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crolladude crolladude
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 02/06
Posted: 02/20/06
06:39 AM

Hi, i just purchased a 2003 Tyta Corolla CE with 1.8 VVTi engine and seems to have a very high idling especially in the morning after starting. Its stays at 2000 rpm for between 4-6 mins before if slowly does down to 400 rpm.  Is this normal? Please advice. Thanks.  

EvilWoman EvilWoman
New User | Posts: 9 | Joined: 01/06
Posted: 02/20/06
08:05 AM

I know I will be blasted by mechanics on this forum, but here it goes.  I don't believe it is normal for any car to idle high for any amount of time after starting.  You may want to check the Throttle Positioning Sensor which may be defective.  It could also have something to do with a Temperature Sensor or an Intake Air Sensor because you mentioned that after idling high for a few minutes and warming up, it will idle at normal speed.  Have you ran a diagnostic? It may be your best bet.  Will your Corolla idle at a normal speed if you tap on the accelerator after starting?  Hey mechs, any imput?  

Rapid Robert Rapid Robert
Enthusiast | Posts: 328 | Joined: 01/06
Posted: 02/20/06
01:34 PM

Hi evilwomen! To answer your question.... yes , no , sometimes! Actually, not knowing this car specificaly, I can tell you this. Yes , a higher idle at start up on a cold engine (cold meanning not at operating temp. and not outside air temp.) A higher idle is to get oil that is "thicker' pressurized an to the spots it needs to lube as fast as it can, the other reason is that a fuel enrichment (like a choke on a carburator) is needed to make the engine run untill up to operating temp. Wether it should be 2000 rpm on this model I can't say for sure, seems a touch to high though. I would think about 1,500 to 1,600 for about 15 to 30 seconds would be about right. Some cars use a "stepper motor" which controls air flow and the temp. from the engine coolant sensor sets the computer for an enrichment mode to accomodate the air flow. The stepper motor trims back as the computer gets coolant temp. readings and trims (leans) back the fuel. The idle starts to come down as you get closser to opererating temp.of engine, about 3 to 4 steps to normal idle. But 400rpm sounds a tad low, I would think about 550 to 600 rpm. You may just have some dirty componets and some need for re-adjustments. A lot of stepper motors are adjustable. Try to get a manual for this car and check specifics.  

montreal montreal
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/06
Posted: 10/02/06
01:40 PM

The engine in my 2003 (delivered spring 2002) Matrix is probably the same as yours.

I am one member of a group of at least 20 who are located across North America who have a common problem with the idle speed only when cold.

The problem is that when our cars come from the factory, they all idle at a maximum of 1800, which is normal when starting these cars after they have sat for many hours at freezing temperatures.

Within a few days, our car computer has a chance to measure the performance of different sensors and actuators and comes up with a modified strategy for how to best manage the engine.

The net result is that our cold idle speed begins to increase on a daily basis by 200 rpms. When these engines hit 2300 rpm, another piece of engine software kicks in and decides that this is too high a speed to be occuring for a given amount of fuel and an emergency shutdown of the motor is requested until the rpms drop below 1500, and the engine comes alive again. The idle speed pulses 20 to 30 times.

This pulsing lasts between 30 to 60 seconds during the second minute following startup, then the engine is perfect for the rest of the day, until tomorrow, when it repeats.

This has happened to me on every winter morning for the last 5 winters.

Not one mechanic in America can solve this problem. It is probably an oversite in the engine computer program that can't deal with an engine part that is borderline.

The truth is that the engine has direct control over the idle speed at all times, whether you have 1800 or 2000 when cold, or 800 or 400 when hot, if the true idle ever strays a bit from the ordered idle, a CEL light comes on and an error code is memorized. No CEL means that the idle speed you have is exactly what the engine computer thinks is best.

So if you are cold idling at 2000 or hot idling at 400, it is because your engine believes that this idle speed is optimum based on what your sensors are correctly or incorrectly reporting about the engine environment.

It would not surprise me if you were to disconnect your battery for say 10 minutes and force your engine computer to reset, you would find that your car immediately hot idles at 800 rpm, and slowly reduces this speed to 400 rpms over the next couple of days.

I would also be interested in knowing if your car ever has the same idle hunting problem as mine when cold - that pulsing for up to 1 minute when very cold.

If so, kindly consider voting in a poll I set up at the Corolland
website and posting any info there as well.

Please cut and paste the following link -

For Corolla owners:

For Matrix owners:

For Vibe owners:  

gdes1 gdes1
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 12/06
Posted: 12/26/06
05:44 PM

I seem to have the exact same problem!!!  I purchased my used 2003 (manual tran.) late spring 2006 and only noticed that between +4 to -4C my engine starts at 1800 RPM then climbs to 2000 after 7-10 seconds then remains there for a couple minutes then starts to lower.  When the engine is warm it idles at 400-500.

When very cold below -5C the engine will climb to around 2500 and then produce the same sound as your sound clip!!!  Engine cuts, RPM drops to 2000 then climbs back to 2500, etc.  The winter has been mild so far but I am really worried about the -10C and below weather that is soon to come...  My gas consumption also seems very poor since I noticed all this.

Did you ever find a solution to this problem?!  I would really appreciate any help or advice you can spare from your frustrating experience.  I will be seeing my used dealer soon and will let you know what comes out of it.

Thanks a bunch.  

PeterD PeterD
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 02/16/07
08:36 AM

Hey Montreal,

Thanks for your great post.  I have been looking for info regarding this problem for years now.  I purchased my 2003 Corolla in November of 2002 and started seeing these cold start, idle hunting issues within the last 2 years.  The dealership doesn't have a clue and they keep charging me everytime the CEL light comes on.

I have already had long and drawn out conversations right up the food chain with Toyota Canada about this and a 4 wheel alignment isse, which by the way in case you didn't know already you cannot align the 4 wheels on your Corolla's becasue of the Torsion beam rear end.  They'll charge you for a 4-wheel alignment but you can only adjust the front wheels.  Interesting eh!  I have never crashed or hit anything so much as pothole and the rear has toed out +0.5 on one side and -0.1 on the other.  The Toyota recommeded fix for this is an after market shim kit which Toyota will not approve yet they sell it at the delaerships or get this, replace the entire rear axle.  Mayeb better to stick with 4 wheel independant suspension next time.  Anyway all of this to say that the more people complain about these issues to Toyota the better.  They told me that they hadn't heard of these issues form anyone else and they weren't willing to do anything to help me out even though I was within warranty.  

So back to the cold start issue.  I have got in writing from Toyota that they will keep my car within the 60,000 klm warranty as long as it takes till they fix this problem.  That's cool but the inconvenience of all this is brutal.  If we make enough noise about this they will eventually do something.  Keep up the great forums and put the pressure on!


astroguy astroguy
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 05/27/09
06:56 PM

My '07 Corolla idle hunts every single cold start from +4 deg Celcius and below and gets worse as it gets colder. It revs up to 2300 the cuts to 1100 repeatedly for the first few kms after a cold start. Toyota has replaced a bunch of parts and no change. Toyota Canada told me that they never heard of this problem before and yet little old me on my computer can get ahold of a bunch of folks having this problem. Is there anyway to get together as a group and make an approach to Toyota headquarters. They have simply given up it seems and I still have many more payments to make on this car and I can't even consider selling it because I'll have someone chasing me down for this problem. It is not honest practice for a company like Toyota. I've been told by the manager that this issue is "probably the nature of the beast" . I felt embarrassed for the Service Manager as he actually mouthed these words. Basically telling me to 'suck it up"  

willsonhall willsonhall
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 06/09
Posted: 06/10/09
06:35 PM

Tyta is a wonderful car. This car is my first choice. Its engine may be powerful.
Parking sensor  

waynep712 waynep712
Enthusiast | Posts: 651 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 06/10/09
09:07 PM

most of the OBD2 engine control computers can be reflashed... with new operating instructions...

see if you can find a member of the   near you....  last time i was on their site... they had over 40,000 professional mechanics online..

i would think that somewhere in the arctic programming they did with for the car something got messed up...

when it got to 45 below 0 last winter... a bunch of new pickup trucks had a few lines of code changed from the prior model...

it locked the torque converter clutch when it got to that temp... trying to build some heat in the trans... there are trucks that almost never get shut off..  the locking of the torque converter clutch at that temp with the ATF in the transcooler lines solidified... burned up the transmissions... so it could just be one line of code...  that you don't have access to.. but it might be able to be fixed... if there is not already a fix...

check for TSB titles... see if there are any that sound like your problem...

since you are in canada... you might also want to check with toyota canada...  as their cold weather problems may not show up in american databases...

the local dealerships may not have heard of it... or they really don't care as they would like to sell you a new car...

it may also be ignorance at the dealerships...  i have seen to much to write down...

what sounds like is happening is the engine it trying to warm up....  get some temp in it.. to lower emissions..  to heat the cat...  get the oxygen sensors swinging their output voltage so the ecm can control the fuel ....

one other thing... if the thermostat has hung open.. or been removed... the idle will stay fast...

swap in a new thermostat.. what ever the factory temp is.. probably 192F... 95C... it's stamped on the end of the brass bulb in the stat......

i would really like to take a look at the live data when it is doing this with a scan tool that reads and displays live data...

you have cars where you can see what the computer sees...  it's all in the connector under the dash...

do you have any harbor freight tools up there... try a item 98614...  they will read and display live data.. but you really need to understand whats happening.. and what sensors should read what...

i am not familiar with how toyota controls high idle on its new cars... i am familiar how it has been done since 1976 on computerized cars...  

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