Is it Possible to Drive with a Bad Control Valve?


The right idling speed benefits the fuel economy and keeps the parts of the engine safe. The idle control valve generally manages the air entering within the engine in an idle state. The moment you start the car, the engine needs more amount of cold air to idle smoothly. Once you put your feet on the pedal, the air supply to the engine ceases. Therefore, it is vital to monitor the engine’s air entering, which is generally regulated by the idle air control valve.

After some time you may experience issues with the idle control valve. Issues left unattended can hamper the working of the engine or the entire vehicle. In such cases determine the idle control valve cost while replacing the old idle control valve with a new one.

How Does an Idle Air Control Valve Works?


The idle air control valve is handled by the Engine Control Module(ECM). The ECM generally provides complete information regarding engine idle speed. The air quantity is controlled using an IAC valve which passes through the throttle intake plate and keeps the engine idle speed constant.

Advantages of Idle Control Valve(IAC Valve)

At High Altitudes

At high altitudes, the air density reduces, due to which your car engine might die. Therefore, it is difficult to restart a vehicle that has died. In such cases, the ECM handles the IAC valve so that air flows through it, and idling takes place without a hassle.

Throttle Following Function

Another benefit of the IAC valve is the throttle following after the car is parked and the throttle valve is closed. The IAC valve opens in such situations, compensating for the air loss and making the air engine deaccelerate gradually.

Keeps the Engine Moving

With a sudden drop in the RPM of the idling engine, the IAC valve opens and allows air entry within the engine. This would prevent the engine from stalling and keep it warm and running. However, issues with the valve lead to engine problems. Excessive speed leads to overheating, and it is vital to check the condition of the IAC valve.

Symptoms of a Bad Idle Control Valve


A bad idle control valve is one of the scariest repairs you would ever come across. A worn-out part makes the car idle roughly that becomes so intense that it sputters out. The moment you notice these issues, it is better to replace the car with a bad idle control valve. Otherwise, you are posing a threat to your life and the life of the passengers. Below are the bad idle control valve symptoms that you must know about:

Irregular Idle Speed

Irregular speed is the most commonly experienced idle control valve issue. Any issues lead to a drop-down in the idle speed. The speed either becomes too high or too low, or the surging idle speed begins to surge or drop.

Illuminating Check Engine Light

Another potential problem associated with an IAC valve is the illuminating check engine light. In case there is any problem, the dashboard indicates to the driver that there is some issue and trouble codes must be considered seriously.

Engine Stalling

Engine stalling is a serious concern that takes place the moment something happens to the check engine valve. If there is a complete failure, the engine remains without an air source, and maintaining a proper idle becomes a concern for the valve.

Stalling Due to Load

Sometimes the engine stalling takes place on its own on the other; it is due to load. For instance, if you have turned the AC or the heater on, it would immediately start stalling. The steering wheel feels as if it is moving to either end. This issue can be eliminated it is better to turn the cooling or heating unit off and allow the engine to cool for several minutes. If you come across any of the following symptoms, don’t take them lightly and get the bad idle control valve replaced by the mechanic.

How Much Does an Idle Control Valve Cost?

The cost depends on the make, year, and model of the car. The idle control valve costs between $120 to $500.The cost of parts would fall anywhere between $70 to $400.The labor cost is generally between $50 to $100, depending on how certified the mechanic is. Removing the parts is so costly as it is a time-consuming process. Alternatively, you can purchase your own part from ‘The Auto Parts Shop’ and pay labor charges to the mechanic.

The Bottom Line

Working with problematic valve result in engine issues and would stop working permanently. Instead, determine the idle control valve cost and purchase your own part and pay the labor cost to the mechanic to help the vehicle perform optimally.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *