Diagnosing An Air Idle Control Valve Problem In Your Vehicle

Posted on: 19 January 2015

The air idle control valve, often referred to as the idle speed control censor, is a crucial component in the vehicle's motor. It is present in vehicles that are both fuel injected and multi-port. If you are having problems with air idle control valve, you will have a major issue with keeping your vehicle running at all. You can stall out any time you are at a standstill, whether it is in your drive or stopped at a red light.

While there are several engine components that can cause the vehicle to react the same way when they fail, diagnosing a failed air idle control valve is easy if you know what you are doing. If you drive a car that you suspect has a problem, there are a few simple steps to take in order to determine the problem.

Check for Leaking Vacuum Hoses

One of the biggest misconceiving components that will make your car idle too fast or slow, or stall altogether, are faulty vacuum hoses. Before you start looking into idle air control problems, it is a good idea to check for failed vacuum lines first. Check each connecting hose to make sure it is still snugly in place and go over each line to look for leaks. If you see any discrepancies at all, it is imperative that you replace the lines or have them fixed as bad lines can make you believe a idle control problem still exists.

Pull Codes On a Check Engine Light

Once you have checked vacuum lines, see if your car or truck is displaying a check engine signal. An illuminated check engine light is often an indicator of idle control problems. If your car is showing a code, take it to a local parts dealer to run a code check. You can do this on your own if you have a handheld code puller that can be obtained through an auto parts retailer. Cars that are 1995 or older will pull up code number 11 for a failed air idle control valve, while newer cars will give a P505 or P509 code. It is a good idea to remove the art and use a charge tester to see if the solenoid valve is functioning before investing in a new part.

If you determine that you do have a failed idle air control valve, replacement is normally not that big of a job. The part is seated right at the top of an air intake system on most vehicle models. However, a mechanic, one like ABS Unlimited Auto Repair, can just as easily handle the repair and it will not be a lengthy procedure.