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Artisianwells 11-18-2012 09:23 PM

2007 TCH Engine Shutter
I just purchased a used 2007 TCH with 84K miles on it. When I start the car, I sometimes get a pretty bad shutter when the gas motor starts (just sitting in the driveway. The shutter then goes away and the car runs fine. I read that other people are have the same issue and no one knows (Toyota) of a fix for it. Does anyone know what the actual cause of this and if it can be fixed? Thanks

ukrkoz 11-18-2012 10:20 PM

and no.
mine did it once. some have some theories why and what. Personally, I think, it's simple gears mualalignment between engine and PSD. If you don't get it just right aligned.

WhiteSands 11-19-2012 08:23 AM

Over the 5 years I owned the '07 TCH it happened maybe 8 times total. I do remember it happened always here at home at the first start-up of the day, well that's 5 to 6 pm for me.

I only have 5000 miles on my new XLE TCH, but so far this has not happened. My thoughts are that toyota knows of the problem which don't seem to harm anything. Since it happens so few times over the years toyota may have just let it go.

I do use a top tier brand of gas which may help prevent this problem. I never use the government based gasoline's for a comparison for the shuddering problem.

One other thing, when it happened on the '07 TCH I had, I was in neutral at the time with the engine shuddering and continued as I put it in reverse and backed up about 50 feet into our turn around area. By the time I put it in drive it had cleared up. The few times it happened to me was after the engine had been sitting over night.

Ron AKA 11-19-2012 10:48 AM

If it makes you feel any better, my almost new 2012 TCH does it occasionally. However, it only shutters for a couple of seconds, and does not lock into that shutter mode.

I think there are two possible causes and also a combination of the two. Some vehicles have issues with the engine mounts failing. They are like a rubber isolator. If they break loose they can let the engine shake more than it normally does. Have not heard anyone complain of this on the Camry though. The other more likely issue is simply engine misfire when starting. Most often that is caused by the ignition system, but can be fuel too.

Spark plugs are about the only ignition system wear component. Have they been replaced? On a 4 cylinder they are quite easy to replace. I would go with NGK Iridium.

On the fuel side it may be a good idea to run through a couple of tanks of top tier gas while using the Gumout Regane Complete Fuel System cleaner. This product contains about 35% PEA, which is a very effective fuel system cleaner. Will only cost about $10 a tank.

EDIT: It looks like the original plugs in the 2007 were likely DENSO Iridium which are rated for 120,000 miles. So, you may want to try the fuel cleaner first, and then do the plugs if there is no improvement.

I think the Denso plugs are good too, and if you buy from Toyota that is what you will likely get. Just be careful with both NGK and Denso Iridium plugs. They make a long life plug which has a thicker center electrode, and also a high performance plug with a much thinner center electrode. The life on the performance plug is much much shorter, so I would avoid those.

Artisianwells 11-19-2012 12:30 PM

I watched the You Tube clip of shuttering TCH and mine is not that bad. Mine seems to be more of a hard rough idle when the gas motor fires first start in the morning. It smooths out then the car runs fine.

I also noticed that there is a relay that sounds loud in the lower left area of dash, is that normal?

heartdisease 11-19-2012 12:42 PM

Welcome to TN Artisanwells :)

My Camry is not a hybrid but It has been doing something similar for the last 20k miles or so. I am writing it off to plugs. I have 105k on the car now and was going to replace them at 100k but the book says they are good till 120k. I am not so sure that they are and when I change them it goes away I will say they are not.

Ron AKA 11-19-2012 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by Artisianwells (Post 4009697)
Mine seems to be more of a hard rough idle when the gas motor fires first start in the morning.

This can be many things in the ignition and fuel system. You may be best to get a Toyota dealer to do an analysis, check codes, O2 sensor, etc. Another possibility is ignition wires. The trick is supposed to be to lift the hood in the pitch dark when you first start it to see if you can see any sparking. I've not had success doing that, but I have measured spark plug wires for resistance and been able to detect bad wires.

