Thursday, January 17, 2013

bad idle ends idyll

My poor little Honda Fit, as if it hasn't already been through enough, has developed a super-low idle. This problem actually began before my accident, so I can't take the car back to Collision Experts for a repair done under warranty. Over the past few months, the problem has worsened: my car now stalls out with some regularity. The stalls happen only when the car's just been started up: once the engine is warm and I'm on the freeway, there's no problem. Not being a mechanic, I looked the problem up and found this entry, which says regarding my idle problem:

Symptom: The engine will not idle smoothly, or it stalls during idle when the engine is cold. When the engine is cold and you take your foot off the gas pedal, the engine runs very rough and may even stall. When you run the engine at higher speeds, it seems to run fine.

Possible causes:

1. If you have a carburetor (grandpa), you may have a bad accelerator pump or power circuit.
The Fix: Replace accelerator pump or replace carburetor.
2. There may be a vacuum leak.
The Fix: Check and replace vacuum lines as required.
3. There may be some type of ignition problem.
The Fix: Check and replace distributor cap, rotor, ignition wires and spark plugs.
4. The ignition timing may be set wrong.
The Fix: Adjust ignition timing.
5. There may be a fault in the computerized engine control system.
The Fix: Check engine control systems with a scan tool. Test circuits and repair or replace components as required. (Generally not a DIY job)
6. The EGR valve may be bad.
The Fix: Replace EGR valve.
7. The engine may have mechanical problems.
The Fix: Check compression to determine engine condition.
8. Idle speed set incorrectly.
The Fix: Set idle speed to specs.
9. The fuel injectors may be dirty.
The Fix: Clean or replace fuel injectors.

That's quite a confusing constellation of possibilities. What worries me, as always, is the expense. I'm going to guess that this'll be around a $250 job, which doth suck mighty donkey balls. As I just complained to my brother Sean, there's always something in my life, every month, needing a $200-some fix. Most frustrating.

Next month: contact lenses!


No comments: