High RPM Idling when Stuck in Traffic
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This is a discussion on High RPM Idling when Stuck in Traffic within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've got an 03 WRX. Had it since new. About a year ago I got stuck in some really slow ...

  1. #1
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    High RPM Idling when Stuck in Traffic

    I've got an 03 WRX. Had it since new. About a year ago I got stuck in some really slow stop-n-go traffic. The engine usually idles at about 750 rpm. After about 15 minutes of creeping along (letting clutch out and revving engine to go and then stopping) the idle speed started creeping up. It got all the way to about 2,200 rpm before I just turned around and headed back to the house. There was no traffic in the return direction so after driving along for about half a mile at 45 mph, it settled back down and worked like normal again.

    It's happened about 4 times since. It always goes away when getting back up to speed and normal driving. It's almost like the automatic choke is kicking in.

    Any ideas?
    Mmmmm Kitty,,, the other red meat.

    Please note: no cats were harmed in any way during the making of this post. But there is always later.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    How many miles are on the car? Any CEL? Ive had similar problems to this...turned out the throttle plate/body was carboned up...took some 2+2 and sprayed around and wiped her out....Might be worth a shot....When the IAC goes bad it USUALLY throws a code...

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvoEatr View Post
    How many miles are on the car? Any CEL? Ive had similar problems to this...turned out the throttle plate/body was carboned up...took some 2+2 and sprayed around and wiped her out....Might be worth a shot....When the IAC goes bad it USUALLY throws a code...
    No codes.

    I'll take a look at it today and see if there is any debris. I sort of thought it was a temperature thing since it only happens after I was stuck in traffic over 15 minutes or so. Otherwise it just acts like normal in the stop & go traffic.
    Mmmmm Kitty,,, the other red meat.

    Please note: no cats were harmed in any way during the making of this post. But there is always later.

  5. #4
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    I did contemplate mentioning the cooling system...however you didnt mention that your coolant temp. was abnormal or the car was overheating....Im surprised with the idle like that it isnt throwing a CEL...It doesnt just happen when you turn your AC on does it?

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    Not sure if you got your problem solved.

    I've got an '05 WRX and had a problem with the cruise control that caused the similar issues to what you were seeing. For some reason the throttle cable from the cruise control was creating tension on the the throttle plate in hot weather. I disconnected the cruise control throttle cable and the problem went away.

  7. #6
    Registered User WagonGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianLy View Post
    Not sure if you got your problem solved.

    I've got an '05 WRX and had a problem with the cruise control that caused the similar issues to what you were seeing. For some reason the throttle cable from the cruise control was creating tension on the the throttle plate in hot weather. I disconnected the cruise control throttle cable and the problem went away.
    That's a confirmed source of the issue. However, instead of disconnecting the cruise control cable, which will render it useless, loosen the cable as much as possible.

    I've had the same problem, first it idled very high in hot weather (anywhere from 2000 - 4000 RPM) and then after shutting it down and restarting some time later, the idle actually dropped to critically low RPMs between 50 - 150, most of the time stalling the car. While that was happening the engine sounded like it wasn't running, yet it was still cranking, the lights dimmed, and steering wheel power went down significantly, pretty darn scary if the car is in motion and it happens unexpectedly.

  8. #7
    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Back in the day (2004?) there was a recall for bugeyes for one of the under-hood cruise mechanism components that could potentially cause it to stick. You could ask a dealer to see if that was taken care of off of your VIN info, but I'm not sure it would take care of your issue.
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