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Idle Control Valve Replacement Costs and Repairs 

Idle Control Valve Replacement Costs and Repairs 

Idle control valve replacement cost ranges from $120 to $500. The price can jump significantly and reach $700 depending on your vehicle's automaker. Unfortunately, the part itself is not cheap, and therefore, you can't save a lot on labor costs by doing the job yourself. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Your idle control valve is responsible for maintaining consistent engine idling speed. Once this component goes bad, you will notice significant engine stalling and hesitating, especially if you're adding more loads to the vehicle by turning on the air conditioning or the sounds.

It is very important to keep an eye on any signs of a bad idle control valve and immediately resolve the problem. Otherwise, you might put your life and the people around you at risk because your engine might stall anytime as you're driving.

This article provides you a general overview of how important the idle control valve is, the main symptoms of the control valve, how much it will cost you to replace about idle control valve, and how to clean the valve yourself to save on repair costs. 

What is the idle control valve, and what does it do? 

The idle control valve is an essential component in any combustion system. It is the primary responsibility to control and maintain regular engine idling speed.

The valve also helps account for any extra loads the driver puts on the vehicle. For example, when you decide to use these sound systems, lights, and air conditioning simultaneously, the idle control valve helps your engine maintain all these loads at the same time.

The idle control valve also helps your vehicle get started if it's cold than if it's been parked for a long time.

Over time of use, the idle control valve can go bad and get damaged. The primary reason for a damaged control valve is carbon buildup, especially on the intake manifold.

It is very important to familiarize yourself with all bad idle control valve symptoms to prevent major damages to your vehicle. Once you notice any of these symptoms, you must take your vehicle to a professional mechanic and have it in him inspect the car and fix it immediately.

Ignoring idle control valve problems can result in significant complications that you never want to deal with. What anything in your vehicle goes bad is that it is usually safer and cheaper to get it fixed before leaving it for a long time and dealing with much more complicated problems with major components. 

What are the symptoms of a bad idle air control valve? 

Luckily, your idle control valve will let you know immediately if it's going bad before it even does.

There are unique symptoms of a bad idle air control valve that you must keep an eye for, which includes the following

  • Issues with idling speed 

Since your vehicles' primary job is vital in the control valve, monitor, and regulates your vehicle's idling speed, the 1st and most obvious sign you will notice is the irregular idling speed in your vehicle.

Once the control valve goes bad, you will notice that I don't speed going to be thrown off, and you might experience some surging idling that is followed by very low idling speed.

Immediately if you notice any unusual climbs and falls of your vehicle's idling speed, you need to check for a bad idle air control valve. 

  • Check engine light 

Your vehicle's check engine light might illuminate due to a variety of issues. Sometimes when your vehicle's computer detected an issue with your vehicle's idling speed, it will throw a check engine light to warn you and bring your attention to take immediate action.

Unfortunately, you cannot immediately say that it's a problem with your vehicle's idle control valve when the check engine light illuminates. Thus, your best guess would be to reach out to a professional mechanic and have him inspect the vehicle to confirm the culprit.

  • Problems with idling 

Under normal circumstances, you should not notice any problems with idling your vehicle once the engine goes from running to stop.

On the other hand, if the idle control valve goes bad, you will immediately notice that the vehicle is shaking aggressively as you're trying to stop the car. This aggressive shaking is that there is not enough air getting inside the engine, and thus, the vehicle responds by shaking.

Again, rough idling is not something clear, and it will not pinpoint the actual culprit of the problem. Thus, you need to reach out to a professional mechanic and inspect the problem to confirm it's coming from the idle control valve. 

  • Clear engine stalling 

If the idle control valve goes bad in some difficult situations, your vehicle will experience clear it is stalling.

Since the car does not have access to enough air, it will fail to produce the necessary idling, and therefore, it will stall immediately after you started.

The previously mentioned symptoms and installation are not a direct, clear symptom of a bad idle control valve unless you confirm with a professional mechanic. 

  • Additional engine stalling with loads 

While sometimes you might experience some engine stalling during normal circumstances with a bad idle control valve, things worsen if you put additional loads.

For example, if you know that your oil control valve is not good and you decided to add more pressure to your engine by turning on the air conditioning, your vehicle might stall immediately. Once it sells, you will feel that the steering wheel is going towards one side more than the other.  

How much does it cost to replace the Idle control valve? 

Idle control valve replacement costs range from $120 to $500. The part itself has a big range depending on your manufacturer, which could start at about $70 and jump up close to $400 if not more.

On the other hand, labor costs are generally between $50 and $100, which is not a lot compared to any other major repairs in the older Mobile World.

