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I have a 2006 Saturn Ion, the code P0506 was displayed on the code reader with the message Low idle speed. Please help, I don't know what that is, or how I should go about fixing it.

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The engine idle speed is controlled by the computer through the Idle Air Control (IAC) valve mounted on the throttle body. The valve may be faulty. Hope this helps and best wishes.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009


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Hi i have a code reading P0506 for a 06 GMC Envoy XL any recomondations

{: ) DTC P0506 Idle Speed Low
The usual cause is an excessive carbon build-up on the throttle body. If this is the case, I suggest you have your throttle body cleaned and perform an idle relearn procedure using a GM scan tool. The idle relearn or reset procedure is very important, otherwise this code may still remain even after a throttle body clean.
In a similar fashion, if the ECM/PCM (engine control module) of a high mileage vehicle is replaced and/or reprogrammed without performing the Throttle/Idle Learn procedure, the ECM/PCM may no longer compensate for existing carbon build up in the throttle body, causing it to return with a similar concern as well as DTCs P0121, P0506, and/or P0507.
There are other conditions that can also affect or reduce idle speed by increasing engine load like incorrect torque converter clutch (TCC) operation, accessories that require additional torque to operate, restricted exhaust, and mechanical conditions that limit engine speed.

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1 Answer


P0506 - Idle Air Control (IAC) System RPM Lower Than Expected

This P0506 code is one that's sometimes triggered on vehicles that have electronic throttle control. That is, they don't have a regular throttle cable from the accelerator pedal to the engine. They rely on sensors and electronics to control the throttle. In this case, the P0506 DTC (diagnostic trouble code) is triggered when the PCM (powertrain control module) detects an engine idle speed that is lower than the desired (pre-programmed) RPM.
Potential Symptoms Most likely the only thing you'll notice is the idle speed is lower than normal so it will likely be rougher. There are potentially other symptoms as well. Of course, when trouble codes are set, the MIL (malfunction indicator lamp, a.k.a. the check engine light) illuminates.
Causes A P0506 DTC trouble code may be caused by one or more of the following:
  • A vacuum leak
  • An air restriction in the intake air path or exhuast
  • A faulty positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve
  • Damaged/failed/dirty throttle body
  • Internal engine problem
  • Failed PCM
Possible Solutions This DTC is more of an informational code, so if there are any other codes set, diagnose them first. If there are no other codes, inspect for vacuum leaks, restrictions, and damage. If there are no symptoms other than the DTC itself, just clear the code and see whether it returns.

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I am getting a code of p0506 from autozone. How can this be fixed?

DTC P0506 refers to the actual engine idle speed not being within range of the commanded engine idle speed. If there are any other DTCs present those must be fixed first.

This can be caused by an ISC (Idle Speed Control) motor sticking.

Other possible causes of this code are:
- incorrect TCC (Torque Converter Clutch) operation
-accessories that require additional engine torque to operate - including amplifiers, security systems, etc. that can cause additional electrical load.
- Restricted exhaust system
-any other mechanical problem that may affect engine speed.

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The code indicates an issue with the Throttle Actuator control. This is a little motor on the throttle body that opens the throttle plates at idle. That control motor may be bad and thus, causing a low idle.

I hope this helps.

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