Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car cuts off when sitting still and idling. What could that be that is causing it to do that

asked by on

Car cranks but when coming to a stop or slowing, idle changes and cars shuts off.

My car has 280000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This may be related to a dirty or failing i...

This may be related to a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve monitors the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at idle. This valve is controlled by the vehicle’s computer which will adjust idle speed based upon other measurements such as engine temperature, intake air temperature and electrical system load or voltage. When you accelerate, the engine RPM increases, and as you let off the gas, the RPM slowly returns to the normal idling speed. This is all controlled by the idle air control valve. When the engine RPM drops below the normal range of 750-800 RPM (for most cars), this may indicate a dirty or faulty idle air control valve. In cases where this valve is dirty or failing, your vehicle may stall instead of slowing to an idle after the release of the throttle. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and repair your idle air control valve.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Replacing rear brake pads

Hello! We will be happy to assist you with your 2010 Ford E-250. You will have to remove the whole caliper and bracket as one, then remove the caliper bolts from the bracket once the caliper and bracket is repositioned....

Q: Rough idle after replacing Mass Air Flow Sensor - trouble codes P0171 and P0102

The P0171 refers to a possible lack of fuel pressure, a leak in the intake air system, or a possible vacuum leak. The P0102 also leans towards a leak in the intake air system. It is possible that there is...

Q: I'm unable to start my car.

Hi there: There could be multiple issues going on your Toyota RAV 4 that could have caused it to stall and to not start now. The first thing that comes to mind is that you have a crankshaft position sensor...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.