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How to: IAC valve cleaning thread (w/pics)

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by karl_burns, July 27, 2003.

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    1. karl_burns

      karl_burns Elite Explorer

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      Have you ever noticed a loud hum and/or whine (whining) coming from your engine bay? Or more specifically your intake area? Or does your engine have a hard time holding the idle? Well, more often than not, this is due to a dirty IAC Valve. Since everyone is always asking about it, hopefully this will help.

      My engine was making the loud hum / whine noise. AutoZone wanted $131.99 for a new part. and it's $50 deductible against my extended warranty, so I wanted to fix this myself. I purchased a can of Electrical Parts cleaner, the non-residue type, drove home and let the engine cool. Here's a pic of where the IAC Valve is located under the hood:
      [​IMG]

      Two 10mm bolts to remove, and unclip the electricals:
      [​IMG]

      Here's the dirty intake's connection with the IAC:
      [​IMG]

      Turn the valve to notice two chambers. Inside one of them you will see a spring. Inside the other, you will probably see a bunch of dirt coating what should be an exposed sensor. Spray the Electrical parts cleaner liberally, directly into the opening, and watch until the liquid coming out of the valve is clear (white). Set the IAC on a towel or clean surface and allow any other liquid to drain and the sensor to fully dry. Here's a picture of a clean IAC valve (underside):
      [​IMG]

      And don't forget to clean the sensor below the black snap off cap on the side of the IAC valve:
      [​IMG]

      After allowing to dry, replace the IAC and start your truck. You should allow the engine to warm up for a few mintues and the computer will re-learn how much air to allow into the engine at idle.
      I experienced a much LOUDER whine after doing this for the remainder of the day, but I only allwed the liquid to drain for about 2 minutes. The whine hasn't returned in two days since, so I'm guessing the liquid cleaner wasn't completely drained when I replaced the IAC Valve. Just a warning in case you are anxious like me.

      Karl

      CBOUG76.... can I be on the Useful Threads list?
       
      Last edited: October 29, 2007
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    3. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      What!!!!! You didn't take off the plastic cap

      The outside black plastic cap that easily spins will pop off and snap back on without damage. Inside there is a felt filter pellet. Cleaning just the valve without removing this often cloggs this filter up worse. This source of back air flow balances the valve and provides clean air to prevent buildup on valve. Often just cleaning this will get rd of the moose calls. Add pictures of this and you have something.
       
    4. drmoore71

      drmoore71 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      karlito, i am so proud of you! you got your hands ditry! now i need a moment to wipe the tear from my eye. you do know, however that not allowing the cleaner to drain completely could have led to an incendiary situation, though.
       
    5. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      Nice pics, thanks.
       
    6. karl_burns

      karl_burns Elite Explorer

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      Ooooooohhhhh

      Now that I know it spins off, I'll check that tonight. Mine wasn't coming off easily, so I didn't press my luck.
      I'll append my post with pics of that.
      Thanks Opera House,
      Karl
       
    7. Jason_25

      Jason_25 Elite Explorer<br>ECX Member Elite Explorer

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      It doesn't spin off, it just pops off when you pull it outward.
       
    8. williecume

      williecume Active Member

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      i think i'll try this saturday, i'm getting tired of the whining also.
       
    9. karl_burns

      karl_burns Elite Explorer

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      I updated to include the black cap

      Didn't look like much in there, but went ahead and sprayed cleaner on it as well. Allowed to dry for almost an hour, so hopefully I don't get that same 100 db whine I got when it was still wet Saturday!
      At least it went away, and I didn't have a date that night.....
      <Don't even think about flaming me Doug>

      Karl
       
    10. drmoore71

      drmoore71 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      NO DATE?!?!?!? are you losing your touch?
       
    11. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      Arrrrgh This is a tough crowd to please

      But, that plastic item is two piece. The outside plastic cap snaps off the inner plastic piece which stays on the IAC. Between these two pieces is the felt filter pellet. Interesting how much sand makes its way up there.
       
    12. MaverickDaKid

      MaverickDaKid Active Member

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      Sorry I'm not that smart when it comes to mechanics but... what is that thing under the IAC called. It has 2 tubes leading down somewhere in the engine and has an electrical socket aswell?
       
