Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car loses rpms when idling and dies when not giving it gas on first run.

asked by on

In the morning when it's cold I need to keep the gas pedal floored for it to turn on and if I let off the gas the car dies, as if it can't idle on it's own. Tried warming it up in the morning (giving it gas myself the whole time) and it would still die. Only later when it gets a little warmer out it will idle fine but still needs gas to start. What could be the problem? I've changed out all the spark plugs, tested my battery and made sure there's a solid connection on the posts.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. It may be a problem with the choke o...

Hello. It may be a problem with the choke on the carburetor. Try some carburetor cleaner in and around the carburetor, especially the choke plate. On a cold start no matter the temperature, the choke plate should be mostly closed. Then after warm-up, it should be completely open, pointing straight up and down. If it is not doing these things, the choke pull off - which I believe is both electrically and vacuum controlled is not functioning properly. Check the electrical connector as well as the vacuum lines to the choke pull off. If you have a hand-held vacuum pump, connect it to the choke pull off and apply maybe 5-10 inches of vacuum. The choke plate should move and the pull off should hold that 5-10 inches of vacuum. If it does neither, then the rubber diaphragm inside the pull off has ruptured and will require a new choke pull off. For help having this issue handled, a qualified professional from YourMechanic can diagnose the rough idle and help follow through with repairs.

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: Car wont start jumped it ima brake abs lights all on car dead next morning

When the IMA light is on in the hybrid Honda Civic models, this usually means that the battery pack (not to be confused with the starting battery) is no longer charging properly. This is typically is a part that has...

Q: My car isn't staying charged after a jump, it lasts about two minutes before the engine dies. I'm wondering if it's the alternator.

This may be related to a couple of different things. The fact that it must be jumped to get it started is usually a sign of a dead battery or an alternator that may not be working. In rare cases...

Q: Why does my car get poor fuel mileage and not rev over 1000 rpm. 2006 Honda Accord

Hello. You are on a pretty good track for diagnosing this problem. I would usually start by checking the computer for codes. This would be the best indication of what is going on as it may be a sensor issue....

Related articles

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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...