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Old 01-15-2009, 04:46 PM   #1
TxSuperDuty
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Default Accord Idle Surge

2000 Accord V6

I'll be as brief as possible, but I want to provide as much info as possible, so please bear with me.

Alternator number 3 went out, and the car has 95,000 miles on it, so I thought I'd change the timing belt and water pump when I replaced the alternator.

When I got it back together, it started right up, idled at 1500 RPM for a few seconds, then started surging very rhythmically between 1100 and 1800 RPM.

After reading a lot of stuff here and elsewhere on the Net, I became convinced that there was air in the cooling system. There are no provisions to bleed the system, so I raised the front of the car, removed the cap, etc. and went through the motions. At first I saw air bubbles, then they gradually stopped appearing. The idle problem continued.

Once, after idling like that for a while, it started fluctuating very rapidly between 1800 and 1850 RPM and flashed a code. Unfortunately, I have cleared it, and it won't come back.

At this point, the car will start at 1100 RPM when cold, then start the surge after 5 minutes or so.

This isn't my first rodeo, and I doubt that I got the timing a tooth off. Also, there is no apparent loss of power, which would indicate that the timing was off.

I have a hard time believing that there is a problem with the IAC circuit since the car was running fine before, and it's not stumbling like cars I've seen before with bad IAC valves.

I can find no disconnected plugs or open vacuum lines.

If any of you have any suggestions, please enlighten me. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Accord Idle Surge

Inspect the egr valve it might be clogged.
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #3
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Icon6 Re: Accord Idle Surge

I had the exact same idle surge problem on my 2000 Accord V6.....and I had not even changed the timing belt. In fact, I did nothing except park the car in the garage for 2 weeks while we were on vacation. Car was running fine before we left, get home....car starts right up but then surges from 1100 to about 1900rpm. For me, the issue was the IAC valve. I had some troubles with it in the past with the idle stumble/low idle as you had mentioned. I took it off, cleaned the IACV and throttle body, reassembled and I was good for a few months until the surging issue occurred. I was told the surging occurs when the IACV sticks wide open (makes sense...too much air feeding the engine) making the engine race....however when the engine speed reaches a certain point with 0% throttle position, the enging controller cuts the fuel, bringing the engine speed back down....at which time the open IACV takes over again......and the idle surge "dance" continues. I was tired of nursing my old IACV, so I just replaced it and my problem is gone. You may try just removing yours and giving it a good cleaning with some throttle body cleaner. Most of the time a good cleaning seems to solve the problem.
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Accord Idle Surge

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxSuperDuty View Post
At this point, the car will start at 1100 RPM when cold, then start the surge after 5 minutes or so.
Provided that you got all of the air out of the cooling system, the problem is pretty characteristic of the rotary air control valve underneath the throttle body; it's a known problem with the J-series engines. They will typically stick after sitting unused for a long time. I don't know of any fix other than replacing the valve. Unfortunately, a new one is $164.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Accord Idle Surge

Thanks for the input. I'll be trying these things out this weekend, and will let you know how it goes.

As far as the rotary air control valve... Is there a way to test it? Or is it's operation/functionality obvious when you get it off the car?
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Accord Idle Surge

Thanks again for the replies. I don't get much time to work on this car, so it's taken me a while to respond.

Removal of the IAC requires removal of the throttle body; there are phillips head screws on the IAC that you can't get to with the throttle body on the car. My useless Chilton's says there are 12mm bolts.

When I removed the throttle body, I noticed the intake manifold had oil puddled up in it, which prompted me to check the PCV valve. It was bad, and I replaced it.

I removed the IAC valve, and cleaned it up the best I could with carburetor cleaner and a soft brush. Still have the same problem. I've learned a little since I started this project (I work on old muscle cars, not modern economy cars... Usually), and I can see how this thing is supposed to work. If I unplug it, the idle stops fluctating as much, and goes to the fast fluctuation at around 1800 RPM. There is a lot of air being pulled into both orifices in the throttle body, and if I partially block the rectangular one, the idle will slow down and smooth out. There is no effect if I block the round one as suggested by the Chilton's manual.

Oh, I pulled a code on it even though the check engine light wasn't on - yes, I know that it will throw a code for unpluging the IAC - this was before I unplugged it. It was 505 Generic Idle Control System Malfunction.

I'll get a chance to work on it again next weekend, and I'm planning to buy a new IAC valve. I just wanted to post here first, before blowing $150, to get feedback from the experts if there is a better way to test it, or if there's a more likely culprit.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Accord Idle Surge

P0505 will almost always show up with a bad rotary air control valve on a J-series.

No idea how to test or repair it. Our shop just replaces them with new. Works every time.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Accord Idle Surge

That was it. It's amazing that the thing decided to stick at the same time that I changed the timing belt.

Thanks a bunch for the input.

I hope I can get a couple thousand more miles before the next problem manifests itself. I expect the transmission to go next
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1998, accord, air, cleaning, control, engine, honda, iac, idle, odyssey, rhythmic, rotary, surge, v6, valve

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