Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine starts, runs and drives initially but randomly it will die when you lift on the throttle approaching traffic lights/signs.

asked by on

Engine starts, runs and drives initially but randomly it will die when you lift on the throttle approaching traffic lights/signs.

My car has 145000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This is a common sign 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 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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Engine starts, runs and drives initially but randomly it will die when you lift on the throttle approaching traffic lights/signs.

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: On dash bord check charging system and battery light is on

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a weak battery, a failing voltage regulator or failing alternator. As you may know, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine runs by generating amperage and recharging the...

Q: Electrical

Hi there. From the description you have provided, your inoperative electrical components, may just be blown fuses. The fuse is in a circuit to protect the circuit. If, there is a short to ground, the fuse will burn. You could...

Q: My car will start but will only run for a certain amount of time before the engine shuts off. Then it won't start. Why?

Hi there. In many cases, when the car will start but quickly stall, it's due to either a reduction in fuel flow (caused by a worn out fuel pump, dirty fuel filter or clogged or dirty fuel injectors or the...

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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
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...