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How to stop fast idling engine - Cars & Trucks

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Idle air control valve ! This should fix your problem!

Posted on Apr 02, 2015

  • Adam alvarez Apr 02, 2015

    Also! Tps/ throttle position sensor TBS

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Honda Civic the idle on car idles up and down manly when stopped


When an engine just idles fast and slow, it's usually a vacuum leak somewhere. You can spray on the hoses carrying engine vacuum to see the leak.
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Check the base plate gasket under the throttle body, some time the gasket start to leak, and will cause a high idle, if possible with engine running get some water and pore it at the base of the throttle bode, you will hear a suction sound, that's the gasket, replace it.

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Three things to check for:

1) High idle switch is on..*(vehicle thinks AC is running but it isn't.
You can try turning on the AC and see if the engine slows down to confirm this one.

2) Sticking or worn out Idle Air Control or IAC, You might get a check engine light with this one.....you might not if it's a mechanical failure.

3) Simplest of all. A vacuum leak. You can get the engine vacuum read while running if you go to a mechanic with a vacuum guage or an OBD 2 ecu code reader. There should be specs on what vacuum levels are normal for you car at idle.

Good luck and be careful!

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The coolant temp sensor sends signal to the ECU and the ECU adjusts the idle RPM. When the coolant is cold, the engine requires more fuel to sustain idle with thick oil (oil gets thicker & more viscous when cold). This makes the engine to idle at faster RPM but it should settle down to 850 RPM or so after the coolant warms up. The sensor is nothing but a thermistor; a device that changes electrical resistance according to the coolant temperature.

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I have a similar problem which seems to stop ,if after 20 mins of driving or warmed up engine if you stop for 10 mins the revs die to a more normal 1500 revs! it is a spanish car now living in theUK I think the problem is choke related.

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1 Answer

Idles fast


Check for a intake manifold leak, we had some problems with seals used on the upper section of the intake on your engine, get a can of carb spray and spray it around the intake, see if the engine reacts, if it does you have a leak.

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You need to change the thermostat, it must be stuck open and the computer thinks the engine is always cold, hence the fast idle and smoke.

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PVC valve is not metering air correctly, it will appear ok shaking it but looses it ability to maintain proper position causing a medium to gross vacuum leak.

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Have a 1989 Honda Accord LX and my idle after warmed up, every time I come to a stop my car dies. I've changed plugs, set idle speed a number of times, it will run good for a few days and then it's right...


If you can keep the engine running with your foot on the gas at a stop it is likely to be the Idle control valve. Older Hondas' have 2 valves. fast idle control (which is prone to cause fast, or surging idle due to vacuum leakage) and the Idle control that takes over from the cold idle control once warmed up. They are located at the throttle butterfly assembly.

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