Question about 1996 Honda Accord

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Very low idle speed.

Usually, my idle speed is around 800 rpms, but today i observed that it had gone down to roughly 250 rpms, i haven't done anything to the car, what could cause this and/or how can i fix it or make it better???
Thanks, Cabnode.

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You may want to check your Throttle body position sensor (TPS), and/or, the idle air sensor. This is the most common cause, and in some cases, if your car is acting funny more than at just idle, your Mass airflow sensor (MAF) could be fouling.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009

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Rough idle in drive, correct rpm


Car idle is rough Inspection Service & Cost A rough idling engine can be caused by a number of issues, some of them are serious while others tend to be minor, but the symptoms remain pretty much the same. The car will feel rough and bouncy when the engine is running. The car will also idle below its regular speed, display inconsistent RPMs and may produce a shaking, skipping or slipping sound when the vehicle is running.
While a rough idling engine may seem to be a simple inconvenience it often indicates a deeper problem within the engine. The vehicle should be inspected and repaired as soon as possible because small problems have a way of turning into expensive repairs. How this system works: The idle speed of an engine is basically the rotational speed the engine runs on when it is un-coupled from the drivetrain and the throttle pedal is not being depressed. The idle speed is measured in the revolutions per minute of the crankshaft.
When an engine is running at idle speed it generates enough power to smoothly operate equipment such as the water pump, alternator, and power steering but not enough power to move the vehicle itself. A passenger car will usually idle between 600 RPMs and 1000 RPMs. A properly functioning idle should run smoothly without skipping or slipping. Common reasons for this to happen:
  • Dirty Fuel Injectors: The fuel injection system injects fuel into the cylinders, which creates a mix of air, and fuel to ignite and burn. Fuel injectors have tiny nozzles to spray the fuel into the cylinder and they can become clogged over time. clogged or failing fuel injector creates a lack of fuel in the vehicle's engine. This can cause a rough idle, it can also cause symptoms such as slow acceleration or the car not feeling as if it has enough power. If the problem is addressed early, it is possible to clean the injectors, which will restore them to full function. If this condition is not addressed in a timely manner the injectors will need to be replaced. Incorrect Idle Speed: While the average idle speed falls between 600 to 1,000 RPMs, if your vehicle is experiencing a rough idle it could be due to an incorrect idle speed setting. A trained mechanic can easily adjust the idle speed, and it should stay at the proper speed. If an adjusted idle speed becomes inconsistent or changes at random intervals there may be a bigger problem that needs to be explored. Vacuum Leak: If the vacuum system has a leak, it can seriously affect the ability of the vehicle's computer to regulate the air to fuel ratio. This can lead to a rough idle and if the problem is not addressed the car may experience slow acceleration and a lack of power. Vacuum leaks should be inspected and repaired immediately. Incorrectly Installed or Damaged Plugs: Spark plugs are responsible for creating the spark that allows the vehicle to burn fuel. If spark plugs are improperly installed or malfunctioning, the idle speed can be affected. The vehicle's engine may vibrate or there may be slipping or straining sounds coming from the engine. Defective or Clogged Fuel Pump: A rough idle can be related to fuel delivery issues. The fuel pump, which is responsible for pulling fuel from the gas tank to the fuel injectors, can become clogged or defective. If this happens the engine will not get enough fuel, which can cause a rough idle, sputtering, stalling and even slow acceleration. Clogged Fuel Filter: A clogged fuel filter can cause similar problems. The job of the fuel filter is to screen out contaminants in the fuel, over time it will become clogged and need to be replaced. A rough idle is one symptom of a clogged fuel filter. Failing Electrical Components: A problem or failure in the ignition system or various electronic components can cause a rough idle. If this is the case, the problem will usually get worse as RPMs increase. Common culprits include the ignition control module, plug wires, coils, and spark plugs. Defective Airflow Sensor: A defective airflow sensor can be responsible for a rough idle. A mass airflow sensor detects the amount of air coming into the fuel injection system and sends that information to the vehicle's computer. The computer uses that data to deliver the proper amount of fuel to the air in the vehicle. Over time these sensors can malfunction or become dirty. One of the first symptoms of a malfunctioning airflow sensor is a rough idle. The car may also accelerate slowly and even stutter or stall as the problem progresses. Dirty Oxygen Sensor: Oxygen sensors measure how rich or lean the gases are as they exit the combustion chamber. Depending on the results, the amount of fuel entering the engine is adjusted by the vehicle computer. The ultimate goal is to maintain an ideal mixture that produces the lowest emissions. A dirty or failing oxygen sensor will usually trigger the check engine light and can lead to a rough idle, lower fuel efficiency and failed emission test.

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If it was doing it when cold I'd say definitely, but your problem is when warm right? Maybe throttle position sensor? The ICV is pretty expensive ($85 and up). Just to take it our of the equation maybe clean it. I've never done mine, but Googling it, it doesn't look overly hard. Hopefully you have a garage or better weather than I'm having today!!. Good luck. Hey, when you figure it out come back and let us know what it was.

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Disconnecting the battery sometimes corrupts the CPU program and it takes the use of a scanner to reprogram it . What you have done sometimes fixes the fault but like all CPU programs it only takes one bit to throw out the program.

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It could be any number of things. The MAP sensor is bad, a severe vacuum leak, the fuel filter is plugged, it needs a tune-up like new plugs & wires etc., the fuel pump is weak or leaking if its a manual one. If the car runs rough at idle have a vacuum test done also, while the car is running at night, open the hood and see if the plug wires are arcing as you will see what looks like small lightning sparks around the wires. The worst case scenario is the piston rings are shot causing poor compression. A repair manual is usually available at the local auto parts store, or shopping center like Wal-Mart and Meijer.
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I have a 1984 prelude that will not idle, sometimes it will idle at 1500-2000 rpms for a short time then drop down and die. It does rough idle at around 800 sometimes


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Here are some of the causes of surges, stalls at stops, slow idle speed, erratic idle speed, rough idle and engine hesitation (and other problems), it is in most cases the idle speed control air-bypass valve and or throttle valve and upper intake, these area's get full of gunk and combustion residue over the miles and cause idle issues (stalls, low idle) like yours, Get a can of intake cleaner from any local parts store, not carb spray, intake cleaner, it is made by a company called CRC, remove the air intake hose to the engine, hold the idle high so the engine won't stall, then spray the can of cleaner into the intake while keeping the engine running, use at least 1/2 the can, shut down the engine and disconnect the battery for 5 minutes, then restart and complete a number of mixed driving cycles, town, freeway, stop and go etc., after a few days the problem will go away as the system will relearn to the clean intake.

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This all depends on when you are reading the rpms becaus ethe engine will run faster when you first start it to bring it up to operating temperature than it will drop down to about 700-800 when the engine is warm. i recommend letting your engine warm up, than read your tach and if it is still reading 1000 rpms than reduce it down to 700-800. your ECU will compensate for this when your engine is cold.

this could also be a possible bad Idle Air Control Valve because your engine speed should be regulated by the computer.

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