96 Toyota Tercel idle & stalling.. Why?

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Hope someone can help. My wife & I sold our perfect running Tercel to a co-worker of the neighbor across the street 2 months ago who just loved the little car. (4 cyl, 86,000 mi, auto, air, 2 door, always garaged and very well maintained - oil changes, trans fluid, timing belt at 63K.) We sold it so we could get a little pick-up. I was talking to the neighbor last night and she asked if we had ever had a problem with the idle on the vehicle. It appeas that the new owner in the last few weeks is having problems with the idle and it sometimes stalls unless you put the trans in neutral at stop lights and such. It also runs a little rough at idle. It doesn't happen all the time but often enough. We sold the vehicle in good faith expecting the new owner not to have any problems. I've taken it on a 1000 mi trip just two weeks before we sold it and got over 30 mpg and it ran great. The only other thing I did before selling it was change the plugs and I was sure I had the correct plugs because I brought one of the old ones in as well as checked the manual. And I was sure the plugs were tight enough as to not come loose and creat a compression problem. Has anyone else experienced this? The new owner isn't angry or anything but I don't want her to think we sold her a lemon. Also if anyone has any advice on how to deal with something like this would be helpful. Thanks again!!

posted by  mwguy

I have three things to suggest for you. One, the oxygen sensor is about due for a change. Second, sometimes stalling can be caused by a dirty throttle body. Probably could use cleaning. Thirdly, the plugs you have may be the wrong heat rang, to cool. They might be fouling up, maybe one or two, causing a missfire which causes rough idling, stalling, poor acceleration, and bad gas milage.

posted by  DodgeRida67

Other issues which can cause this problem include a malfunction EGR system or valve (sometimes the valve ports become blocked with carbon) and or a bad idle air control valve/idle bypass valve may cause this too (sometimes these get blocked with carbon)

Make sure vacume hoses, etc are in good shape.

would not be a bad idea to have trouble codes pulled to see what is going on.

Most people sell used cars "as is" - it runs now but I can not promise how it will run next week. - I don't like selling to family and neighbors for that reason.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

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