Q: Car feels like it will die when stopping or taking a slow corner.

asked by on February 04, 2017

Has been an off and on problem for years. As I slow down with my foot off the gas, my RPM's drop super low, sometimes the car dies, sometimes the RPM goes back up to a steady idle. Just cleaned the battery posts and cables. Didn't fix the problem this time, but that seems to have worked a few years ago. Checked the connections to my alternator and they seem solid.

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Idle Control Valve Replacement $146.15 - $920.51 Get a Quote

What you are describing sounds like 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 and will adjust idle speed based upon other measurements such as engine temperature, intake air temperature and electrical system load or voltage. This is also an important function when starting the motor as it allows the motor to run and idle on it’s own once the motor fires. 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 making the transition from a higher RPM back down to idle speed while adjusting the air/fuel ratio constantly to allow this to happen smoothly. 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 inspect your vehicle.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

What others are asking

Car lights do not work

You may have a low voltage condition in the system or the headlight dash lights are shorted within the cluster. I would suggest having the charging system checked first. Then I would have the system scanned for a cluster problem...

Brakes easily lock up on snow

There are two possible causes that come to mind: The brakes have excessive runout and are warped A wheel bearing is failing If the wheel bearing has failed, it can cause some serious problems if not dealt...

The car won't start after battery was overcharged. 2001 Hyundai XG300

Hello there. It sounds like you have a cloud of things going on with your Hyundai XG300. If the alternator is overcharging the battery, then there is a good chance the alternator has failed. Most of the time, this is...

Why would there be smoke coming from under my hood and now my car does not shift 2001 Honda Civic

Hi there. It seems that the transmission fluid is leaking. Check the cooler hoses from the transmission to the radiator on the car and see if they are leaking. A leak on the transmission will cause the vehicle to not...

When applying the gas my car jerks when accelerating

What you are describing is often a sign of low transmission fluid or a faulty transmission control solenoid. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car's computer...

Wondering whether I can use prestone 5050 antifreeze coolant instead of fl22.?

While the green coolant or "safe for use in all vehicles" type coolants may be less expensive than what is in your cooling system, I HIGHLY recommend you do not mix them. Different coolants have different chemical properties. They can...

I have 2014 Dodge Journey and the brake, ABS , engine, and traction lights are on. Also my brake pedal won't depress so i can put

With all the different lights on it would be hard to know why it will not start without testing the system for codes in the different modules. I can suggest you have a mechanic like one from YourMechanic come to...

Exhaust smell inside the cabin

Hello. Smelling exhaust fumes inside of the vehicle can be hazardous to your health, and is a problem that should be taken care of as soon as possible. Typically the air from around the engine and front of the vehicle...

Hear a squealing noise when I put it into gear

That squealing noise is commonly caused by a worn out serpentine belt and belt tensioner. Your Escape is at about the right age and mileage for the belt to be worn out. A technician from YourMechanic can come to your...

Related articles

Dodge Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Car Program
Drivers Drivers who are shopping around for a used Dodge vehicle may want to consider cars under the Dodge certified pre-owned program. Many manufacturers have a certified pre-owned (CPO) program, and each one is set up differently. Read on to...
The Top 5 Selling Cars in Arizona in 2012
Depending Depending on where you live in Arizona, the weather is either arid or there may be periods of heavy snow – such as in the mountain areas. The vehicles that have been popular in previous years for the area,...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2011 Dodge Nitro
While While the Nitro shares some typical crossover features with competitors like the Equinox and even Dodge’s own Journey and Jeep Liberty, what it doesn’t share is typical conservative styling. This boxy beauty (or beast, depending upon your point of...