Q: Idle fluctuates and then stalls.

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I have a 2005 Dodge ram 1500 SLT 4.7 V8 with 89000miles on it. The truck revs up from 1000rpm to maybe 1200 when I'm braking but only if I'm braking from 60km/hr and higher and drops below 1000 rpm to normal idle. Sometimes the engine starts to surge at idle and in park the rpm will surge up and down but in drive I can tell the engine surging but the rpms don't fluctuate. I can stop the engine surging by pumping the brakes. No engine codes and I've checked the brake booster and it seems to be operating normally and holds vaccum. Check valve and line coming from the intake manifold looks to be good also. This is driving me crazy it's not a huge issue but I don't want it to become a bigger issue longterm.

My car has 89000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a vacuum leak or potentially a dirty or faulty idle control valve. High idle speeds or in some cases rough idle, stalling and hissing sounds are common signs of a vacuum leak. When a vacuum leak is present in an engine, this causes an excessive imbalance in the air/fuel ratio which creates a loss of power and causes the motor to run at a much higher RPM as a result of the increased oxygen present in the fuel charge being injected into the motor.

The idle air control valve monitors the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at idle. This valve is controlled by the vehicle’s computer and will adjust idle speed based upon other measurements such as engine temperature, intake air temperature and electrical system load or voltage. This is also an important function when starting the motor as it allows the motor to run and idle on it’s own once the motor fires. 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 making the transition from a higher RPM back down to idle speed while adjusting the air/fuel ratio constantly to allow this to happen smoothly. 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 inspect your vehicle.

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