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Discussion Starter #1
last week going home from work, i noticed i had an unusually low idle, and sure enough a few blocks away my engine just shut down while i coasted into neutral. i was able to pull over and restart my car and got home OK. however, the next few days my idle was below 1000 (around 500-750) and i kept thinking i was going to stall again, but it never happened. BTW i have a 2003 element at 60,900 miles and changed my battery about a year and a half ago.

but on july 4th, my engine shut down again and i was unable to get it started. i had it towed back to the valley and figured i'd get it checked out the next day at a repair shop about 5 blocks away. the car started the next morning, but i got about a block before it turned off on me again. i got a jump from AAA, but it shut down yet again. i got another jump but this time i kept it in 1st gear (it tended to shut down when i would stop at a light or intersection) and managed to take it to the shop before it turned off again.

i thought it would ultimately be either the battery or the alternator, but the technician said he simply reset the computer (?) and it seemed to be working fine. he also mentioned that the battery was marginal and suggested i change it in a few months, but it's only been about 16 months since i got my last one! i picked up my car today and was able to drive it home, but noticed the idle is still low (around 500).

basically, i fear that it's going to happen again the next time i start my car, so i was wondering if anybody had any suggestions? i tried calling the dealer, but he said "if the check engine light wasn't on, there's nothing they could do." many thanks in advance!
 

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Welcome, Money B.

the dealer ... said "if the check engine light wasn't on, there's nothing they could do."
At the very least, you need to

a) have the battery checked
b) never go back to that dealer's service department.

By resetting the computer, the tech probably just meant he disconnected and reconnected the battery. After that, the computer readjusts various settings as you put some miles on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
idle control valve

so i took it into the dealer and of course it wasn't acting up at all yesterday, so they couldn't find the culprit. however, they just called and finally got the engine to stall out on a somewhat consistent basis. the culprit was the idle control valve (and not the battery or alternator), which is a relief to know...
 

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