Q: Idling issues

asked by on February 02, 2017

I have a 2004 V6 Saturn Vue FWD that has recently had some idling/low speed issues. When it is placed in reverse, and is allowed to back up with idle power, it often dies and must be restarted. Also, when on the go, if stopped in traffic, the car sometimes dies while starting to move again and must be restarted. A typical remedy is to warm the car up before moving for a short amount of time. Also, once the vehicle has been driven for a distance, the problem is not as prominent. It has become more frequent in colder weather. What issues could it be and what solutions are there?

My car has 245000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a dirty or failing idle air control valve causing your engine idle to fluctuate and eventually stall. The idle air control valve is a small valve on the engine’s intake system that reads the air intake as it comes into the motor. This is controlled by the car’s ECM which uses this information to make adjustments to the air/fuel ratio depending on various inputs such as outside air temperature, intake air temperature, load and various other things. As you accelerate, your car’s engine is receiving a much higher dose of fuel than when at idle and conversely, when you let off the gas pedal, there is a sudden change in this fuel supply as a result of your foot letting off the pedal. When this happens, the job of the idle air control valve is to bring this deceleration down to a slow and smooth idle rather than suddenly cutting off the fuel supply causing the motor to die. When the idle air control valve is not working properly, this cause a disruption in this process resulting in the engine not being able to idle properly. I would recommend having a professional come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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