Car idles fine, shuts off when you give it gas

Tiny
CASSANDRAJAY18
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PONTIAC SUNFIRE
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 124,000 MILES
My car starts fine, idles fine, but shuts off when you give it gas instantly. You can then turn it on and it happens again. Someone said maybe idle control valve or the throttle sensor. Help please!
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Thursday, April 11th, 2019 AT 8:39 AM

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Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
Hi Cassandrajay,

This could be a couple of things. I attached one of our guides that will run though the most common causes.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/stall-at-idle

The fact that it idles fine, but only stalls when you give it gas points to a fuel restriction issue. It could be what others suggested but before we get into sensor issues or an idle air control valve, let's address possible fuel restrictions.

If you have a fuel pressure gauge, I would suggest to hook it up to the fuel rail and see what the pressure is at idle and then what happens when you give it gas.

While it could be an idle air control valve as you stated, I would shy away from this simply because you said it is just fine at idle. This is what the IAC does, is control the air/fuel during idle. I attached the description of an IAC to help explain what it does.

The other thing I would suggest to start with is hooking up a vacuum gauge and seeing if you have a vacuum leak. The below document will explain how to test for this:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-an-engine-vacuum-gauge

With all this being said, I would still put my money on a fuel issue. Possibly a clogged fuel filter, so if you have not changed that recently, it is a good idea to do it anyway and you may find that this issue is resolved as well. However, before you change anything, get the readings with the fuel pressure gauge and vacuum gauge so that we have a baseline. Let me know what they are and we can go from there. Thanks

Kenny
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Friday, April 12th, 2019 AT 12:05 PM

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