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Toyota Avalon Starting Difficulties



  • i have a 2000 Avalon with the same problem...i have about 130k miles on it and this is alos the second time this has happened....the first was back when the car only had around 60k miles on it and when i took it to the dealer they replaced the starter solenoid. Now im having the same problem...I'm going to take it back see what they tell me this time
  • I have a 2000 Avalon.
    I decided to fix the problem, after not getting much help from my Toyota Dealer.
    It started out as a slow idle problem. the engine would run very slowly around 400 rpm, but eventually would run fine. After several episodes of the slow idle over a period of 2 years, it began to start and not idle at all, so I removed the battery cables to reset the engine management and that worked for a couple of days.
    To make a long story short I removed the idle control valve from underneath the throttle body and cleaned the carbon crud off of the shaft inside of it let it rotate freely. I used an old toothbrush and carb cleaner. Problem Solved!!
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Can you please describe in detail how this is done so I know when it happens to me.


  • The IAC or Intake Air Control Valve controls the engine speed at idle. It is controlled by the ECM.
    Remove the rubber air intake (2) hoses at the throttle body and look inside the body. the tube on the right side has the IAC valve opening for air flow to bypass the throttle blades at idle.

    It took me about an hour and half to disconnect and clean the IAC.

    I disconnected the negative battery cable
    removed the air filter
    removed the connectors from the IAC and the throttle position sensor
    I had to remove some black hoses from underneath the throttle body and on top of the air cleaner box get clearance that I would need later when I unbolted the throttle body from the intake manifold.
    Remove the (3) bolts (2) on top and (1) on the bottom .
    Also remove a screw from the firewall side of the throttle body to release it from the engine.

    Turn the throttle body to remove the (4) phillips head screws.
    There is a rubber gasket underneath, Because engine coolant does circulate through the valve, you only loose about a tablespoon of coolant. I did reuse the rubber gasket.
    After you inspect it remove the electrical connector (2) screws carefully pull it away from the IAC.
    Look for signs of carbon or scoring on the shaft that rotates also check the operation of the little door openning under the shaft, it opens and closes.
    Mine didn't rotate freely and was dirty.(NOTE: the shaft only rotates enough to open and close the door beneath it.
    I used a toothbrush and carb cleaner to free it up , the spray will empty out of the opening on the bottom.

    It not difficult but there is never enough room to work under the hood.
    Before you remove stuff , you have to check if there is a wire attached to it.
    If you have a problem with your idle you might try spraying some carb cleaner through the opening in the throttle down to the IAC.

  • I have a 2001 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD LTD.
    Thank you for you help. You just save my car. I just clean the "Thlottle Body Idle Speed Control Valve" yesterday. Problem Solved
    :D :D :D :D
    Thank you very much
  • boblax

    You're welcome, I'm glad your Highlander is back to normal.
    My Avalon has been idling and running good, since I cleaned the IAC valve.

    I'm reading posts on the 6 Disc CD system in my Avalon.
    Mine quit and will not eject the discs.

  • Many Thanks to this idle/starting solution. My wife's 00 Avalon with 108K miles has had this intermittent problem for years. Had taken it to the dealer and because they couldn't replicate the problem they could not fix it even though they were given a detailed description of the issues.

    Took me about two hours with a manual(I am slow and thorough). Found the Idle control valve was sticking with carbon build up.
  • Thank you for your reply. I'm glad you repaired your Avalon.
    It took me about the same amount of time. I didn't want to mess up anything taking the throttle body apart and putting it back together.

    My wife sure is a happy camper.

    It's hard to believe the dealer had no clue to yours or my problem.
    I probably should have responded to the quality control letters they send out after you make a service call.
  • I have a 1996 Avalon XLS with 112,000K miles on it and have had it one year. No problems as of yet, but now my car won't start. My boyfriend replaced the old battery with a new one and he tried jumping it and it still won't start. He said there is a lot of corrosion on the terminal, but upon brushing it off and cleaning it with baking soda, I still can't get it to start....any ideas?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    When you say won't "start" you mean it cranks and cranks but won't fire the engine or do you mean you turn the key and nothing at all happens?


  • Thanks for replying. Nothing at all happens. The lights come on and that is all.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Do the headlights go dim or out when you turn the key to the "start" position? Try this and report back.


  • Hello,

    I have a similar issue with a 1998 Toyota Avalon XLS but it's intermittent. When it happens all the lights come on and looks fine but instead of hearing the starter turning I just hear a semi-loud click coming from the engine compartment if I have the window down. My lights do dim when this happens. I have tried turning off all the accessories, lights, etc but it does not seem to matter. I have also had the battery tested good. When the car fails to start I usually have to try another one to 5 times and then instead of a loud click the starter finally turns over the engine and it starts. It has happened for the last 10 days and is happening more and more each day.

    Any suggestions? I thought possible starter problem or some other relay/ignition control module type thing? I've brushed/cleaned the battery contacts and the battery store said the battery tests good.

  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    In years past we have discussed at length in this forum the problem of excessive corrosion around the *negative* battery post in Avalons. Most likely, it is a function of joining different types of metal and electricity. It may also be caused by the ground cable itself. You might try replacing the ground cable, and make sure you clean the negative post completely. Corrosion may occur at the other end of the cable also, but most should be at the battery. The white corrosive material blocks electrical current. A battery that tests "good" still may not have enough power to overcome the corrosion/connection problem and start the car. Try a new battery at the store and see if the car starts might be the battery. ( My '03 XL is now on the THIRD battery! ) Hope this helps... :)
  • dswingdswing Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Avalon with 170,000 miles. Car would not start-just clicks when ignition turned on. I had the battery
    tested-one year old-ok. Replaced the original starter.Still
    hear just the click-all accesories and lights work so I have ruled ouy the alternator. I cleaned the battery clamps and checked and cleaned neg and pos wires for corrosion. i
    have checked fuses. Also I cannot jump start vehicle either.
    Any ideas? Thanks.
  • tlkoertlkoer Posts: 7
    I also have a 1996 Avalon with about the same amount of mileage (180,000) and with the same problem. It will go for days with no problems and then will only get a click when trying to start it. Someone who came to my yard sale thought it could be a loose wire but where to start! I love my car (except for the days I get the clicking sound). Somebody help us please!!!!!
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Remove and clean the battery cables where they attach to the battery. Clean the terminal posts also. Corrosion may be building up and causing a poor connection. This is a common problem in older Avalons... Clean the posts with fine sandpaper. Dip the ends of the battery cables in CocaCola...briefly, then dry completly, reattach. Hope this helps. Note: If you cannot jump start the car, a cable may be bad, not the connections.
  • tlkoertlkoer Posts: 7
    My hubby replaced the terninal posts thinking that was the problem. I guess next would be the cables. The only thing like the other message, everything works (lights, radio). I wouldn't think these would be working if I had a bad cable. I am I wrong on this?
  • dswingdswing Posts: 2
    Thanks for the replies-I had all but given up and was going to have the vehicle towed to a shop. The wrecker driver
    removed 2 bolts to the positive clamp(where two wires come together to the clamp)Even though I had dilligently cleaned the external area-these two small metal plates had corrosion
    where they sandwiched between the two bolts)He cleaned them
    and the car starts beautifully.Even though I needlessly replaced the starter- I would have needed a starter eventually...It's always the small things I overlook----- Lessons learned............
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