Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Starts missing after it gets warmed up.

asked by on

starts fine when cold, but after a few minutes it starts to miss.

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, It sounds like you may have a faulty idle air control valve or potentially a faulty MAP sensor. The IAC valve is activated when the car is warm and helps the engine cope with loads on it during idle, like A/C or lights. 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.

The Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor senses engine load and generates a signal that is proportional to the amount of vacuum in the intake manifold. The engine computer then uses this information to adjust ignition timing and fuel enrichment. When the engine is working hard, intake vacuum drops as the throttle opens wide. The engine takes in more air, which requires more fuel to keep the air/fuel ratio in balance. When the computer reads a heavy load signal from the [MAP sensor]((https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/manifold-absolute-pressure-sensor-map-sensor-replacement), it adjusts the fuel mixture to slightly more rich than normal so the engine can produce more power. The computer will then retard (back off) ignition timing slightly to prevent detonation that can damage the engine and decrease performance. This may also be caused by other closely related components such as a dirty or failing mass air-flow sensor, a faulty throttle position sensor or potentially a vacuum leak. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Starts missing after it gets warmed up.

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: Replaced power steering pump and still have a hard steering.

Hi there. There is a PML valve that is on the rack and pinion steering on your vehicle. Check to see if the valve is working. The PML valve is is the speed sensitive steering valve for the steering system....

Q: When I try to start it, it cranks slowly as in cranks like dead battery but then cranks just fine but won't start

Hello, and thank you for writing in. To begin there may be issues with the wiring, position of the starter, a faulty starter, or an issue with the timing. However start with the simplest options and work you way up...

Q: I have a few electrical issues that need to be fixed.

From what I am hearing, it sounds like there may be a lot of electrical issues going on with this 1997 Mercedes s320. Let us look at these one at a time. In regards to your window regulator, this is...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...