Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine surges at idle two or three times and shuts off

asked by on

i was having a misfiring problem, this was determined by a friend with a plug in reader, so we tried switching a coil to a different cyl. and no change. i changed the spark plugs now the engine runs great and very smooth. but now it will serge two or three times and shuts off, seems to only be happening at an idle and in gear. so we cleared the computer and tried it again this time it ran a farther distance, then the first time.and the engine light is back on again now my friend doesn't have any advice or cant pinpoint my problem. can you please help me

My car has 117000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This may be a sign of an imbalanced air/fue...

This may be a sign of an imbalanced air/fuel mixture caused by a failing idle air control valve. This is a unit that monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine. When this reads inaccurate data in terms of the air coming in, this will cause inaccurate adjustments to be made causing the wrong air/fuel mixture to be supplied to the motor. When this happens, this can cause the engine to surge or fail to idle as you have experienced. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose the abnormal idle and follow through with proper 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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Replacing ignition lock and cylinder anything required afterwards

Hello. If your vehicle was equipped with a transponder type key, then it may be possible that the key has to be programmed to match the ignition lock cylinder. Some vehicles are equipped with a security feature that will only...

Q: Car idles rough when stopped at light or stop sign (not all the time). Car overheated very briefly.

Its possible that a bad gasket could be allowing the coolant to cause your misfire. There are many places that coolant can leak and many causes for a misfire like yours. The symptoms you describe may not be related to...

Q: Stalling at red lights, and sputters sometimes when I press the gas.

This may be a sign of a failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve monitors the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine. This valve is controlled by the...

Related articles

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...
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...