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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: issue with door handle actuating rod assembly.

Hi there. The door actuator rod attaches to the door handle by slipping the plastic clip on and off. you would slide the rod in and clip on the plastic clip to the rod to hold it into place. If...

Q: Battery died and was jumped, but will not stay running

If the battery died and is now weak as a result of this, it may be that the alternator is not able to charge battery back up sufficiently quick enough to maintain the operation of the other accessories and the...

Q: Car won't stay started without gas pedal down

It sounds as though severe engine damage may have occurred, due to overheating. If a vehicle is allowed to overheat even once, extensive damage, such as a cracked cylinder head or blown head gasket, may result. However, before we assume...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
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.