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Toyota is insane - engine shuts off after ignition after changing batteries

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,944
608
126
Holy crap, what an ordeal. I went to advanced auto parts to change the battery on my 2002 camry. When i started up my car, the engine shuts off after a few seconds. Thought maybe the battery was dead, so i pushed the gas while parked to give it some juice for a few minutes, still dies. I switch back to my old battery, same problem now.

The guy who installed my battery said it was probably the computer getting it's memory wiped after replacing the battery (he's seen a similar thing happened to a nissan before). He told me to just turn the key 3 quarters and let the computer 'reboot' for about 20 minutes.

Still no go.

The store closes at 8 pm, i'm stranded there contemplating whether or not to get it towed or just leave the car there.

I check online and find out that people fixed this problem by actually driving the car, like 15 minutes on the highway and 10 minutes around town so the engine learns not to shut off when it's idle. I drove on the highway for like 40 minutes and around town for 20 minutes just to be sure and now everything's 'fine'.

WTF. That's the most idiotic thing i've ever heard of. Is this a big problem with other makes/models besides my toyota? What the fuck is the point of having a computer in there if it's going to make your life more miserable?
 

hdfxst

Senior member
May 13, 2009
851
3
81
you need to drive the car until the computer resets everything.when you disconnect the battery you reset the computer and it needs to get input from the sensors before it can set the idle
 
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waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,155
8
0
WTF thats..insane. really bad design if you need to do all that with a battery change.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,944
608
126
you need to drive the car until the computer resets everything
Yeah, i did that, now it's alright. But i think it's crazy you have to do that. It was NEVER mentioned in the owner's maual either. That's B.S.
 

redgtxdi

Diamond Member
Jun 23, 2004
5,429
6
81
Have you tried over at toyotanation? That sounds incorrect. I've changed many a battery in many a Toyota, including my own Camry and corolla and have never seen such a thing.

If anything, the computer simply restores all sensors to default level until it learns your driving habits, but no default setting would cause the vehicle to die at idle unless there was a real problem elsewhere.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
1,569
126
Yes, the behavior is not correct. It does need to relearn proper idle control, but it should not stall during the process.
 

pcgeek11

Lifer
Jun 12, 2005
17,179
1,612
126
Holy crap, what an ordeal. I went to advanced auto parts to change the battery on my 2002 camry. When i started up my car, the engine shuts off after a few seconds. Thought maybe the battery was dead, so i pushed the gas while parked to give it some juice for a few minutes, still dies. I switch back to my old battery, same problem now.

The guy who installed my battery said it was probably the computer getting it's memory wiped after replacing the battery (he's seen a similar thing happened to a nissan before). He told me to just turn the key 3 quarters and let the computer 'reboot' for about 20 minutes.

Still no go.

The store closes at 8 pm, i'm stranded there contemplating whether or not to get it towed or just leave the car there.

I check online and find out that people fixed this problem by actually driving the car, like 15 minutes on the highway and 10 minutes around town so the engine learns not to shut off when it's idle. I drove on the highway for like 40 minutes and around town for 20 minutes just to be sure and now everything's 'fine'.

WTF. That's the most idiotic thing i've ever heard of. Is this a big problem with other makes/models besides my toyota? What the fuck is the point of having a computer in there if it's going to make your life more miserable?
If the engine shut down after a few seconds how did you drive it?

All ECUs are like this now they adjust to the driver. When the battery is disconnected everything is reset to the defaults.
 

JCH13

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2010
4,979
64
91
With a car that age I wonder if some of the important sensors/components are starting to drift far away from their original calibrations, so the base values stored in the ECU are no longer functional.

You might try cleaning your fuel system and intake (particularly the IAC system), then disconnect your new battery to reset the ECU to see if that helped, if only for academic curiosity.
 

basslover1

Golden Member
Aug 4, 2004
1,921
0
76
I've never heard of a car dying after a battery change like that, but it is common for the ECU to reset back to default after a while.

I just changed the battery in my VW, and the throttle body forgot what its correct position was, and would feel like the car would stall out when coming to a stop (idle drops quickly and the car would shake). It fixed it self after about 15 miles of driving.
 

sontakke

Senior member
Aug 8, 2001
895
11
81
I suspect your IACV is clogged quite badly. Assume IACV goes from 0 (fully closed) through 10 (fully open). Suppose the default value is 5. Unfortunately, because your IACV is so clogged, that with a value of 5 (which would be after a computer reset) the opening is still small and not enough to provide the necessary idle air. After running the car for a while, it learns to open the IACV completely to its max position and it is now no longer stalling.

If you do nothing, after few more years, eventually it will clog enough that even the max opening will not keep the car running at idle.

Look on youtube. There are quite a few Camry IACV symptoms and cleaning procedures.

- Vikas
 

kornphlake

Golden Member
Dec 30, 2003
1,565
7
81
Most likely when you changed your battery you bumped a 10 year old vacuum line and it disintegrated.
 

Raduque

Lifer
Aug 22, 2004
13,131
132
106
My mom's car won't idle for like a week after disconnecting the battery, but if you give it throttle it'll stay running.

I suspect your IACV is clogged quite badly. Assume IACV goes from 0 (fully closed) through 10 (fully open). Suppose the default value is 5. Unfortunately, because your IACV is so clogged, that with a value of 5 (which would be after a computer reset) the opening is still small and not enough to provide the necessary idle air. After running the car for a while, it learns to open the IACV completely to its max position and it is now no longer stalling.

If you do nothing, after few more years, eventually it will clog enough that even the max opening will not keep the car running at idle.

Look on youtube. There are quite a few Camry IACV symptoms and cleaning procedures.

- Vikas
I had a similar problem with my old truck. The IAC was stuck closed and the truck just would not idle. I pulled it, sprayed it with some WD40, unstuck the piston and it was good for a while.
 

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