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Q: Engine dies while stopped

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The engine makes noise when idling, and sometimes the engine dies when stopped at the light. Also, the fuel meter on the dash sometimes goes to empty. When this happens, it takes a while for it to report the correct amount of gas.

A: Hello! It sound like you have two problems....

Hello! It sound like you have two problems.

First, the engine makes a noise and dies at times when it’s stopped; this sounds like a bad idle air control valve. This valve is mounted to the throttle body, and regulates air to control idle speed. This valve has a plastic diaphragm that can break, causing low or high idle speeds, as well as a humming-type noise.

Second, the fuel gauge sending unit could have bad resistance contact, causing the gauge to read incorrectly until it reaches a good contact. The only repair for this is to replace the fuel level sensor. The fuel tank must be removed from under the vehicle to replace the fuel level sensor and fuel pump, as they come as one unit. You are going to need the aid of an experienced mechanic to replace the sensor and pump unit, since it’s part of the fuel system. I would recommend driving it until the tank is almost empty, like less than 1/8 of a tank, to make it safer to drop the tank.

I recommend hiring a mechanic from YourMechanic to inspect the source of the stalling issue, and recommend the best path of repair.

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