---> Note that the idle system gets its air downstream from the air flow meter! The air ismetered so the DME knows about it!
The heart of the system is a small brain box, called the idle control module (ICM) (or idle control unit (ICU)),which takes engine signals as inputs. Although the ICM works in concert with, and shares some inputs w/ theMotronic (DME), there is no direct electrical communication between the two systems. The sole output of theICM is a control signal which modulates a solenoid operated valve (the Idle Control Valve (ICV)). The ICV inturn adjusts the flow of bypass air through the idle system. The DME responds to the idle system via the air flow meter and its effects on input signals, such as engine RPM.From the above description, a common fallacy about the idle system is instantly dispelled:Fallacy #1: An idle system malfunction can mess up the mixture and destroy my oxygen sensor or catalyticconverter, costing me mucho dinero.
Repudiation: Fallacy #1 arises from the notion that somehow an idle system malfunction canresult in richening of the mixture, thus resulting in destruction of the O2 sensor and cat. However,
air through the idle system is
by the air flow meter. Also, there are
electrical outputs passed from the ICM to the DME. Therefore, the idle control system can onlyaffect the idle mixture to the extent that changing the idle speed can cause the DME to vary themixture.Salient Points: Your mechanic is full of sh--. Experimentation with the idle system won't destroy your car in some unknown way. The only way you can directly change the idle mixturevia the idle system is to introduce a vacuum leak (which results in
of the mixture). Theonly thing that can cause a rich mixture is a malfunctioning DME.
The ICV control signal appears to be PWM (pulse-width modulation), meaning that the ICM varies the dutycycle instead of the voltage to change the valve opening.
2. ICV Overview
The ICV is a dark plastic or silver-colored metal cylinder 3.5" long and 1.5" in diameter mounted on top of atwo-legged support bolted to the valve cover near the firewall. An intake hose gets air from a tap on the sideof the intake boot between the air filter and the throttle (the intake fitting is directly opposite the electricalconnector). The output is at a right angle to the intake, and feeds to a short 2" hose, which in turn feeds intothe intake manifold next to the cold start valve. A black plastic two-pin connector feeds control current to thesolenoid-operated valve flap with the ICV.When there is no current, the valve is completely open. Increasing the current decreases the opening. Thesolenoid valve in the ICV does not entirely control the air flow though it; an adjustable bypass system withinthe ICV allows air to flow through it even when the solenoid valve is completely closed (hmm...a bypasssystem within a bypass system!). When the adjustment screw on the side of the ICV is turned all the wayclockwise, no air bypasses the solenoid valve; turning it counterclockwise increases the bypass air flow.
----> The adjustment screw analogous to throttle position screw in a conventional idle system. Opening it up is like cracking open the throttle.