Why does my car have high RPMs when in park, and occasionally stalls?? on 2001 Chevrolet Lumina

I have a 2001 Lumina with about 68,000 miles on it. Many times (but not every time) I turn the car on, it goes up to 1500-2500 RPMs, while in park. When I shift into drive, the car seems to drive itself without me having to give it gas. Usually after driving for a few minutes, if I turn off and restart the car while at a red light, it will be fine. This used to happen only occasionally but is happening more and more often. It's almost always in the afternoons after work, not in the mornings. Another problem I have, occasionally the car has stalled on me when I am in stop-and-go traffic on the highway. It always starts up again fine right away. Happened a couple times last fall, didn't do it all winter, but did it again last week. Every time, it's been in the morning while I'm sitting in traffic on the highway. I know absolutely nothing about cars, but even I know this must be a transmission problem? Any advice would be appreciated, thank you!

by in Peabody, MA on April 19, 2012
1 answer 6 comments
ANSWER by on April 19, 2012
I would not think its a transmission problem. Sounds more like the throttle plates in the air intake could possibly be dirty possibly binding throttle. Really should have a service tech see you car. Its not a huge deal if its what I think it could be doing this. Its at the age and mileage that this happens and it may be due for some other mainteanence items depending on its service history.
COMMENT by on April 19, 2012
Ohh that would be so great if it's not the transmission! I am going have it looked at but I just wanted to get an idea of what I'm possibly looking at for repairs before I bring it in. Thank you!
COMMENT by on April 19, 2012
Good luck too you.....I would be interested in what they find too.
COMMENT by on April 26, 2012
Got my car back from the shop! They found a hole in the vaccuum hose for the air intake, which they said probably caused the stalling. When I told them about the high RPMs, they agreed it sounded like throttle plates but when they looked they weren't that dirty. OF COURSE, the multiple times they started the car they did not experience the high RPMs! But they did say it looked like the cruise control might be getting stuck, so they disabled that for me. I've only driven it twice since picking it up but haven't had it happen again so fingers crossed that was the problem. Thank you so much for your help! I was so terrified it was the transmission so when you told me it might not be, it actually probably made me get it looked at sooner. (I am clearly a female if you couldn't tell by my lack of knowledge:) ) Thanks again!
COMMENT by on April 26, 2012
Sounds like you are dealing with good people. The split vacumme hose could have caused the fast idle too. I think it will be ok now. Men in general know very litte about cars ...we just don't admit it when we don't know. Male ego thing gets us in trouble all the time...like when we are lost on a trip and too proud to ask directions...
COMMENT by on May 14, 2012
UPDATE: Well after picking up my car, it was running fine for about a week and a half, now I am having all the same problems before, but now I would say it's a little bit worse. Bringing it back in tomorrow. We will see! And yes, the shop I bring it to is great, my family has always brought their cars there and I do too, even though I've moved a little farther away. Their honesty is worth it to me and I've never had any issues with them. SECOND UPDATE: Ok got my car back yesterday, when they ran the diagnostic machine on the engine it had three stored error codes, all pointing to a faulty throttle sensor, so you were pretty much right! They replaced it and so far so good, we will see!
COMMENT by on December 30, 2012
on your second update how much did that cost?

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