Tech Article Title Author Date
Idle Control Valve Removal and Cleaning (12v) Kris Hansen 2006
Many of us have an unstable idle (the revs will drop to the point of stalling, only to rebound and settle back to a stable idle.) eventually leading to actually stalling. The dealer will tell you to replace the Idle Control Valve. Well, I am here to tell you that you can clean it, using carb/throttle body cleaner. The hard part is getting it off of the car.


Step 1 is to remove the trim, then the intake hose from the airbox to the throttle plenum.
Remove the 2 10mm bolts that hold the intake plenum onto the throttle body. Once removed, the plenum will slide to the rear, and be free of the throttle body. It is not necessary to remove it completely from the car. It is a good idea to carefully remove the breather hose from the passeger side valve cover, just to get it out of the way. (Squeeze the end, and wiggle it free) Unplug the harness connector from the ICV, and let it hang free.

There are only (!) 3 10mm nuts that hold the ICV to the throttle body, but they are a little tricky to get off. Before you take it off, measure the resistance across the terminals with a multimeter. If it's not between 7 and 11 ohms, you should get a new ICV.

found that the best way was to use a short extension, and attack the nuts from this angle. The 2 smaller lines in the picture are the fuel lines. Be careful not to bugger them up.

IMPORTANT!!!! This is the ONE thing that I wish I knew about the first time I did this job!! It is nearly impossible to get the ICV off of it's studs with this harness connector in place. Simply un-plug it, and the ICV slides right off, with minimal resistance. There are a bunch of hoses, wire looms and such that you will have to bent and contort to get the ICV off, be forcefull, but carefull. You will not likely hurt anyting, but don't use any sharp tools to hold any of the fuel lines out of the way.

Here is what you will see after you get the ICV off of it's studs. It can be done. Just be patient wiggeling it ouf from the jumble of wires, hoses and such. The mounting surface is actually rubber, so be careful cleaning it.. Just a little wipe with a rag should be fine.

Here is the cleaned ICV. This one was not too dirty this time around, but the first time, it was nearly black from oil mist.

One other thing to keep in mind, it is a good idea to have some assorted vacuum hose on hand, just to take care of situations like the one on the right. This hose is very small, like 3mm (id) or so.