Q: Car stalls when idling

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Hi a few weeks ago a friend tried cleaning the engine by hosing everything down without covering important parts and my car didnt want to turn on after that so I changed the distributor and got it up and running again. But ever since that day my car sometimes turns off when I am at a red light, waiting at a drive thru or just warming it up then the check engine light turns on then off right away but car turns on right away when I turn the key in ignition. I would like to know what could be causing this. I never had this problem before.thanks in advance

My car has 190000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your problem may or may not be associated with the engine cleaning. But for a moment, let’s assume that it is. You hit the right spot when you changed the distributor cap, but if there are any covers or tubes that the wires go through that could hold moisture, they will need to be uncovered and dried out. There could also be moisture accumulation in the boots where the spark plugs connect. So take them off and make sure that they are dry. Other reasons for a car to shut off while it is idling are air leaks or problems in the idle air control valve. Air leaks could have been caused by the cleaning if a high pressure hose was directed onto a vacuum line or a rubber boot and pushed it off slightly. So check the vacuum lines and rubber parts under the hood for proper fit. If there is a problem in the idle air valve, that is probably not related to your washing and will need a proper diagnosis. If you contact Your Mechanic you can have a technician come to your home or office to diagnose your problem and tell you what needs to be done.

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