I have a 2001 chevy malibu. had the oil changed a week ago. now today the car is ideling at 2 rpm, when i put it in drive it mad a cluncking noise. and now the gas gauge went from full to 1/4 tank, but then left it sit and started it back up , driving home it was at 2 rpms, didn't have to even it the gas, car just went. got home and now in park its at 3 rpms . and it won't idle down at all. HELP

Asked by Mar 04, 2016 at 10:01 PM about the 2001 Chevrolet Malibu Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

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6 Answers


Raise the hood, set the park brake, start the engine and then listen for a vacuum leak in the engine compartment, that is about the only thing that can cause a high idle like that without a check engine light. Look closely at where they would have put in the oil, they may have left the PCV hose loose and it fell off, and double check the air filter box, make sure it is put together properly.


I should have stated before you start the engine look for any vacuum hoses disconnected, if none were found then start the engine and listen.

Went out and started the car, still 3 rpms, white smoke coming out of tail pipe now, opened hood. don't hear anything, closed hood. heard like a popping noise, shut car off, and then noticed a wet spot on the right side front end. not oil, just wet, , restarted car, still at 3 rpms, battery light came on . and car shut off by itself. waited a minute and started it again, now its at between 0 and 1 rpms. sound like its running normal. pulled car up and then backed it in. then I noticed a small dot about the size of a quarter. when the tail pipe was when the white smoke was coming out. it was oil. shut car off , checked oil, its full , checked overflow tank for antifreeze still full. Now it seems to be idling ok. I don't know what to think now!!!!


Usually white smoke is coolant indicating a possible blown headgasket or cracked head. I am thinking that the tracking motor in the throttle body got stuck, have you looked at the throttle body to see if it is dirty? Does the cooling system seem to have too much pressure on it and do you see bubbles in the recovery tank?

No bubbles in the overflow tank, but now the problem is not all the time. one time you start the car, it idles at 2 or 3 , shut it off, restart it 2 or 3 times. and it idles like normal. or driving it, it runs fine, and then you pull up to park it. put it in park. and it starts to idle at 2 or higher again, and sometimes it won't idle down. or I'm driving it and slow down to go around a corner and all of a sudden it just idles back up to 2. I don't know how to check the throttle body or even where its located. Need some help, don't understand this at all.


As your stating that is intermittent it could be a sensor or computer ground, bad TPS, or even the ISC unit is sticking. If you feel this is overwhelming then take it to a shop you trust and have it checked out, better to spend a few dollars now to correct a smal problem turning into a big one like over revving the engine and having pieces of it fly everywhere.

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