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

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: Why won't my car move in reverse. 2004 Honda Accord

Hello. From what you are explaining this is the first sign of a serious transmission failure. This is a common issue on this vehicle. The Honda Accord has a history of transmission failures, and reverse is usually the first gear...

Q: Rough idling, engine shuts off

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2005 Buick Rainier. This could be a variety of possibilities, but what you are describing sounds like a faulty O2 sensor. The O2 sensor relays information about the air/fuel mixture to your...

Q: Radiator issue with my car.

Generally a radiator is not going to cause a car not to start - it is only a heat exchanger for the engine coolant. I think your problem would be more drivability in the fuel (fuel pump injectors fuel lines)...

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 Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
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...