Q: Stalling and erratic idle

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hello, i am experiencing issues with my citroen xsara picasso 1.6 2004 petrol. 5 out of 7 days it wont start without my foot pressing the throttle, stalling when idling, hunting for the idle rpm when in idle, rpm sometimes get stuck high, and judder when releasing foot from throttle and slowing down. i have been told that this all leads to the idle control valve (ICV) but thought i would ask around for another opinion. thanks dean

My car has 98000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi Dean, I believe you are correct in that you may have a dirty or faulty idle air control valve. 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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