I've got a 1999 toyota corolla with over 170K miles, and I've had my fair share of problems over the years. Currently, I have this problem that my car seems to hesitate accelerating when I first start it. It seems like it wants to idle out. I've only noticed this problem in the past few weeks or so. Nothing significant has happened in the past month to cause it, like an accident.

Someone (not a mechanic) told me that the problem may be the transmission, and may be related to the way I shift my car into drive. Admittedly, I don't always depress the button to shift from park into drive and just forcibly push it down without pressing the button. I don't think it can cause a problem in the transmission, much less this problem of my car trying to idle.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Does the problem go away once the car is warm? Also does it seem like the car is about to stall when it's idling?
    – M. Cooper
    May 25, 2012 at 4:45
  • @M.Cooper: It seems like when I first start the car (in park), it idles fine. When I shift it into drive, it still seems fine. But when I first apply gas, it almost stalls out. It still hasn't completely stalled out yet. Once the car really gets going, the problem just seems to go away. If I park my car for too long of a time (like say, over night), the problem returns.
    – Paul
    May 25, 2012 at 4:53
  • Is the check engine light on at all?
    – M. Cooper
    May 25, 2012 at 17:41
  • @M.Cooper: Not at all, actually.
    – Paul
    May 25, 2012 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


In my experience, this type of issue is usually related to the EGR system - EGR valve starting to fail perhaps.

There are some great videos on YouTube on how to test the valve.

I would almost think to check the MAF sensor or IAC valve but the operation of those shouldn't change much as the car warms - the EGR valve might have the clearance to operate through the carbon buildup when it warms up.

  • Thanks for the tip, Anthony. Do you recomment a particular Youtube video for valve testing?
    – Paul
    May 25, 2012 at 18:02

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