There are many different times when you will be idling your car; when you’re sitting in front of the gas station waiting for someone to go in and grab a snack or a drink, or while you’re sitting in line waiting to pick up a child. You will also be idling every time you stop at a red light. While you probably don’t think about this process very often, it’s an important one and you want to be sure that the parts involved are kept in the best shape possible. The idle control valve is responsible for keeping the engine idling smoothly; however it does not work on its own and is connected to the central computer. The computer provides the valve with feedback to ensure that the correct RPM are maintained. Defects can occur when a circuit shorts out, which makes the part react slowly and causes the engine to stall while idling.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for an idle control valve:
Size: There are a large number of different idle control valves, so be sure that you’re getting the correct size when you buy one at your local parts store or order it online.
Type: Take pictures of the old idle control valve before you go to the store to get one; check to see if it has a bullet, blade or pin-style valve.
Terminal: Identify whether you have a male or female terminal.
Material: You want an idle control valve that is made of stainless steel and tungsten alloys; these are the only two materials that are carbon resistant and will keep the part from becoming clogged.
Note: Get an o-ring or gasket at the same time to save effort and increase efficiency of the part.
Idle control valves are not an incredibly cheap part, so be sure you get the correct one before you make that investment!
YourMechanic supplies top-quality idle control valves to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a idle control valve that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on idle control valve replacement.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Idle Control Valve and was authored by Valerie Johnston.