2003 Toyota Camry Q&A

2003 Toyota Camry Question: Idol problem after battery replacement

Just had the battery replaced and the shop told me that the idol will be very low until I turn the starter on and off 100 times. This seems phoney and dangerous. The car stalls any time it should be idoling. -
Answer 1
This is most likely what is happening with the idle on your 2003 Camry: Over time their is a build up of deposits in the throttle body that will slowly restrict air flow. If nothing was done the engine idle would slowly become lower and lower. The computer will adjust for the lower idle using its idle control system. Over time the computer will "learn" a new "base idle". When the battery goes dead or is disconnected the new "base idle" is lost from the computer memory. Once the "new" base idle is lost the engine will not idle properly until the computer can relearn the new base idle. This should happen much sooner than 100 drive cycles. One way to speed this process up is to clean the deposits from the throttle body using a spray type parts cleaner and a rag. With the throttle body clean the base idle should be much closer to the computers original base idle and the engine should idle almost normally until the computer can relearn its "new" base idle. I hope this helps! -
Answer 2
The 2003 Camry isn't too sensitive to base idle relearn, its more sensitive to correct coolant level (incorrect coolant level gives a surging idle) but the most common problem is the idle control valve under the throttle housing gets carbonned up and sticks causing the engine to stall particularly on cold starts. I take the valve apart and clean it with carburetor cleaner and clean the throttle housing /butterfly area and it fixes the problem 95% of the time with no come backs ,dealer replaces the valve which is substantially more expensive. -
Comment 1
I had this same problem and had to replace the throttle body at $750. The idle control valve must have arced when I replaced the battery and you cant just replace the control valve, you have to buy the entire throttle body. -