If you would like a closer look at how much it will cost you to replace your vehicles idle control valve, let's take a look at the short snippets from a database that displays the cost by vehicles type:

Car Type Idle control valve replacement cost 
2013 Cadillac ATS $448.94
2008 Porsche Cayenne $667.39
2013 Lexus ES350 $408.74
2007 Toyota Tundra $386.17
2014 Toyota Venza $471.44
2010 Nissan Altima $463.94

Unfortunately, it is very hard to decide how to save on replacing your vehicle's idle control valve. This is because labor cost is usually not a huge component in this repair. On the other hand, the part itself can be expensive.

While that is true, you might need to learn how to replace your idle control valve to save completely on labor costs. Another thing to consider is going to a smaller repair shop versus a dealership which is usually cheaper.

Keep in mind that not all small repair shops might have the required skill sets to do the job properly. That's why many luxury drivers decide to go to dealerships of similar brands while knowing that it will cost them much more.

A good thing to remember is to check your vehicle's insurance because sometimes it might cover these repairs before even shopping for different offers. 

Can you drive a car with a bad idle air control valve? 

A bad idle air control valve will not stop your vehicle from driving. However, it is not recommended to continue driving this car because it can't affect your safety.

Remember that some of the common symptoms of a bad idle air control valve are engine stalling? Imagine if your vehicle stalls while you're driving on the highway; what will happen?

Thus, continuing driving a car with bad idle air control not only puts your life at risk but also affects the overall people's lives on the road.

Remember that even if you decided to drive a bad idle air control valve, your car would not pass the emission tests. Thus, you should better get the problem resolved immediately rather than postponing it and causing some further complications to surrounding components. 

Can an idle control valve be cleaned? 

Since the primary reason for a bad idle control valve is carbon buildup on top of the intake manifold, one might ask whether it's possible to clean this idle control valve or not? 

The good news is that yes, you can clean up your idle control valve. Thus, this helps you save a lot on repair costs and prevent complete damage to this valve.

Here is how you clean am idle control valve:

  • Confirm that the problem is coming from your idle control valve. Before you even proceed with cleaning the idle control valve, make sure that you look for symptoms of a bad idle control valve or have your professional mechanic help you confirm that this control is not clean.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is cooled down because most of your work will be around the engine. When the engine is hot, there is a high risk of injuries, and therefore, as a safety tip, do not attempt to fix or clean your vehicle's idle control valve before your engine cools down. 
  • Locate your vehicle's idle control valve by referring to your vehicle's owner's manual. It is usually located somewhere on top of the throttle body under your vehicle's hood. You will see that it's connected to a lot of electrical wires. If you had a hard time locating ads, I best way for you is to refer to your vehicle's owner's manual or watch some YouTube videos for similar vehicle's make, models, and year.
  • Disconnect the idle control valve from the throttle by unscrewing it. Also, take out the wires by detaching them. 
  • Using some gasoline, make sure to soak the idle control valve entirely in the gasoline. Ensure that the gasoline goes inside the valve to clean it properly.
  • Used a dry towel and dried out any gasoline leftover from around the idle control valve.
  • Using an air-blowing compressor, clean and dry any remaining gasoline from your idle control valve.
  • Test the flap and make sure it's moving easily.
  • Put the idle air control back, attach the wires, and put the screws properly to connect it with the throttle. 
  • Test drive your vehicle and check for any issues indicating a bad or dirty idle control valve. 

Should I clean or replace the IAC valve? 

Deciding between cleaning or replacing your vehicle's idle control valve depends heavily on the carbon buildup severity.

For example, if there are just thin carbon building layers inside the intake manifold, you can follow the previous section's mentioned steps and clean it up.

On the other hand, if you've noticed that carbon has built up and got into the throttle body itself, the problem might be severe enough to require replacing the entire idle control valve.

It won't hurt to clean it up yourself first before spending any money on repair costs. If you've noticed that cleaning up the idle control valve did not help, then you can go ahead and reach out to a professional mechanic to get it replaced. 

The bottom line

The idle control valve is one of the most important components in your vehicle that helps maintain consistent engine idling. Without this component, your vehicle might experience significant stalling, which can affect your safety.

It is very important to immediately repair the idle control valve after noticing any symptoms indicating it's going bad. Replacing the part itself can be costly, and it ranges from $120 to $500 depending on your vehicle's type.

If you notice that repair costs are getting close to 75% or more from your vehicle's value, we advise you to sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer and use the payment towards a better vehicle. 

If you would like more details about how our process works, you can always give us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer