Car Idle Control Valves

Engine stalling problems usually can be traced to the failure of the idle air control valve, or simply idle control valve. Like its name suggests, the valve controls the amount of unmetered air passing the mass air flow sensor and going into the intake manifold when the vehicle is stationary but the engine is running. In short, it is this valve that allows your engine to idle smoothly, even if the throttle is fully closed and the engine is not supposed to receive the amount of air and fuel it needs to drive the wheels.

So just imagine what's going to happen when your car idle control valve gets damaged. Your engine won't be able to idle and will likely stall upon the slightest acceleration. You might also have difficulty starting your vehicle. But the worst-case scenario of having the idle air control valve fail is when your engine refuses to start at all, because the amount of air going to the engine is insufficient to start continuous combustion. If you don't know much about engine troubles and you experience this, you'd probably think of a million different reasons why your engine would suddenly stop working. And, chances are, you might not even think of idle valve failure at all.

So how will you confirm that there is really something wrong with the idle control valve? That's easy if you have an OBD scanner. If you don't have one, find a reputable repair shop, have the mechanic hook your onboard diagnostics to an OBD scanner, and have him pull out the error codes from your ECU. Whatever's wrong with your car will show up on the monitor.

Idle control valves usually fail when they get clogged. Valve clogging happens when there's too much buildup of carbon, dirt, and/or coke on the valve's walls and seating. One possible remedy to this is by removing the buildup with a carburetor cleaner. To do that, detach the electrical connector at the back of the control valve. Then, holding the valve down such that its pin is pointing to the ground, spray the cleaner on the areas that need cleaning and wipe the dirt off. You can repeat the process until the dirt and carbon are completely removed. Just be careful, though, not to wet the control valve's internal body and wiring connections.

Now, if that cleaning method doesn't work on your idle control valve, or you don't feel like using some cleaner sprays and rugs, then you should get a new idle air control valve for your car. And that's something that's easiest and most budget-convenient to do at Parts Train. With our low price guarantee, shipping promo, and guaranteed parts quality, you got no reason to surf shop for auto parts anywhere else on the net.