5 signs of a bad idle air control valve in a car

Latest news articles

Unknown to many, an idle air control valve is actually responsible for managing a car’s engine idle speed. Check out these 5 signs of bad idle air control valve!

It is sometimes really interesting to us here at Naijauto.com that there exist numerous parts of cars that many Nigerian car owners and drivers don’t know or aren’t familiar with at all. The idle air control valve is sure one of such car parts.

This is the part of a car that pretty much manages the engine idle speed in of a vehicle. When this idle air control valve is bad, several problems and signs will start to present themselves during the usage of such a car. If this valve doesn’t get replaced on time, such a vehicle will eventually become undrivable for the owner or driver. To avoid that kind of worst-case scenario, we have put together 5 signs that can be used to detect a bad idle air control valve in a car.

Top 5 signs of a bad idle air control valve in a car

Below are our top 5 symptoms that are easily noticeable when a vehicle has a bad idle air control valve;

1. Irregular Idle speed

Like we mentioned earlier that the idle air control valve is supposed to normally manage a vehicle engine’s idle speed, but when it's bad, the irregular idle speed will be almost consistent.

A bad idle air control valve will make the engine’s idle speed fluctuate randomly to varying speeds rather maintaining a constant steady speed. The idle speed could be noticed to go from high to low and vice versa erratically. This irregular speed can be noticed by just looking at the tachometer available on the dashboard of the car.


Irregular or Inconsistent engine idle speed is one close sign of a bad idle air control valve in the car

2. The check engine warning light stays on

Any slight issue with a modern vehicle’s engine always prompts the “check engine warning light” to be turned on. In some case, a bad idle air control valve could be the reason for the light being triggered to come on.

We cannot directly attribute this problem as the only cause of the light coming on because there are numerous other problems that also trigger this light but, in any case, we advise you take your car to an auto shop for check whenever this light comes on.

3. Rough idling in a car

Normally, you should be getting a smooth idling from a healthy idle air control valve but if by any chance this nice experience goes from smooth to rough, then you should suspect to be having a bad idle air control valve. If truly this is the case, you will also feel intense sort of vibrations that form whenever you stop the car leaving the engine running. The car should even react by shaking more profusely because less air will actually be going into the car’s engine during such an idle state.


A car that isn’t delivering smooth idling might have a bad idle air control valve

4. Car engine stalling

This could even be the worst case so far as the vehicle could become completely stalled sometimes due to a bad idle air control valve. This is due to the fact that the valve will immediately malfunction as soon as you start such a car.

If this happens to you in the middle of nowhere, keep trying for a while because it will initially stall for some minutes and then move for a while before repeating the problem so, if you are lucky, you might have managed it to a safe place or auto shop before it stalls totally and refuse to move.


How to Fix a Car that Idles Poorly (Idle Air Control Valve)

5. Load cause the engine to stall

A vehicle with a bad idle air control valve might experience stalling as we mentioned in four above, but sometimes the stalling only comes with an increase in load. And a complete/instant stall would surely be experienced if the driver had turned on the A/C and heater in the car.

If this is the case, turning off the heater and A/C and other related loads will help manage the vehicle till a proper fix/replacement gets done.


The above can only be best described as simply “pro” tips, isn’t it?

>>> You should check here more often for useful car maintenance tips and advice.


Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at Naijauto.com. He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes articles that are very informative and easy to read on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews here on Naijauto.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him compo ... See more




Latest review Articles

Latest price articles