4 FAQs On The Idle Air Control Valve
Here are answers to some common IAC valve-related queries:
1. What’s An Idle Air Control Valve?
An idle air control valve, also known as an idle air control actuator, is usually used in fuel-injected vehicles. Its role is to control the airflow needed in the combustion engine to maintain a steady idle speed. Essentially, the valve acts as a bypass of the throttle body plate.
Your vehicle’s Engine Control Module digitally monitors the idle control valve to maintain the required idling RPM irrespective of the driving conditions or engine load.
This lets you move your car from an idle position by simply releasing the clutch or brake.
2. Where is an Air Control Valve Located?
The idle control valve is usually located on the intake manifold near the back of the throttle body. The intake manifold is the engine part that supplies the air-fuel mixture to the cylinders.
Most modern cars today have the valve integrated into the throttle body.
3. What Causes An IAC Valve To Fail?
While an IAC valve has a reasonably long life, it could malfunction prematurely. Some of the common reasons for its failure are:
- Clogged IAC valve: Over time, contaminants could enter the valve chamber and clog or jam its internal parts.
- Failing IAC valve: The solenoid inside the valve could fail and not send a signal to your vehicle’s ECM. As a result, your car won’t start.
4. How To Perform An Idle Air Control Valve Replacement?
While replacing an idle air control valve is relatively easy, you still need to know your car parts well. If you’re not sure, it’s best to have a certified technician do the replacement for you.
Here’s how a mechanic will replace an idle control valve:
- Park the car on a flat surface.
- Once the engine is cooled down, open the hood and locate the idle air control valve.
- Remove any other parts that come in the way of accessing the valve.
- Unplug the valve’s electrical connector.
- Remove the old idle air control valve.
- Remove the old gasket and ensure that no gunk is left behind.
- Install the new idle air control valve with a new gasket.
- Reattach the electrical connector.
- Replace any other removed parts.