Having problems with the idle control valve of your vehicle? If the valve is still in good shape, there are two possible reasons behind the problem. Either the valve is dirty or the idle control valve gasket is damaged. A dirty idle control valve (due to carbon buildup) will not allow your engine to produce enough power. Meanwhile, a damaged idle control valve gasket will allow air to leak, causing idling problems. Read on and learn the steps in cleaning an idle control valve and replacing a damaged idle control valve gasket.
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools that you'll need:
- Carburetor cleaner
- Set of 1/4 inch sockets
- 1/4 inch ratchet
- Replacement idle control valve gasket
Step 1: Find the idle air control valve in the engine and use a screwdriver to take off the electrical plug at the back of the valve. Be careful not to break the plastic tang that connects the wiring harness to the sensor.
Step 2: You'll find screws or bolts holding the idle control valve to the block-take these off.
Step 3: Hold the valve pointed downward and, using a carburetor cleaner, spray the pointed end of the valve. After this, wipe it clean. Make sure the carburetor cleaner does not drip into the housing. Do this until all the carbon is removed.
Step 4: Before putting back the valve in place, take off the old gasket and clean the mounting surfaces properly. Then, install the new gasket in place. Replace the idle control valve and attach the wiring harness.
Step 5: Run the car to make sure it idles properly. Also, try taking your car out for a spin to make sure the engine does not shut off when you turn corners or stop. If it does, that could mean the valve is damaged, and you will need to replace it.
You do not need to be a pro in order to clean the idle control valve or replace an idle control valve gasket, but you will need to be familiar with the car parts under your hood.