Engine Dies at Idle

I have a Dodge truck with 127,000 miles on it. I’ve owned it for 4 years, and had the plentium gasket replaced and regular oil changes. It’s been a good truck, with no problems until now. Yesterday I started it up, and it stalled, it continues to stall unless I keep a little pressure on the accelerator, it won’t stay running at an idle.

The very first time this happened, it cranked longer then it normally does before starting, now it starts right away, but won’t idle. Today, I started it, and it stalled, I left the key in the “Run” position for a few seconds before attempting to re-start it, and it started just fine, and stayed running even at an idle, But the next time, and every time after that, it stalled. Any ideas? Is there a way I can trouble shoot and eliminate some things myself? I was told that the battery is weak, is this true?

Thanx in advance, Roger

Hi Roger,

I think the first thing I would look at would be the throttle body and idle control motor; a dirty throttle body can cause idle surges and dying like you mentioned. The throttle body is like where the carburetor would be, this is the inlet to the intake manifold/injectors.

Follow the air cleaner hose to the throttle body, remove and clean out the black carbon build. I would also look and listen for a vacuum leak, broken vacuum hose connector etc. etc. Other things I would look at would require some experience and tools to do:

1. Check fuel pump pressure
2. Check computer codes

Cleaning the throttle body is part of regular maintenance, so if you just want to guess at something, but don t want to do it yourself, you might find a local mechanic who will clean it for you and see what happens.


Austin C. Davis

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