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

asked by on November 08, 2016

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.

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.

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