Description & Operation
The IAC stepper motor is mounted to the throttle body, and regulates the amount of air bypassing the control of the throttle plate. As engine loads and ambient temperatures change, engine rpm changes. A pintle on the IAC stepper motor protrudes into a passage in the throttle body, controlling air flow through the passage. The IAC is controlled by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to maintain the target engine idle speed.
At idle, engine speed can be increased by retracting the IAC motor pintle and allowing more air to pass through the port, or it can be decreased by restricting the passage with the pintle and diminishing the amount of air bypassing the throttle plate.
The IAC is called a stepper motor because it is moved (rotated) in steps, or increments. Opening the IAC opens an air passage around the throttle blade which increases RPM. The PCM uses the IAC motor to control idle speed (along with timing) and to reach a desired MAP during decel (keep engine from stalling).
The IAC motor has 4 wires with 4 circuits. Two of the wires are for 12 volts and ground to supply electrical current to the motor windings to operate the stepper motor in one direction. The other 2 wires are also for 12 volts and ground to supply electrical current to operate the stepper motor in the opposite direction.
To make the IAC go in the opposite direction, the PCM just reverses polarity on both windings. If only 1 wire is open, the IAC can only be moved 1 step (increment) in either direction. To keep the IAC motor in position when no movement is needed, the PCM will energize both windings at the same time. This locks the IAC motor in place.
In the IAC motor system, the PCM will count every step that the motor is moved. This allows the PCM to determine the motor pintle position. If the memory is cleared, the PCM no longer knows the position of the pintle. So at the first key ON, the PCM drives the IAC motor closed, regardless of where it was before. This zeros the counter. From this point the PCM will back out the IAC motor and keep track of its position again.
When engine rpm is above idle speed, the IAC is used for the following:
IAC Stepper Motor Program: The PCM is also equipped with a memory program that records the number of steps the IAC stepper motor most recently advanced to during a certain set of parameters. For example: The PCM was attempting to maintain a 1000 rpm target during a cold start-up cycle. The last recorded number of steps for that may have been 125. That value would be recorded in the memory cell so that the next time the PCM recognizes the identical conditions, the PCM recalls that 125 steps were required to maintain the target. This program allows for greater customer satisfaction due to greater control of engine idle.
Another function of the memory program, which occurs when the power steering switch (if equipped), or the A/C request circuit, requires that the IAC stepper motor control engine rpm, is the recording of the last targeted steps into the memory cell. The PCM can anticipate A/C compressor loads. This is accomplished by delaying compressor operation for approximately 0.5 seconds until the PCM moves the IAC stepper motor to the recorded steps that were loaded into the memory cell. Using this program helps eliminate idle-quality changes as loads change. Finally, the PCM incorporates a No-Load engine speed limiter of approximately 1800 - 2000 rpm, when it recognizes that the TPS is indicating an idle signal and IAC motor cannot maintain engine idle.
A (factory adjusted) set screw is used to mechanically limit the position of the throttle body throttle plate. Never attempt to adjust the engine idle speed using this screw. All idle speed functions are controlled by the IAC motor through the PCM.
Removal & Installation
- If necessary, remove the air duct and/or air resonator box at the throttle body.
- Disconnect electrical connector from IAC motor.
- Remove two mounting bolts (screws).
- Remove IAC motor from throttle body.
- Install IAC motor to throttle body.
- Install and tighten two mounting bolts (screws) to 7 Nm (60 inch lbs.) torque.
- Install electrical connector.
- If removed, install air duct/air box to throttle body.