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1999 Toyota Camry 2.2 automatic Car is trying to die. RPM's are jumping from 1-5. Only way to accelerate is very slowly when it starts to buck. Have replaced fuel filter, air intake molded piece, IAC sensor, TPS sensor, oxygen sensor, plugs,... Was told air filter is fine, and wires need to be changed because it shocks if you touch a wire, catalyst converter, etc. Ready to drive it off a cliff. Please help.

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    If the ignition wires will shock you if touched replace them as the next step. Poor wires that are shorting out can cause exactly the symptom described. – Fred Wilson Oct 3 '16 at 6:24
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your problem is too hard to figure on the info provided, however no worries. My advice for the cheapest solution is to remove the intake pipe to the throttle body and drown the throttle body butterfly and intake with carburettor cleaner until it looks showroom shine (please wear safety glasses, this stuff stings eyes), then fit the old plugs, wait about ten minutes then crank the engine with full throttle until you get some sign of life (same as if you flooded an old carb engine). Then remove and replace the old plugs with your new ones and carry out a thorough check on all ignition leads, max resistance on leads is 4K OHMS per foot, (requires multimeter, cost approx. 20 dollars) if resistance reading is higher than this for any lead, replace all leads and restart engine. If this fails to improve performance, you may have a compression / head gasket type problem. Unfortunately that requires more work, but your efforts with the carb cleaner, plugs and leads will still be good when the compression issue is resolved, and you wont spend any extra. Basically if an engine has spark (timed and correct firing order), compression (@180psi per cylinder on average) and fuel (use 98 octane wherever possible) it will run well, as advertised. My feeling on your post is that your ignition leads are at fault, so once again, check resistance and further more, carry out a physical inspection /integrity check of their outside insulation.

Cheers Hutch

  • First off, carb cleaner is super toxic stuff. Use sparingly, and with gloves, if at all--and it likely will not help with op's problem, in this case. 98 octane gas is bad advice. OP should use the lowest octane available at your local gas station for the car described. Higher octane gas does not confer any benefits to normal cars, and can, in fact, reduce their performance. This answer sounds like a 'clean everything and hope something fixes it' answer--a reasonable catch-all troubleshooting procedure when lost, but hardly a useful specific response to this question. – Kyle Baker Dec 2 '16 at 16:58
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Erratic idle: lack of steady air and/or fuel supply, or erratic/weak sparking. IAC sensors are the first I would blame, since it controls idle: check it is working by taking it off its supporting mount, leave it connected and get someone to help you turn on the key (not to crank). The sensor tip should move to reposition itself. Put it back if it did, change if it didn't. Check intake pipe where the IAC gets mounted, be sure there isn't any gunk where the IAC actuator sits. Check sparks, they should be dark "white-ish" brown, if they are carbonized means too much gas. In any case, put new or clean sparks. Try to crank without the air filter connected, that excludes the breathing part :)

Nada? Then go further: injectors may be dirt. In some engines you can disconnect them without too much trouble, see if with the engine running you can selectively disconnect them one by one, then connect them back, like checking for a bad spark plug. Injectors works with low current, won't zap you doing this. :)

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