All of a sudden, it starts gasping for air. Changed the air filter, and found leafs and other debris in filter case (her car.) When it idles, it runs about 300-400 rpm, obviously low, also when gas is pushed down, it will hesitate and not acclerate as before. I was thinking plugs and wires, wires were fine, changed plugs. Now I am thinking PCV valve. Again it seems like its starving for air. Any thoughts before I get into that project?
I have had the same problem..and these engine are supposed to b a very low idle (around) 300rpms. check your vacuum lines on the engine there is a plastic tee on the top of the motor which usually dry rots and will have a hairline crack in it and replace if needed
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First question is - is the check engine light on ? If so you need to start with the trouble codes in the computer. Could be a faulty injector or coil among other things. You should have a codes for which cylinder is not firing and other possible problems.
Here are some possibilities for you Andrew. When you changed your air filter did some debris get sucked into the intake(such as the plastic wrap on the filter?). If so it may have plugged up the small airway in the idle air control valve. This valve is controlled by the computer to allow airflow around the throttle plate. If it is plugged or even partially plugged it can give you symptoms you describe.These valves are notorious for having problems too. Also after your air filter there is a devise in the intake snorkel pipe that measures the amount of air going into the engine, this is called a mass airflow sensor (MAF). If the MAF is dirty or debris blocking it off it can also cause weird problems. If the computer senses low air flow it will reduce the amount of fuel going in at the injectors. Inspect these two things first and see how it works out for you.
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you sound like you have a good start to figuring out your problem. how many miles and when was your last tune-up? a good fuel injection cleaning would not hurt you at all. how does the air filter look? this problem can stem froma few different sources i would check the air filter to begin with and change and clean the air cleaner housing of any debris that may be in there. the fuel injection will benefit because it will also clean the IAC ( idle air control) which very easily could be your culprit. does the car idle fine at times other than you stated? You can have the IAC checked for resistence and volts to make sure it is within limits, normaly 1.5-3v crosscount reading, anything higher or lower then it needs changed. you might also think about changing the fuel filter on the vehicle to, this will always help. also have you tried running gas from a different company? lately there has been alot of problems with moisture and debris in the gas station tanks? check this few suggestions out and let me know what you come up with. thank you again.