    13. X~FACTOR

      X~FACTOR Name is Ray

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      I noticed you have a '98, karl. I have a '97 with 60k miles and have not experience this problem at all [knock on wood]. What mileage does this normally occur?

      Very good write up btw. [​IMG]
       
    14. frickea86

      frickea86 Rust? You mean character! Elite Explorer

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      i have a question...i've done all this and the wineing noise still hasn't gone away. my rough idle has some but it comes back off and on. i'm just wondering if its not functioning as well as it should be. how do u know when it needs replaced?...thanks...

      adam
       
    15. karl_burns

      karl_burns Elite Explorer

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      I really think most IACs have to be replaced

      The other day, while this thing was wining a whole lot during idle and driving, I decided to pull over, popped the hood, and yanked/removed the black plastic cap from the side of the IAC. NO more whining. NO loss in milage. NO change in idle.
      Hmmmmm........
      Karl
       
    16. X~FACTOR

      X~FACTOR Name is Ray

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      karl_burns, wouldn't removing the black cap get the inside of it dirtier faster? It's gotta be there for a reason. If nothing else its there to cover the inside so dirt would not go in.
       
    17. '96explorereddiebauer

      '96explorereddiebauer Well-Known Member

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      That's the DPFE. I had to replace that last week because of the CEL.
       
    18. nfixit

      nfixit New Member

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      Hello all, I just brought a 97' xlt 5.0L, and I notice an idle problem also BUT IT HAPPENS AFTER THE TRUCK WARMS UP!, when I sitting at a traffic light it starts to vibrate a little then some times alot(like it wants to shut off). My question is do the IAC sensor have problems on v8 also?. and is it located in the same place as the v6

      Thanks in advance, the dealer I brought the truck is a distance (2.5hrs), I want to have an idea what the problem is so I don't have to make more than one trip!

      Nfixit
       
    19. V8BoatBuilder

      V8BoatBuilder Transplanted Bostonian

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      Just cleaned my IAC, it was SUPER dirty. I was having trouble starting, and a dip in RPMs (almost to the point of stalling) when coming to a stop. We'll see if the cleaning helps, I used denatured alcohol.

      I wasn't able to clean the felt pads that well :(
       
    20. Foo

      Foo Active Member

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      I also cleaned mine out today it was DIRTY! coming from a paintball backround which involves a lot of valving I don't even see how it sealed properly lol

      I used some Turner Labratories electronic parts cleaner w/quick dry tech. and it worked great... just waiting for them to dry off ;)

      Also do I need to take the negative battery cable off for about 10 minutes to clear the PCM?
       
    21. karl_burns

      karl_burns Elite Explorer

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      Just let it dry and you should be fine

      I don't think I disconnected my batter either.
      Actually, my IAC continued to whine, and I yanked off the black cap. Instantly, no whine. So I'm thinking the cap gets loose and air tries to get through there causing the whine? I also think that becasue of the video someone put up here about the IAC whining when his hand attpeted to partially seal off that hole the black cap covers.
      Thi is so weird.........
      Karl
       
    22. Foo

      Foo Active Member

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      I had to take my battery cable off...the thing was going crazy when it was parked. Shaking, rough noises. The large peice infront of the IAC that has a belt attached to it would spool up and off and it well just was not working.


      I cleared the PCM and everything seems to be 'A' ok. There is still a little noise coming from the peice infront of the IAC though. (can somone inform me on what exactly this is?)
       
    23. twomedicine

      twomedicine Active Member

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      new one

      Maybe with your extra $ saved from your dateless night you could get you a new IAC from Fordpartsnetwork.com

      Last time I looked they were only about $80, not a cheap date, but I'll be gratifying

      2med
       
    24. Foo

      Foo Active Member

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      Honestly there is no need in getting a new one, cleaning it is almost the simplest thing I have ever done.....
       
    25. '96explorereddiebauer

      '96explorereddiebauer Well-Known Member

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      I just ordered an IAC from www.rockauto.com for $57 plus shipping. It wasn't a bad deal at all. I just got the tracking number from FedEx so I'll update you all when I get it.
       
    26. Brandons

      Brandons Well-Known Member

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      Does it go the same for my 94 xlt? cause im gettin a little bit of the whining noise too..
       

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