My 97 plymouth breeze keeps staling at idle. HELP



Whats up Click and Clack brothers. Big fans of your show. Took a road trip last year with my family. which is as close to hell as you can without a sunburn. Anyway, I was the driver and listening to your show on satellite radio. And my “Mechanic” brother after 4 minutes I qoute “turn that off, you cant diagnose a car over the phone.” I told him to shut up, I was driving and could listen to what I want. 10 minutes later, i found him agreeing with every last diagnosis you guys suggested. haha hes the close minded brother. Anyway to my problem. I have a AT 97 plymouth breeze and recently it started idling rough and eventually stalling out at a stop light. Runs fine on the highway. I have been advised it was the IACV, then advised it was the spark plugs. I dont know what to buy N try. Im a IT guy, not a mechanic…how long till this problem renders my car undrivable. help!


Click & Clack don’t hang out here (or if they do they keep it to themselves).

Your symptoms sound a lot like an IACV. Get some throttle body or carb cleaner, pull it, and clean it. Also check and clean the connections - electronics cleaner & some dialectric grease would be good. As an IT guy maybe you can use a multimeter and check the voltage to the valve - you can find the specs for it in a repair manual which you can get for $20 at an auto parts store.

If you even have any doubt at all about your plugs and wires then it is likely b/c they haven’t been replaced in a really long time, if ever. Just do them - it is cheap and easy.


Good answer, roller. I have had enough bad idle valves it sure matches the symptoms.

If that vehicle has a “rpm meter” watch it (but keep an eye on the road, too, heh, heh.) Idle valves fail several ways when they get sticky. One way, it runs up and down instead of almost instantly moving to the correct idle speed, which on my car is somewhere around 700 rpm. The other way it can simply drop to zero with no attempt to stabilize at 700 rpm.

If you have seen it, it is obvious, but it is hard to explain verbally.

Yet, as roller says, there are other things which can cause the same thing, all in the idle area, so he is giving you information to figure out which one of all of them is the problem. Odds are good it is the valve, but if you replace it (Mopar idle valves are not cheap, unless you can get one from Autozone et al.) and it doesn’t fix it, you might be frustrated.

My hunch and it is only a hunch is that idle valve is going bad, but do study out roller’s advice, because it is great and allows for all the different things that can act like a bad valve.


This is much help fellas. I am in your debt. Thank you!