Artisianwells 11-19-2012 01:09 PM

Thank you all for the feedback. I just bought the car last Friday and have not driven much at all. I will get more information on when and how often it occurs. I called the Toyota Dealer I purchased it from to give them a heads up and they said they would look into it when I was ready. I want to get more accurate information to them and hopefully a video clip.

How about the noisy relay lower left side of the dash. Does anyone have the same issue? I think it's when I shut the car off.

heartdisease 11-19-2012 01:45 PM

Every car I have had in the last 15 years has had some whirring and clicking or swooshing going on. Relay's fuel pumps vents etc. I would say that is normal unless it is crazy loud.

Ron AKA 11-19-2012 03:21 PM


Originally Posted by Artisianwells (Post 4009733)
How about the noisy relay lower left side of the dash. Does anyone have the same issue? I think it's when I shut the car off.

Mine has no noise that I have noticed. Are there specific times when you hear it?

ukrkoz 11-19-2012 06:25 PM

So, if you read through all the posts here and take notes, you will notice one pattern: they ALL do this.
07, 12 - does not matter.
2nd pattern is - it's very intermittent.
3rd pattern is - no one reported any major damage from it.

I saw the video mentioned here. It's definite low oil pressure shudder. I doubt it has anything to do with what we experience. I observed same on my son's Infinity, and it sounded like engine will fall apart. We did oil change and that was it.

Hence, let me return back to my original statement. I believe, it's something that is pertinent to how PSD works. You have to have all gears in it, and all pistons and moving engine parts, aligned all together just so, to have nice and clean startup. Does it happen perfectly every time - I doubt.

I could, possibly, blame it on low oil pressure, but neither my, nor White's cars ever run low on oil, we are anal in that respect. Blaming it on engine mounts is sort of, well, you know, :facepalm: considering it happens on 12 models as well.

Btw, you ever looked at those engine mounts? You saw THE SIZE of them? They are designed for thousands of shut downs and start ups a day.

Artisianwells 11-20-2012 06:32 AM

As of now, it appears that it happens if the car is cold, moved a short distance, shut down when the gas motor is running, then on the restart it has a rough idle/shutter start when the gas motor fires up. It seems if I left the gas motor shut down then shut the car off, the gas motor starts normaly in the morning even if it's cold (30 degrees this morning and no issue). Again, I just started driving the car so I need to continue to track the sequence when it happens. I read the theory about the extra gas being injected into the cylinders during shut down of the gas motor while it's running which causes the rough idle/shutter restart......there maybe something to that theory.

WhiteSands 11-20-2012 06:34 AM

My '07 TCH did the shudder not very often over the 5 years of ownership. My car was rather new as far as miles on it at 37,500 so the plugs and motor mounts should be in great shape.

I have seen this exact problem on my '94 Corolla. I was messing with the air cleaner comparing a new oem factory filter to a Fram. I remember once I opened the air filter cover and remove the original filter the engine shook like big time crazy. I figure it was due to a very lean mixture. With the air filter back in place the engine then idled normally.

So this makes me wonder when this engine start-up shudder is cause perhaps by a to lean mixture due to some on-edge lean-burn jetting by the ECU. It only happened on the TCH after the car had sat overnight. Seems like it happened more during the summer and early Fall. It's very dry out here anyway and a little to lean mixture may been the culprit.

fosman77 05-12-2013 08:44 PM

Oil Pressure
Today coming home from work I was coasting at about 10 miles per hr. The low oil pressure light came on, I hit the gas and it went out, Anybody ever have this happen? Its a 2009 TCH with only 11000 miles on it,
Thanks, Lee:help:

jdk2 05-12-2013 09:12 PM


Originally Posted by fosman77 (Post 4933345)
Today coming home from work I was coasting at about 10 miles per hr. The low oil pressure light came on, I hit the gas and it went out, Anybody ever have this happen? Its a 2009 TCH with only 11000 miles on it,
Thanks, Lee:help:

Not to state the obvious, but did you check the oil level on the dipstick?

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