Friday, February 24, 2012

Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve operation?

Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve operation details for Oldsmobile and other same vehicles are as follows :---


The Idle Air Control (IAC) is a bi-directional motor driven by two coils. The purpose of the IAC valve is to control engine idle speed, while preventing stalls due to changes in the engine load. The IAC valve, mounted in the throttle body, controls bypass air around the throttle plate. The PCM controls engine idle speed by adjusting the position of the IAC motor pintle. The PCM pulses current to the IAC coils in small steps (counts) to extend the pintle into a passage in the throttle body to decrease air flow. The PCM reverses the current pulses to retract the pintle, increasing air flow. This method allows highly accurate control of idle speed and quick response to changes in engine load. If RPM is too low, the PCM will retract the IAC pintle, resulting in more air being bypassed around the throttle plate to increase RPM. If the RPM is too high, the PCM will extend the IAC pintle, allowing less air to be bypassed around the throttle plate, decreasing RPM.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Typical Idle Air Control (IAC) valve components
During idle, the proper position of the of the IAC pintle is calculated by the PCM based on the battery voltage, coolant temperature, engine load and engine RPM. If the RPM drops below a specified value, and the throttle plate is closed (TP sensor voltage is between 0.20-0.74), the PCM senses a near stall condition. The PCM will then calculate a new IAC pintle position to prevent stalls.
If the IAC valve is disconnected and reconnected with the engine running, the idle RPM will be wrong. In this case, the IAC has to be reset. The IAC resets when the ignition switch is cycled ON and then OFF . When servicing the IAC, it should be disconnected or connected with the ignition switch OFF in order to keep from having to reset the IAC valve.
The position of the IAC pintle affects engine start up and the idle characteristics of the vehicle. If the IAC pintle is fully open, too much air will be allowed into the manifold. This results in high idle speed, along with possible hard starting and a lean air/fuel ratio. A Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) may set. If the IAC pintle is stuck closed, too little air will be allowed in the manifold. This results in a low idle speed, along with hard starting and a rich air/fuel ratio. Again, a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) may set. If the IAC pintle is stuck part way open, the idle may be high or low and will not respond to changes in engine load.

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