I have a friend with a 1989 Toyota Camry Wagon and the idle occasionally gets stuck at 2000RPM. In order to get the idle unstuck, we have to press down the gas, kick up the revs and then it will settle back down to a normal idle around 1000RPM.

I thought I might be able to fix this by cleaning the throttle body butterfly valve, but it didn't make a difference -- idle still gets stuck at 2000RPM.

Here are before photos of the throttle body:

Throttle body before 1/2

Throttle body before 2/2

And the photos after I sprayed Seafoam in there and scrubbed it with a toothbrush:

Throttle body after 1/2

Throttle body after 2/2

Not clean enough? Any other ideas for what I might do to troubleshoot this idle sticking at 2000RPM?

  • 1
    You may try pulling the Idle Air Control (IAC) valve and clean it. Be careful when you do that. Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 0:30
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 I'm hesitant to pull the whole IAC -- I think I would have to pull the throttle body itself as well and I'm worried I wouldn't put it back together right. I'll keep it as a last resort option I suppose. Is it safe if I thoroughly douse the holes leading to the IAC with Seafoam or throttle body cleaner? Will I risk damaging the IAC if I let it soak in for a few minutes? I didn't spray very much cleaner down those IAC holes during the first cleaning.
    – Elliot B.
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 0:55
  • 1
    Seafoam usually unsticks stuff. Did you check the gas pedal and the throttle cable? Disconnect the throttle table and check for play on the throttle body plate shaft. Does the car have A/C? Does it happen with the A/C on/off?
    – race fever
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 3:04
  • 1
    The A/C will make the IAC adjust more due to a higher load at idle. Here is a diagram that shows where it is, btw: justanswer.com/uploads/RIP180OUT/2008-02-03_190718_IAC.gif
    – race fever
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 3:26
  • 1
    The idle will not be higher with the A/C on if the IAC valve is working properly. It might raise up a teeny bit but hardly noticeable. If you don't see a change then the IAC might be sticky or worn out.
    – race fever
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


I eventually got this problem fixed. For an unrelated issue, both the throttle position sensor and air flow meter were replaced on the car. When the same idle sticking issue persisted after that, we figured it was probably indeed a mechanical issue with the throttle cable or butterfly throttle valve sticking.

Earlier I had used seafoam to clean out the throttle body. I cleaned it again using some throttle body cleaner. I didn't remove the throttle body from the car, but I spent roughly 20 minutes cleaning it. I also removed the plastic cover for where the throttle cable connects to the cruise control actuator and cleaned the springs and all rotating parts.

After cleaning it with throttle body cleaner -- I went back over the throttle body return spring, butterfly valve and connectors to the cruise control actuator with liquid wrench spray oil. I brushed it into the crevices to ensure it was getting deep down into the rotating parts.

I started the car up and voila, issue fixed. When you put in the clutch, the RPMs drop right back down to ~500RPM whereas before they would slowly drop or get stuck anywhere between ~1500RPM and ~2500RPM. It's been about a week now and the issue has not returned.

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