88 Honda Civic DX - Periodically races after starting

Over the past two or three years, once in a while upon starting my car the engine revs so high I can not put her in gear. It appears to happen when the weather is hot.

I can sometimes, turn it off and it will be fine when I start it again or if I pump the gas. I showed it to the mechanic who opened her up and “tap” on the idle motor and she calmed down. Does anyone have a clue as to what is wrong. Replace the idle motor? Clean it?

Yes, replace the idle air valve assembly. At 21/22 years old, cleaning might not be enough.

Thank you for your reply. Do you have any idea of the cost involved in replacing the valve? Would I need to go to a Honda dealer or could I have my mechanic do it?

You can definitely take this to an independent mechanic. There are so many of these out there they are not going to flummox any competent mechanic in this day and age.

There’s actually two idle control valves on this thing. One of them is controlled by the computer and it controls the idle speed under normal conditions, while the other one is just a thermal valve that puts it into high idle when it’s cold. I know with the same vintage of Accords, the thermal valves are known to just kind of wiggle loose over time so the spring doesn’t have quite enough oomph to close the valve. On the Accords, it’s very easy to just pop the cover off and tighten it back down-- I don’t know what the procedure on the Civics is, though.