First adventure under the hood of the Touring Panda was to go after this bit of hardware, the Idle Control Valve.
The inline-6 M52 was pulling nicely but with the needle resting around 1200 rpm on idle, something was not right. After checking the intake for any blockages, it was time to also check the ECU and that’s where I found an exclamation mark right next to the ICV value meaning it’s readings were way off.
Depending on the engine, an ICV malfunction can simply render the car undrivable, but this was not the case.
The “Check Engine” light was not triggered and it would only stall under very specific conditions like, for example, when the throttle was pressed and released very quickly.
Theoretically you could use the car like this for some time, though it’s not really worth it nor recommended because:
1 – You are wasting fuel;
2 – It causes extra wear and tear on your engine;
3 – Depending on the state of your ICV, “repairing” it would be a very simple process and cost something around ZERO!
Usually it’s just a jammed actuator due to dust, dirt or oil. In the worst scenario you have to include a new valve in your shopping list and it might not be that cheap. Luckily mine was the first case.
When you are holding this valve in your hand, if you give it a shake, you should hear a “ding-ding” from inside. For example, if this canister was empty and you threw a ball bearing inside… Well, I think the sound would be close enough.
Right after removing the ICV from the intake, I gave it a hard shook and couldn’t hear a thing. Peeking inside and it was full of gunk so I gave it a spray with contact cleaner and it was moving freely soon after.
The main objective here was to clean the actuator enough to unstick it and check if that would make any difference. AND IT DID! The idle went back to normal, steady between 700/800 rpm.
Since there’s still some sludge left, I will remove it again to give a proper clean inside and out.
New Idle Control Valve = 211,42€*
Toolbox Therapy = 0€
*Prices by the time of the writing