What causes my 1997 Corolla to not idle at stop lights once it has warmed up?

Asked by May 27, 2014 at 01:16 PM about the 1997 Toyota Corolla DX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 1997 corolla runs great at all times except when coming to a stop and fully warmed up.  It runs very rough when stopped in Drive but when I move it to Neutral or Park if idles much better.  The car runs great on the highway but sure won't idle once warm and in Drive, it quite often stalls out when at a stop light.  I replaced the plugs, plug wires, rotor and dist. cap.  I am thinking this is a vacuum problem or perhaps some sort of sensor problem?

1 Answer

The problem turned out to be real bad compression in one cylinder and low compression in another. Compression should be 140 to 190 psi and my compression ranged from 75 to 145. I chose to replace my motor with one from a junk yard but the other fix would have been to tear down my motor and replace all piston rings and have the cylinder head refurbished. Car runs great at idle now, worth the effort. If you have problems with car not idleing, I would say at least check the compression on all 4 cylinders with a screw in compression gauge, it's easy to do and may give you clues as it did for me.

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