Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Idling problem

asked by on

I was driving the car slowed down and it turned off I went to turn it back on and it was struggling I hit the gas to keep it from turning off but I had to keep hitting the gas It still turned off. I turned the ignition again and again and again and tap the gas as I was doing it until it finally turned on but it felt like it wanted to turn off again so I had to keep the gas level at a certain speed to keep it from turning off what is this problem

My car has 1700000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, Depending on how long this condition lasts, you may have either a faulty or dirty idle air control valve or a problem with the enrichment process when the car starts up in colder weather. If the condition goes away once it is warm, then this is like a cold start enrichment problem. As a general rule, car engines do not like cold weather and do not do operate as well in cold weather. When you start your vehicle in the morning and turn the key to on, the coolant temperature sensor reads the temperature of the coolant and relays this to the computer indicating that the coolant is cold. The computer then knows that it needs to enrich (add more fuel) the air/fuel mixture at startup due to the change in air density. When you start the car, you will notice that it idles high for a period of time until the engine warms up. This is the enrichment cold start process. This is done with what is called a cold start injector or cold start valve which injects more fuel into the motor until the engine reaches a specific operating temperature. The computer simply feeds a little extra gas through the fuel injectors to start the engine and then maintains a certain amount of fuel supply to the motor until it is warm. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle and diagnose your cold start issue.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Idling problem

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: Car will not start

This may be related to many different possibilities, some of which may be related to a lack of spark and some of which may be related to a fuel delivery problem or a combination of both. Things like ignition coils,...

Q: I need to replace the crankshaft sensor. Where is it located in the motor?

Hello. Carbon buildup and other issues can cause these sensors to fail prematurely. You will need to raise the vehicle to access the sensor best. Once below the right, or passenger, side of the vehicle, you will want to look...

Q: When the car heats up the brakes squeak. When the car cools down they're fine, but when it heats up they start squeaking again.

Hi, thanks for writing in. Pads and rotors can become "glazed" if overheated. If this happens, the bonding material in the brake pads can rise up out of the pads and transfer to the rotors, causing a bluish discoloration to...

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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...