Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car dies when the engine is cold but works fine after the car warms up

asked by on

So when my car is cold and I turn it on, the engine dies immediately. I have to turn it back on and press the gas pedal in order to prevent it from dying. I have to do this for at least 10 minutes until the engine warms up and then the car operates normally. Also, when I come to a stop or red light and I'm holding the break, the car will shake a lot. Any help will be much appreciated thanks.

My car has 175000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. Your issue is very likely the idle a...

Hello. Your issue is very likely the idle air control valve, or related components. After continuous use for years, these valves become clogged with carbon and other build-up. The valve can be cleaned. You can use a carburetor cleaner, or similar solvent to help dislodge some of the debris. This would be sprayed into your air intake. Keep in mind what is passed through must be consumed by the engine, and it may act funny during that process. You can also have the entire unit replaced. This would be recommended for any damage to the unit that wasn't related to a simple clog. If there is a short in the system, or the valve has failed, you would likely experience more dramatic symptoms.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Lots of rust on a new car, worse around doors

If your vehicle has rust, it should be covered by Nissan’s warranty for 60 months with unlimited mileage. This will require a trip to the dealer for inspection. The dealer may need to take pictures and submit them to Nissan...

Q: My oil light keep combing on

The oil pressure light on indicates a drop in oil pressure. A cold engine with cold oil will generally have higher oil pressure because the cold oil is thicker. Once the oil warms up, it can get thinner and cause...

Q: Check Engine Light is on

Your check engine light may come on for many different reasons such as a faulty mass air flow sensor, a faulty O2 sensor, a bad catalytic converter, bad spark plugs or wires and many other reasons. Unfortunately due to the...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.