Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car is chugging at low speeds and then stalls when I stop.

asked by on

My car started to chug at low speeds, i didnt notice it jerking forward at all but when i applied the brakes or let off the gas i could feel it chugging. This only happened when i was below 15 mph and i havent noticed it at higher speeds. when i came to a complete stop the car stalled. I put the car into neutral and it started fine but once i got to low speeds again it started to chug again.

My car has 98000 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 reads 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 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.

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: Problems with overheating, accelerating, and starting

Did all of these happen at the same time? It is possible they are related but they may be separate problems. For the overheating problem, it sounds you may have a coolant fan that is inoperative. The hesitation could be...

Q: Motor stalls when I shift to drive or reverse

This may be a result of 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...

Q: Why is my car act like it's in limb mode

The P0300 code is for a misfire condition with the engine. This code is typically set when the computer can't determine which individual cylinder the miss is occurring with, or if it is a multiple cylinder misfire. Otherwise, the computer...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...