Q: Car starts, shakes, and stalls.

asked by on

Car starts, shakes, and then stalls within a few seconds of starting.

It sounds like your Camry is giving you a bit of a scare! There are generally three different issues that may cause your car to shake and stall after starting up. The most common issue I have experienced with your car is the failure of the Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF). The job of the MAF sensor is to measure the air flowing into the engine, thus allowing the computer to know how much fuel to release to the engine. Failure would cause the symptoms your car is experiencing. Another culprit is the fuel pump failing. When the fuel pump fails, it does not provide adequate fuel pressure and while it may do enough to start the car for couple of seconds, the pump cannot maintain fuel pressure, and eventually the car will die. Another suspect is the fuel pressure regulator. Its job is to assist the fuel pump in maintaining proper fuel pressure, therefore failure would cause the issues you are experiencing. Finally, another common issue leading to shaking and stalling after start up is worn out spark plugs. Spark plugs are commonly overlooked and if there is a gap in the spark plug, over time this will continue to wear and create a low spark, preventing the car from running properly. From my experience however, another thing you may want to check for is the gas level in the car. This one may sound silly, but sometimes the fuel gauge on a car may say you have gas, but in fact you may actually be low or out. Try adding a gallon of gas to the car and try restarting. If it runs smooth, then your fuel gauge may need repair.

The above are the most common reasons for shaking and stalling after start up in a 1997 Toyota Camry. Despite knowing these common problems, it is still best to have a certified mechanic diagnose your stalling problem properly.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car starts, shakes, and stalls.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Q: Car shakes and turns off

Hello. There are many factors that can cause a car to stall upon start up. You could be experiencing a fuel supply problem or a fault with a sensor in the engine management system. The first step with any drivability...

Q: Chevy Cobalt Lower Control Arm Repair - safe to drive?

Short answer is "NO", it is not safe to drive the car in this condition. The safest alternative is to have a tow truck that can pick up, and strap down, the front end of the car, or a flatbed...

Q: I have a code P0171 and needs repairs.

Hi there. The code P0171 is caused by the engine getting too hot and not having enough fuel to burn. Check the fuel injectors, fuel pressure, and the fuel pump to see if they are working properly. Since the vehicle...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...