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Starlet Ep91 Vibrating At Idle In Gear (Auto Transmission)


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I'm new to the forum so appologies if this topic has been covered before (i couldn't find anything similar)

The car in question is a 1997 EP91 Starlet, that is the 4EFE model with no turbo and the standard A242L Auto Transmission, 90,000k's.

Basically with the car running and the brake applied, switching to Drive or Reverse causes the revs to drop from 1000 to around 600-700. This makes the steering wheel vibrate violently (amungst other things), switching to Neutral stops the shaking and returns the revs to 1000. It drives and shifts fine but its just really annoying when having to stop at the lights etc. I tried adjusting the idle above 1000 so the drop was not so "significant" however this just caused the kick down on the gearbox to be late and the vibration continued.

Now just to tick off a few of your questions first off, here is what has been done so far:

New Battery

New spark plugs

New spark plug leads

New distribution cap

New rotor

New oil filter and oil

New gearbox filter and oil

New fuel filter

New mounts

New intake gasket and vacuum hoses

New injector seals, gromits and dampners

Injectors cleaned off car

New rocker cover gasket


Throttle has been stipped and cleaned including the IAC

Throttle stop screw set to factory

All valves showing good compression

Alternator tested ok

The MAP, TPS, O2 and IAC all seem to check out fine

Timing is set to TDC and belt changed at 80,000k's (i haven't double checked this with a timing light as mine is stuffed)

No missfire or fault codes from the ecu

I am leaning towards a transmission problem but i want to be sure before i start pulling things apart or infact throwing any more money at it.

I am hoping some of your combined experiences might point me in the right direction :D


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  • 9 years later...

sir, i have same problem in my car 4e-fe engine, can you clear your problem,

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm also having this problem. Same model, same mileage, same behavior, changed the mounts multiple times, spark plugs multiple times, new filter still no change. Anyone know what solution could solve this?

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