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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.
 
 

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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'97 Honda Civic, Idle Control Problems

Q: Hello I have ‘97 Honda Civic and it’s giving code 14. The book tells me that it’s the idle air control valve. We changed it but it keeps giving me that code

- Angel

A: You’ve fallen victim to the TCS. What is TCS? TCS is that “Trust the Computer Syndrome”. What happens when you get TCS? You spend money-replacing things that are not broken. TCS is not curable, but there is hope in knowing that you share the same disorder that even the most seasoned automotive techs fall victim to from time to time. There is no cure, only prevention. The best prevention? Is in understanding that those silicone based (computers) life forms will do anything to get back at their creators, the carbon based life forms (that’s us). Understanding also includes knowing that the code that the computer is reporting is only telling you that there is an idle control system malfunction. That code did not tell you to replace that part. The computer to manage the idle speed of the engine uses the component you replaced. What the computer reported, was that it was not working in an acceptable manor. You should also know that other unrelated sensors could falsely set this code. See how easy it is to become infected with TCS? Here’s a list of some of the other things that need to be checked before replacing any more parts. The throttle body for a clogged port or improper adjustment. The intake manifold gasket for leakage. The intake air hose for being loose and leaking. Vacuum leaks in general. Incorrect engine coolant temperature sensor output. On some models incorrect throttle position sensor output. Then you get down to the wiring from the computer to the idle air control valve or the computer. It all boils down to knowing that the computer does not tell all and it never will. It only tells what system is not functioning correctly. It is up to you or a tech to perform the necessary checks and diagnosis. The fix is most always the easy part; it’s the diagnostics that takes time.

 
     
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