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Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

 
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 12:34 am
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Default Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

Hi guys,

I need your help, please.

I was driving home from work tonight. On the highway, cruise control set at 55mph.

I get to my exit which is a tight, uphill, righthand curve and one of the few places I like to have fun with my PT (I drive like a grandpa, otherwise, so as to not beat it to hell). Heading into the apex of the curve I slow down and, at the apex, I like to hit the gas. I do this most nights on the way home from work.

Tonight, when I stepped on the gas to take the turn, as I got out of the turn, I noticed my gas pedal felt like it didn't come back all the way up. It came up most of the way, 95% if I had to guess.

That's when I noticed that if I took my foot off of the gas, the car was not slowing down, but was keeping steady at about 45mph.

I got home and stepped on the brakes. The car came to a full stop, but the RPM's were at about 3000, and the car wanted to pull forward. I pulled into my driveway in reverse, RPM's still high. Put it in Park and the RPM's climbed some more, so I shut the car down.

I waited about 10 seconds and restarted the car. RPM's were still high. I shut the car off again.

Given that the pedal didn't come back up all the way, I looked under the hood at the throttle body. The push and pull cables (is that what they call them on a car? That's what we call them on a motorcycle) were intact and seated properly.

I then turned the throttle by hand, loading up the spring, and then letting go and allowing it to snap back into place. I did this about 10 times. Then, I restarted the car, and the RPM's were normal. I revved the car a few times and it dropped right back down to normal idle.

Then I drove around the block a couple of times, stomping a bit on the gas to see what happened. The RPM's would drop back down normally every time.

Any ideas what may have caused this? Could one of the throttle cables just bound up a bit, hence the pedal not coming back all the way, and the RPM's staying high?

One other thing. When I would turn the throttle by hand, loading the spring, then let let go and let the spring snap it shut, I was hearing something go "bounce, bounce, bounce, somewhere near the firewall (it was dark. Tried to see where it was coming from with my flashlight but all I could figure was near the driver's side firewall), and the forward most cable (pull cable?) would also vibrate at the tip of the sleeve at the same time as the "bounce, bounce, bounce" I was hearing near the firewall. Is that normal????

Thanks in advance for your help, guys. I'm hopefully moving soon and am hoping to avoid any unforeseen expenses.
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 12:40 am
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

this is my opinion;
the throttle cable wires may be separating at a point internal to the throttle cable, meaning a strand could be binding and causing the catching feeling. this has happened to me before on other cable actuated throttle controlled gas engines. practically, i would caution trying to source a replacement throttle cable and keeping one on hand in case the problem persists, worsens or the cable fails. this would be a wise insurance policy against any unforseen expenses

the reason for two cables attached to the throttle plate is one is for cruise control, the other gas pedal.

and the sound from the firewall as you pulled the cable from the throttle plate was in fact the gas pedal . it has a light duty spring in its assembly to complement with the throttle plate spring.

great descriptive post btw. a lot of other members asking for help really need to take you as an example Gkon
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Last edited by _PTGT03; 19 Feb 2018 at 12:42 am.
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 07:55 am
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

Maybe a weak spring on the throttle body? Might be time to buy some new ones, just in case.
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _PTGT03 View Post
this is my opinion;
the throttle cable wires may be separating at a point internal to the throttle cable, meaning a strand could be binding and causing the catching feeling. this has happened to me before on other cable actuated throttle controlled gas engines. practically, i would caution trying to source a replacement throttle cable and keeping one on hand in case the problem persists, worsens or the cable fails. this would be a wise insurance policy against any unforseen expenses

the reason for two cables attached to the throttle plate is one is for cruise control, the other gas pedal.

and the sound from the firewall as you pulled the cable from the throttle plate was in fact the gas pedal . it has a light duty spring in its assembly to complement with the throttle plate spring.

great descriptive post btw. a lot of other members asking for help really need to take you as an example Gkon
Thanks for all the info PTGT03. I didn't realize one cable was for cruise control. On older motorcycles, there was a push and pull cable to activate the slides on the carbs. It was designed as a redundancy, in case the throttle body spring failed.

Funny, because when it first happened, I had turned off my cruise control, and felt like it was still engaged, because the car kept pulling and driving without any loss of speed.

Good theory regarding the possibly broken wire strand. Now that I woke up and it's daylight out, I'm going to take another look to see if I can see anything I missed last night.

Thanks, too for explaining the bouncing, spring sound. Makes perfect sense.

I'm glad my descriptive nature was helpful. I find, sometimes, that I may add too much detail, and the folks reading it get overwhelmed with it, and thus can't follow along and help with the problem. Seems I struck a good balance with this one.

Have a great day!
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Last edited by Gkon; 19 Feb 2018 at 11:59 am.
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

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Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
Maybe a weak spring on the throttle body? Might be time to buy some new ones, just in case.
The throttle body spring snapped that sucker shut nice and quick. It's definitely in good shape. Good thinking, though.

I've been needing to bring the car in to my mechanic friend to get some work done before I move. I'll add him checking out the throttle cable to the list.
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

Just came back in from checking on the PT.

In the light of day, I could clearly see how one cable goes into the firewall to the gas pedal, and how the other goes to the canister that actuates the cruise control. Cool! I love learning new things.

Once again, I actuated the throttle body by hand. The spring had good tension on it, and the cable moved freely. However, I then just pulled on the cable by hand, and I could hear, in an area right near the antifreeze reservoir bottle, a slight scraping inside the casing. Not the normal "zip, zip" noise a cable makes when it's smoothly moving in its case, but an actual scratching noise. Could this be the culprit, as _PTGT03 mentioned, a loose strand? Very interesting!

I continued to pull and release the cable by hand till the scratching noise went away.

I then looked inside the car, where the cable comes through the firewall and attaches onto the pedal assembly. All looked good, there. No binding, no kinks, no obstructions, the little spring that is supposed to be there was there.

Started the car up, stepped on and released the gas pedal, all seemed fine. I'm a bit nervous for it to happen again in bumper to bumper traffic. I'll hope it doesn't till I can have my friend get in there.

I have two questions.

First: I noticed that the throttle cable and cruise control cable have no adjustments for freeplay. Is this correct? They come to the correct length, that's it, and no adjustment for stretching and wear?

Second: The cruise control cable has quite a bit more freeplay in it where it attaches to the throttle body than does the throttle cable. Is this how it should be?

Thanks again for the help and info!
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 01:21 pm
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

I"m not positive, Kon, but I don't THINK either one is adjustable.
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 01:38 pm
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
I"m not positive, Kon, but I don't THINK either one is adjustable.
Correct Chuzz I've had mine off on a few PT Cruisers and when they are attached there is slack and no adjustment.
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Old 19 Feb 2018, 04:43 pm
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
I"m not positive, Kon, but I don't THINK either one is adjustable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeX View Post
Correct Chuzz I've had mine off on a few PT Cruisers and when they are attached there is slack and no adjustment.
Very interesting.

I got to work ok, no issues. However, I'm a bit nervous about the situation. I'd hate for that to happen again in bumper to bumper traffic.
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Old 20 Feb 2018, 10:49 am
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: Need Your Help. High RPM Idle all of a sudden.

Interesting.

As I read through, I was convinced it was going to be a vacuum leak, until fiddling with the cable fixed things.

I'm a bit surprised that there is no adjustment. I had mine off a few times messing with intakes and the cruise control one picked up some slack. I don't use the cruise much, but when I do it seems a bit more off/on slamming the gas than it used to. I just put it on my to-do list, but since the regular throttle cable is fine (knock wood) it is pretty low down.
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