How to Clean the Idle Air Control Valve

It is usual for car’s air control valve to capture the density of carbon that blocks the smooth flow of fuel which causes jerks while starting or stopping the car and sometimes during the drive as well. Carbon sticks in the valve and that stops it from controlling the idle of the car. Only at high RPM, the car becomes stable and air-valve is idle whereas at a low RPM it starts to frustrate the driver by doing unwanted stuff like switching off the engine and jerking at regular or irregular intervals. You can save money from buying a new air-valve by cleaning the existing one but one some types of air-valves can be cleaned. A spring-operated valve should be present in the idle air-control valve to allow the cleaning process to end successfully otherwise there can be no good comeback to it.


  • 1

    Near the engine intake, you will find the idle air valve. Find it. Make sure you have found the right air valve otherwise you can destroy the whole engine by doing something with something that is not supposed to be done.

  • 2

    Get a screwdriver. Remove the electrical plug on the back of the idle air control valve with a screwdriver. However, be careful about the plastic tang that is holding the wiring harness. Do not destroy it or break it apart because it the wiring to the harness will split apart and that will cost you a lot more than cleaning the air-valve from a mechanic. The wiring harness is kept from vibrating off with the help of that plastic tang.

  • 3

    Detach the screws of bolts that are occupying the idle air-control valve. Hold the valve pointed downward, and spray the pointed end of the valve with carburettor cleaner, and wipe it clean. Continue the process until the carbon is removed completely from the air-valve.

  • 4

    When the carbon is removed completely, the air-valve should be placed back from where it was detached and attach the wiring harness to its old location.

  • 5

    Check the cleanliness by starting the car. If it idles perfectly and drives smoothly then the mission is accomplished otherwise you will have to open everything again and repeat the above steps. If you can’t get rid of the carbon, you will have to buy a new air-valve.

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