Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Stalling at low speeds and idle.

asked by on

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.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Lights come on but don't stay on while driving. They are the ABS, anti-skid, ESP/BAS lights

Hi, thanks for writing in. Your car is equipped with wheel speed sensors at each of the four wheels which monitor wheel speed while relaying this information constantly to the ABS and traction control system which are controlled by the...

Q: Car won't start after sitting for weekend

If you let your car sit for the weekend, and it will no longer start, it is possible that the battery may be completely drained. Batteries will drain over a few days if they need to be replaced, or if...

Q: Brake rotor diameter

According to the parts listings, the front rotors are the same size across the line. The choices are when it comes to rear brake rotors. The 10.31 inch rotors are for the 2 wheel drive models and the 11.89 inch...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.