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Cleaning Your Idle Air Control (IAC)

Updated on November 11, 2011

Cleaning your idle air control (IAC) is a fairly simple task. RPM fluctuations and stalling problems are often the result of a dirty idle air control.

What You Need

  1. Carb/Throttle body cleaner
  2. Ratchet + sockets

Generally you'll find your IAC located just past your throttle body (towards the upper intake) but a few models have the IAC located directly on the throttle body. Removing your IAC is very simple.

First, disconnect the electrical connector on the IAC. Then there are 2 bolts holding the IAC in place. Simply use your 5/16” socket and ratchet to remove the bolts. Be careful when pulling the IAC away from the upper intake (or throttle body) as there is a gasket between the two that may become brittle with age. Carefully set the gasket aside if it is in good enough condition to be reused.

With the idle air control removed from the vehicle, you can clearly see 2 holes on it. Take your can of carb/throttle body cleaner and spray into both of these holes. Give the cleaner a few minutes to work its magic before giving it another good spray. You may want to do this a few more times to ensure you get the idle air control as clean as possible. After your last spray, give the idle air control some extra time to dry out.

Once it's dry you can reinstall it. The IAC will simply bolt right back into place. Don't forget to put the gasket back in place and reconnect the electrical connector. Make sure your bolts are tight and your electrical connector is secure then start the car up and let it run for a few minutes to burn up any cleaner that was left behind.

And there you have it, a clean idle air control. If your issue has not resolved, you may want to try cleaning your IAC once more time. If there's still no improvement, you IAC has probably gone bad and will need to be replaced.


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