Q: Car dies at idle

asked by on December 02, 2016

I've owned my car for two years now and every once in a while it would shut off at a stop light or something and start right back up no problem. I didn't worry about because it would go months without happening again. The last week or so our is happening a lot more. I can drive for a while with no problem then out of nowhere it will repeatedly die at idle. It always starts right up again but is inconvenient to say the least. I've also noticed my headlights flickering don't know if it's related or not.

My car has 179000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You may have a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at idle. Since this valve is controlled by the vehicle’s computer, it 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 with the help of the idle air control valve. When the engine RPM drops below the normal range of about ~800 RPM, this often times will cause the engine to stall indicating a dirty or faulty idle air control valve. 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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