Drive Guys Ed Kriston and Jeffrey Boone are automotive repair specialists based in the Towson office of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Ed and Jeff,
I have a question regarding my 2000 Saturn SL. It starts up and idles high even when driving. With the foot off the brakes it moves forward without acceleration.
The rpm in my opinion is too high. What do you suggest is the problem and resolution?
Michelle R.

Ed: It sounds to me like you might be right from the symptoms you listed. Many newer vehicles have idle speeds controlled by the computer with an idle speed control motor. Sometimes, the idle speed control motor will stick in a position and allow the idle speed to be kept higher than normal. It usually requires replacement of the idle speed control motor. The technician at your local repair shop can use their scan tool to check several things and come up with a diagnosis. This is probably not an ultra-serious condition requiring lengthy diagnosis. Other things that can contribute to this are vacuum leaks and computer updating.

Jeff: I can see this being a high-idle issue, however the cause could be any number of issues from a vacuum leak to a sensor on the engine or even a Engine Control Module issue. Is the check engine light on? If not it is most likely a vacuum leak somewhere in the system. As Ed suggested you should have this checked out as soon as possible as it could become more serious.