Weird Idle

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Car: 1988 Acura Integra Coupe 5-spd.

Yesterday on the way to work, my car started coughing and sputtering everytime I tried to accelerate at around 2000 rpms. The problem got worse, and after a while I could barely get going without revving it really high, then dropping the clutch.

Anyway, I pulled the sparkplugs, and one was covered in oil. So last night I changed the valve cover gasket, sparkplugs and wires for good measure. took it for about a half an hour test drive and it solved the problem, car felt even better than before (probably needed the plugs and wires anyway)...

Or so I thought. Today it ran normally for about 20 minutes, then it started doing this weird idle. Everytime I idled at a red light, it would rev between 800 and 1500 rpms. Uniformally, not erratically. It would start at 800, rev up to 1500, then drop right back to 800. This was about 3 second cycle. The car is driving perfectly normal except for this. I also have noticed a little more smoke out the tail pipe, but that might be because it has been extremely foggy and misty around here since yesterday.

Anyway, if anyone has any experience with this sort of problem, please help me out. It seems like too much of a coincidence for it not to have anything to do with the valve cover gasket I changed, but I can't think of how that would cause this problem.


posted by  Mathew

that sometimes happens when you pour too much oil into the block. it gets on the plugs, and causes bad firing. that could also explain the oil on the wire.

posted by  newyorker

No, the oil level was fine, I checked it. The oil was on the plug, because the little circular gasket that surrounds the spark plug wire boot was all but gone.

posted by  Mathew

:orglaugh: :clap: :orglaugh: :clap:

I was puzzled as to why you'd think changing a valve cover gasket thinking that would fix oil cover plugs. Then I thought maybe you weren't talking about the electrodes, the part of the plugs that's exposed to the combustion chamber. SO, that raises a question. What part of the spark plug was covered in oil?

posted by  67Coronet383


posted by  adamc44

ok i was wrong rub it in everyone

posted by  newyorker

I'm not trying to rub it in. If I don't know anything about cooking (which I don't) I'm not going to walk into a restruant, or visit cooking forums, giving chefs tips on cooking. Get it?

posted by  67Coronet383

I should have said, mainly the boot was covered in oil, and it had gone down to the spark plug. Thats why it needs a valve cover gasket. The small circular gasket around the boot was totally worn off. Anyway, I solved that problem, but I still have this surging idle problem. ANyone?

posted by  Mathew

So its not putting out tons of smoke anymore, its like normal. I think it was just the heavy fog, and cold moisture inthe air, and the fact that I sprayed a whole crapload of brake clean into the cylinders. :thumbs:

But its still doing the idle thing....still no ideas anyone?

posted by  Mathew

check the throttle body out ;)

posted by  dodgerforlife

check breather and breather pipes are connected okay and not kinked as well as cleaning throttle body

posted by  chatterbox brit

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