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Lumina dies when idling

My 97 Chevy Lumina is dying when I let it idle. What are the possible causes of this?

To elaborate: The care will start fine and run as long as I am moving (pushing down on the gas pedal) When I come to a stop and release the gas pedal it starts running rough and then just dies.

This could be caused from a dirty throttle body/idle air control valve. You might try removing the idle air control valve, and clean it and the throttle body/idle air bleed port with a throttle body cleaner. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then it could be caused from a faulty idle air control valve.


Great… I don’t have a clue where to find the Idle air control valve. Can you help me figure that out?

Go to this site And then go to My Zone and register. Here will free information on diagnosing/repairing your vehicle.


Ok, I found it and I cleaned it. That did not help much. So I got a new one. It did not solve the problem either. What else should I check? Is it possible that the spark plugs need to be changed?

Sure, it is possible that the spark plugs need to be changed.
When was the last time that they were changed?

If you are going to accurately diagnose this problem (rather than randomly “throwing parts” at it), the car first needs to be brought up to date with all of its maintenance, and that includes the air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, and possibly the plug wires. With a 12 year old car, it is also possible that the fuel system needs to be cleaned.

Trying to “cherrypick” a source of the problem without first bringing all of the maintenance up to date will result in more effort, much higher costs, and a longer timeframe before you resolve the problem.

I do not know… I got it in end of December 2007. I have had it for about a year and a half now. I have never put spark plugs on it or done anything but routine oil changes. It was a retired police car and well maintained until I got it. It also ran very well but the check engine light has been on since I got it.

“the check engine light has been on since I got it.”

The CEL has been lit up for at least a year and a half???

Until you get the stored trouble code(s) read, it will be almost impossible to figure out exactly how to proceed. Since the light has been lit up for such a long time, what could have originally been one code/one problem could have cascaded into multiple codes/multiple problems. Cars are not known for fixing themselves, and deferring repairs tends to cost more in the long run.

If you go to Autozone or some other parts retailers, they will do a free scan for trouble codes. Once you have the codes, I suggest that you come back to this thread and try to ask again for advice.

Just for future reference, when seeking advice on a problem like this it is a good idea to mention the CEL at the outset, rather than waiting until after several people have already given a response.