn't, check that out.

Also, you mentioned in your initial post all the things you changed out about 18 months ago. I don't see a distributor rotor there. If you haven't changed that out, I would do it just to be safe. They are very cheap and are easy to replace. Then I would move on to the coil.


01-03-2006, 05:01 PM
Check for vacuum leaks.
Check that ignition components are giving consistant spark & have good readings with your DVM, check the AFM output.

01-03-2006, 07:56 PM
I've had similar problems with my Toyota Celica and Mazda Miata. These problems can be difficult to diagnose - because it can be a fuel system, emmisions control system, or ignition system problem.

Both times - my problem was caused by faulty spark plug wires. As they aged, and as the temperature under the hood increased as the engine warmed up -the wires were not delivering good a quality connection to the plugs - causing both cars to hesitate and stall under load. The Celica started having problems at about 145k miles. The Miata's original wire set was notorious for this problem and went at about 30k.

On another note, In order to test the 02 sensor, it is much easier to use an analog DVM instead of a digital one. You will need to see the voltage fluctuate between .3 and .8 volts several times a second. The fluctuation is difficult to detect with a digital meter.



01-07-2006, 09:53 PM
Thanks to everyone for the responses. I took apart my fuel injectors and clean them out, as they were filled with carbon. I also changed the dis cap and rotor, sparks, fuel filter. That seem to do the trick.
I've driven it to work and back all week, that's 2hrs both ways. Now is my chance to sell it. I've just purchased a 99' Camry V6 XLE fully loaded with leather for $6,995 with 100k and I'm a happy camper.
Now the wait is on for 2007 Camry which I'm looking forward to seeing and reading about. I plan on buying one as soon as I can afford it. :) Maybe in 2010.

Add your comment to this topic!