the return of the car

Another day, another car repair. This time, I’m hoping it’s the last one. Beware, owners of 2001 Vectras; not only do you have to replace the timing belt at the 60,000kms service, but there are other things that can go wrong. Today marked the installation of a new IAC motor (idle air control motor) – as far as I could figure out, this is the electronic device that makes sure the right amount of air is going into the fuel/air mix; when it’s faulty, the car doesn’t like to idle at a constant speed, instead trying a couple of different speeds before settling down.

Having the car back now, it seems to be running only as well as it was before the service and the cooling problem: it doesn’t drive like a new car (the way the old 1991 pulsar used to for a few kilometres after getting it serviced). Still, I’ve learned a lot about cars for less than the price of an apprenticeship.

I don’t think it’s really a fair comparison, though: if I’d done an apprenticeship, perhaps I’d know where to find this mysterious ‘idle air control motor’ – there doesn’t seem to be much documentation on the web about where to find it.

The main thing that’s come out of this? I have a greater interest in how motors (beyond just the particular problems related to my car) work: let’s hope this results in a lot of intelligent conversation in the future.

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  1. I’m glad you have developed an interest in motor vehicles, I do not however, recommend an apprenticeship in the field. The one thing I was always in trouble for when on the “tools” was calling the internal combustion engine a motor don’t fall into that trap, an IAC is a motor the thing that it supports is the engine.

  2. You’d think that I would have picked up the difference between an engine and a motor in the two years of enginneering study I did.

    Clearly not, though. Thanks for the heads-up.

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