Q: Engine has difficulty starting

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I have a vehicle with difficulty starting. Almost every time I turn the car on, the engine has problems. The car starts but only goes to 500-750 RPMs. It seems as if it is going to stall. It goes to normal 1000 RPM when I rev it up 2500 RPMs. Other than that, the engine has troubles starting. I would hear the starter when I turn the key, but the car just dies. What might be the cause of this?

A: If the vehicle starts you can essentially r...

If the vehicle starts you can essentially rule out a problem with the starting or charging system. So, forget the starter. There are numerous potential causes for the symptoms you are experiencing, but one thing that comes to mind is the idle air control valve (IAC).

Engines such as yours are well known for having dirty IACs. Sometimes simply cleaning the IAC solves the problem. IAC operation is pretty simple; the powertrain control module (PCM) receives inputs from various sensors mounted throughout the vehicle. It then uses this information to control the IAC and regulate idle. To accomplish this, the IAC opens a small bypass circuit that allows air to bypass the throttle. The best way to determine if this is actually the problem is to have a professional inspect your starting issue in person. The team at YourMechanic is an excellent option since we come to you.

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