How to clean the idle control valve on a 1998 Nissan Altima

Written by johnathan cronk
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How to clean the idle control valve on a 1998 Nissan Altima
Clean your IAC valve to ensure your vehicle idles properly. (motor image by Petr Efremov from

The idle air control valve on a 1998 Altima controls the idle speed. The IAC valve allows air to bypass the throttle plate to control the idle speed. The valve is located in a tight spot, so have a repair manual nearby to reference if needed. If you notice your Altima stalling frequently or idling roughly, clean the IAC valve.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Socket set
  • Throttle body cleaner
  • Wire brush
  • Rag

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  1. 1

    Open the bonnet of the Nissan and locate the IAC valve. The valve is in a tight spot underneath the first left intake port head. The valve is a cylinder-shaped component 7.5 cm (3 inches) long.

  2. 2

    Pull the electrical connector off of the valve. Do not use any tools to remove the electrical connector, as it will cause damage to the connector. You will now see two bolts securing the valve in place.

  3. 3

    Use a socket set with a 90-degree angle attachment. Loosen and remove the bolts. The valve is now loose. Pull the valve out of the Altima.

  4. 4

    Place the IAC valve on concrete or a piece of cardboard. Spray throttle body cleaner into the valve. Clean the valve using a wire brush and rag. Continue to clean the valve until all built-up carbon and other deposits are gone.

  5. 5

    Insert the valve back into place carefully. Tighten the bolts using the socket set. Once the valve is secured, plug the electrical connector back into the valve. Close the bonnet of the Altima.

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