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odd idle problem

In message <199707111809.AA12865@interlock.ans.net> Dan Simoes writes:

> At idle, especially when cold, it idles normally near 1000rpm, then
> surges periodically to 1500-2000 rpm, then drops back.

Battery voltage is marginal.  The idle controller raises idle speed if battery 
voltage is low.  Either the controller in the alternator or the battery itself 
is bad.  It raises idle, generates more juice, charges the battery, voltage 
goes up, idle goes back down.  A few seconds later ...

 Phil Payne
 Committee Member, UK Audi [ur-]quattro Owners Club