Q: Stalling at low speeds and idle.

asked by on December 01, 2016

Hi, my car stalled yesterday at a red light, before this happened, about a day before, the lights on my dashboard and clock/radio flickered, dimmed, and then went bright again. Right after this happened, I was braking for the red light when my car jolted forward, causing me to almost rear end someone. My foot was no where near the gas pedal when it did this. Also, when i am sitting idle, my car will rev up like I was tapping the gas, only to about 2RPM but my car will be in park. Could you please help me to possibly have some options of what this could be?

My car has 52000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You may have 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. Since this valve is controlled by the vehicle’s computer, it 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 with the help of the idle air control valve. When the engine RPM drops below the normal range of about ~800 RPM, 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.

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