My 2012 FJ Cruiser has just over 20k miles on it. It behaves oddly when going from stopped to moving, especially when stopped on a decline. The vehicle, when going from stopped to moving, will shudder, almost as if the brakes are sticking or the car is having trouble getting into gear. Once pressure is applied to the gas pedal, the shudder stops.

I have taken it to my local Toyota dealer and they say that is has something to do with "drive by wire" and that this is normal behavior. This is newest car I have ever owned and have never had this sort of issue. I am not a big car guy; I know very little beyond basic maintenance.

Does anyone know what this issue could be?

  • 1
    Where does the idle sit when you've got the brakes applied? Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 17:30
  • The idle quality seems to be fine. No shudder or anything while the breaks are applied, just once I let my foot off of the break and begin moving forward, it will shudder.
    – Jason
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 17:36
  • Ok, but what's the actual RPM on the tach reading? Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 17:46
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    It will just bounce up to about 500 or so before apply pressure to the gas pedal. It's odd though, because the car almost feels like it is spuddering or ready to die, until I apply pressure to the gas pedal. No dash light or anything indicating an issue though.
    – Jason
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 17:52
  • It seems to operate fine in other arenas, just this one thing really sticks out, as I've never experienced it in a car before.
    – Jason
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


Based on all the information in the comments as well, it sound like the throttle body is the issue.

My buddy who's a master mechanic said that the FI does not have an air bypass, so when the throttle body gets dirty it will often cause a low idle or stalling issue. Based on this forum thread your idle should be 500-600 RPM, and not less.

Try cleaning the throttle body fully and see if that helps. This thread goes over the actual cleaning of the throttle body if you need assistance with that.

  • I appreciate all of your help. Like I said, I am not all that mechanically inclined and have never owned a vehicle I cared to put much effort into until this one. Is this something I could have my preferred mechanic clean up for me the next time I get an oil change? Additionally, is this something that can wait or does it need to be fixed ASAP. Thank you again for all of your advice.
    – Jason
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 19:38
  • @Jason It should be done as soon as possible. You could have your mechanic do it for sure and I'm sure you could add it to every 4th or 5th oil change without too much cost. Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 19:55

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