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Idle Issues + Egr!


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Hello, I'm a fairly new member who recently bought a '92 ES300 for $4500. It is a very nice car with some mechanical issues and unfortunately no service records. It seemed to be a solid car when I test drove it, and I believe it still is, but it's been neglected I think for about 35k and I really don't know what the history is. Here is what I've had done so far:

Toyo Proxes TPT 205/65/R15 Tires Mounted/Balanced on Stock Rims

Both Drive Axles Replaced (bad CV joints clicked when turning)

Four-Wheel Alignment

Fuel Filter/Air Filter/PCV Valve

Valve Cover Gaskets Replaced (leaking onto exhaust causing smell)

Intake Plenum Gasket Replaced (with Valve Covers)

Front Motor Mount and Torque Strut Replaced

Rear Brake Job Including Rotor Machining (to fix throbbing)

However, I have two problems with the car still that may or may not be related.

Engine sometimes idles so rough/low that it dies at stop signs. This has only happened once and it was when the car was cold today after I picked it up from the brake job. The check engine light is on throwing a code 71 for EGR failure. The car hasn't stalled again today, yet still idles rough and seems as though it might die. When I drive there are no problems. The CEL comes and goes...why? If my EGR is completely failed and letting exhaust into the intake while idling is it possible it could be starving the engine for air? My idle is irregular and rough.

I do not know when this car had a tune up last. It's possible that it's never been done although unlikely with 110k on it. A friend of mine has suggested that first I must replace the distributor cap, rotor, plugs, and maybe even wires.

My question is...could the EGR valve be the cause of a stalled engine at a stop sign? Does the EGR valve really have the ability to put that much exhaust back into the engine? Or am I dealing with a tune up issue? Should I tune the car up first before putting money into diagnosing and fixing the EGR problem?

Also, when I start the car it seems to rev up to just above 2,000rpm for a split second like with a surge of fuel to the engine which shouldn't be there. This only happens when the engine is warm. Any insight?

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Your egr shouldnt cause the car to stall like that. When it's off or leaking, it sounds like you have an exhaust leak but does cause the car to stall. Check the vacuum lines going to the egr for splits and cracks. If your egr system on the front of the intake manifold is messed up, i have a spare one from a 92 that works, so let me know if you need it.

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several things come to mind that may cause your symptoms and throw off the EGR and thus giving you the code.

dirty/faulty IACV (idle air control valve)

dirty throttle body

lazy EGR.

air intake tube from airbox to throttle body is cracked or has some holes in it.

(this is the accordian like tubing)

some people will tell you to do a google search and find a shop that provides a service called a motorvac. This is a machine that performs a thorough cleaning of the top end of the engine. Although I have not had to do one, several people have sworn by them.

The iacv and throttle body can also be cleaned manually if you are mechanically inclined.


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i think it is the egr

especially with the surging problem added

it is because the valve is sticking and is slamming shut and open becuase it is sticking

it being stuck open because the carbon is cold and hard to move the valve makes the cold engine map from the ecu return more fuel than it can handle to stay started easily

so you are starving for air not fuel

take it apart and try cleaning it

buit results are varied on it actually working perfectly again as it helps but usually needs a new one

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Just an update...found a crack in the hose from the air cleaner box to the engine. Put some electrical tape over it to fix it temporarily until I can get a new one. Still need to fix my CEL. I broke a VSV today while replacing my vacuum hoses. Thanks for all the advice...still need that EGR though. Idle problem gone.

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