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ghetto temporary idle fix- woo!

Posted by nomis3613 
December 30, 2011 10:07PM
Hi Folks,
Just wanted to share the success I had with a variation of the old "penny in the Idle Control Valve" trick (which I think I learned on the old BEN site).

While all the parts shops are closed, my ICV decided to pack up. The idle became an angry pulsing from 1400rpm to 1600 which drew stares at every set of traffic lights. Also, the car became terribly shunty to drive at low throttle. The familiar ICV hum was gone and its electrical resistance was way out, so I'm pretty sure it's the ICV.

Anyway, for a temporary fix until I can get a new one, I blocked off one end of the ICV with electrical tape. Then made a carefully calibrated hole in it until I was happy with the idle speed (obviously it's too slow when cold and too fast when warm, but it's sooo much better than before). "ICV Penny" purists may correctly point out that the elec tape could deform over time thus putting my hole out of calibration, but it should be fine for a couple of days so I haven't bothered looking for an Australian coin equivalent to the penny...

Gotta love it when you can use McGuyver tricks like this to get yourself home on a rainy night.
December 30, 2011 11:05PM
I love it when a fix like that succeeds. Gives one a sense of overcoming great obstacles and winning the day. Sort of makes all the trivial pursuit of why things work the way they do pay off at last.

Bob in Everett
January 01, 2012 10:35AM
Well done!
smileys with beer
January 01, 2012 08:43PM
Thanks guys, yeah it's really empowering to get things running again by yourself. Not to mention handy not having to wait for the roadside assistance, finding a mechanic open over Christmas, waiting for parts to arrive, etc etc!
January 07, 2012 12:56AM
I had the same problem. Mine was simply the stop screw on the throttle valve. Just make sure its adjusted properly, it might be opened a little too much. Back the stop screw out so the butterfly shuts all the way on its own then use the screw to keep it open just a bit so it wont jam shut. I wouldn't doubt it if you have the same problem I had.
January 07, 2012 01:34AM
Quote
Art Munson
I had the same problem. Mine was simply the stop screw on the throttle valve. Just make sure its adjusted properly, it might be opened a little too much. Back the stop screw out so the butterfly shuts all the way on its own then use the screw to keep it open just a bit so it wont jam shut. I wouldn't doubt it if you have the same problem I had.

Thanks for the tip, Art. Actually, the replacement valve (elec tape was only needed for a couple of days luckily, otherwise I would have started looking for currency to deface...) is starting to go wierd. And the "old" valve was brand new 2 years ago, so I was a bit miffed it started playing up so soon. Turns out I'm running at 15 volts, so ICV failures may have actually been a symptom, not a cause. Time for a new voltage regulator*, hope that fixes things before the high voltage fries the whole fuel injection system!

* would you believe that BMW Australia charge $400 for the alternator REGULATOR?! Yikes! No thanks. (so one is heading towards me from the USA for one tenth of that price)
January 07, 2012 11:12PM
So you have 15v at the battery when the engine is warm and the idle is low? Lights/heater fan/radio on or off? Is battery old? Are you sure the battery terminals are clean and tight.
January 08, 2012 03:40AM
Sorted! (although I've said that before...)

New regulator and now we're at 13.8 volts. Idle is back where how should be too, so hopefully I didn't fry the replacement ICV in the meantime.
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