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All About Your Car’s Idle Air Control Valve

Here’s all you need to know about your car’s idle air control valve, brought to you by Miracle Body and Paint in San Antonio Texas:

What is an idle air control valve?

The Idle air control valve or the IAC valve controls your engine’s idle speed and is controlled by the engine’s onboard engine computer system. The IAC valve controls the amount of air circulating around the closed throttle plate. It has solenoid or a valve-operating coil which opens and closes to regulate airflow. The quantity of air the valve restricts is determined by the electric current that runs through the solenoid. Since the air is electronically controlled, this means that the optimal amount can be maintained and responsive to changes in the engine load. In short, when there’s more air that is circulating, it results to a higher idle speed for starting, deceleration or accessory loading. The opposite is true of there is less air circulating – which results to a slower idle speed.

How can I tell if my car’s idle air control valve is damaged?

IAC valves should last as long as your car, but sometimes it needs to be replaced or maintained. Here are just some of the signs that you have a faulty IAC valve:

  • Your engine light comes on – this is the most obvious way to tell if any of your car’s components are malfunctioning. Make sure to go to an auto body repair shop to have it checked right away to avoid auto accidents or auto collisions.
  • Your vehicle is idling inconsistently or stalling frequently – if you often experience rough idling and frequent stalls, it may be a sign that your IAC valve needs maintenance. Usual cause is partial or complete blockages of the valve from grease or dirt. That is why it’s important to always follow a regular car cleaning and maintenance schedule.
  • Your car backfires – Backfiring is a sure sign of a damaged IAC valve. You can tell by taking your foot off the gas pedal. If your vehicle jerks as it decelerates and backfires excessive fuel through the tailpipe, you may need to have your IAC replaced.

What should I do if I have a damaged IAC valve?

If you are unsure on how to check your engine, it is better if you take it to a reputable auto body repair shop. If you are living in San Antonio Texas or surrounding counties, you can go to Miracle Body and Paint to have your engine checked.