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Kelly, or anyone who can help,

Having problems w/ cold starts. It happens maybe twice in a month... here's the scenario; in order for my Rav to turn over, I have to rev it up above 3K+ for a minute or two so it will hold and turn over, otherwise it dies. The dealer can't trouble shoot unless the problem happens at the dealer. The best they can do is to change the IAC valve [this costs $400.00], my gearhead buddy says, maybe just a dirty throttle body, can be clean w/ a sturdy toothbrush and a degreaser/throttle body cleaner?

Help,
-g0cruz
 
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g0cruz,
I happened to be at the shop I sometimes go to (waiting for a state inspection to complete) when a similar call came in...the head mechanic, who I've known for years, first suggested changing out the coolant temp sensor, as this was the least expensive option. Now, this was on a Corolla, YMMV, but you might want to give that a shot...don't recall the cost, but IIRC is was about $65 or so...

Bogatyr
 
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If you want to try cleaning out the throttle body yourself, here are some directions on how to do so. Your buddy's pretty much right, it's a relatively simple process.

Throttle Body Cleaning.
 

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I would highly recommend cleaning the TB before replacing sensors. I have rarely seen IAC's fail. Most of the time they carbon up and stick and don't seal properly. Sometime you can easily clean the TB with it on the manifold. Sometimes you need to remove it. It all depends on the miles and design of the TB.

My wife's RX300 had the problem you described. I cleaned the TB and related plumbing without removing the whole unit. It ran like a top afterwards.

If you want to do you own diagnostics, get a scanner that can read some sensors. One is able to rule out the IAC, TPS, MAP, and others easily without going to the expense of random replacement. These sensors can get expensive.
 
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Did anyone have any luck by cleaning the T/B. I am having the same problem with my 1998 Rav. It started after I installed a Tornado in the tube section of my air cleaner box, and I also had installed a K&N filter. Trouble only showed up when the weater got cold. It is also intermittent.
 
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I agree with Chucks97, On my 97 Rav, I had experience frantic car shake at start up and it would not turn over until I held gas pedal for about 30 seconds. I even had it computer checked.
Met up with a Toyo mechanic and suggested to clean trhotle body and change the coolant temp sensor. Now im happy to report all is well. :D
 
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Reporting another successful TB cleaning. Car had rough idle on startup. The guy at my girlfriend's garage kept telling her she needed this and that. I cleaned the TB with some carb cleaner. I think one of the holes for the vacuum was clogged cause when I sprayed some cleaner in the nozzle, most of the solution shot back out a first. After a second try, it no longer did that. A lot of crap ran out eventhough at first glance the butterfly looked fairly clean. I recommend everyone do this. The TB is such that on the Rav, it can be cleaned while still attached to the manifold. This makes the job MUCH easier. Just a matter of removing the plastic intake plumbing and working the butterfly.
 
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