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2001 Toyota Sienna engine idle sometimes low dies out.

17399 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Ishabaka
Hi I got a 2001 Toyota sienna with a big problem. first of all it starts up good sometimes like in the morning. and like today right after I drive if for a couple of miles and shut the engine off. later I start the engine and it couldn't start. I got to give it gas and to catch idle.

Sometimes I would just start the engine and it would just start. I don’t have any rpm gauge but I use the generic scan tool I have to check the rpm with the live data it shows. The idle stays very low at 440rpm to 500rpm. I also have a voltage gauge hooked up with it. At the same time the voltage stays at 12.2 to 12.4 at the lowest as with the rpm. Then I put it to drive the engine dies. I start it up and same thing happens low idle I have to rev it to get it going. I found like a cure I rev the engine for a while and then I see the idle carries itself and the voltage goes higher like 13.5 to 14.1 volts good. My father told me it might be an alternator, I checked the alternator he replaced it but still same problem good. The batt was slightly low charge but we charged it but it works better charged than before.
Sometimes it just cranks but no start and I need to give it slightly gas to start the van.

I cleaned the throttle bodies and sprayed the iacvalve for a while. Like a couple of times.
Worked but it still intermittently happens.
Is it something big like fuel pump or something expensive?
My father spent money already on an alternator but same issue.
Okay I checked the Haynes book they says put to neutral/block wheels/and to jump the data link connector under the hood when the engine is running the engine should rev higher than normal for about 5 seconds and go back normal. It says it’s insuring that the iac valve is working.

So I tried to get the van to do so. Okay when the engine starts up with a good idle the test works it idles higher than normal for 5 seconds and goes back to regular idling.

Then I tried jumping the DLC 1 under the engine when the engine was like 440rpm lower idle when it happens. The engine don’t rev like what it should do. The connector is jumped.
Does that mean the IAC Valve is bad? The book says it is bad but why does it happen intermittently?

Need help comments on what this problem is.

Thanks jon.

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Look at this similar thread:

On most cars, the IAC valve usually runs by a small electric motor. They can wear out. If cleaning yours helped it, then it was probably dirty and/or weak. An IAC valve is around $160 on I'm betting it's over $300 at a dealership.
+1 the IAC Valve.

Also, if your battery is >4 years-old, it's probably due...
I just replaced both my IAC ($140) and throttle sensor ($30) autozone ran well after that
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I have this same issue on a 2002. I bought a multimeter that has a tachometer sensor that clamps over a spark plug wire. I clamped it over the wire that goes into the housing that goes down to the plug, but it was only giving me 310 RPM at the most. Is this the right way to check the RPM? I found this picture that shows the housing. If this isn't the way please let me know the best way to test the RPM. Auto part Engine Fuel line Metal Automotive engine part
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One way is to use a scan tool... Don't you have a tachometer on your Sienna, next to your speedometer?

Why are you trying to find the RPM?
+1 IAC Valve. I've had similar issue several years ago on my 2001 LE and never since I did the following (well, I do the same thing just for maintenance each time i change spark plugs - big pain in the but on these cars!).

You can remove the entire IAC valve assembly (somewhat pain in the a$$, because you have to remove entire air cleaner with ducts, but you do not need to remove the intake manifold). You may find that the magnetic latch in the valve inlet is stuck or moving with considerable effort. This is thanks to carbon deposits build-up. Unscrew the plastic actuator part away from the valve assembly and put the rest in a bucket of carburetor cleaner solution ($30 at AutoZone) to let it soak overnight. Clean the remaining carbon deposits with hard brush. Spray the valve with acetone-based cleaner then let it dry. The magnetic latch should now move freely. Re-asemble everything back in reverse order. Should be good as new.
Toyota goofed with the position of the IAC valve in the 1st. gen Sienna - it's on the bottom of the throttle body, where gunk from reversion pulses accumulates, and clogs the valve. Should have put it on the side of the throttle body, like most other cars. A clogged IAC valve will produce low idle, engine may die unless you press on the gass pedal, and it may be intermittent. You do NOT need to replace the valve most of the time - just clean it. You will need an IAC valve gasket, and a throttle body gasket. Once you have the throttle body off, the IAC valve is on the bottom, held on by four Phillips head screws, which may be stuck. I used a Craftsman hand impact driver to remove them. Then, take the IAC valve out, and clean it thoroughly with throttle body cleaner spray, a toothbrush, and paper towels. Do not clean the electric motor, and do not lubricate any thing. While you're at it, thoroughly clean the throttle body. Then, put it back together. Removal of the throttle body allows you to reach the rear spark plugs from the top, if you remove the windshield wiper cowl, so it's a good time to change the spark plugs. Like another poster stated, you do not need to remove the intake manifold plenum.
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