1991 Taurus starting problem

Hello all...
I've got a '91 Ford Taurus (V6 3.0L) that has always run great and served me well. But in the last few weeks, it won't run properly in
the mornings. It cranks fine and starts nicely, but will not idle. If gas is applied, it runs fine. If I drive it for a distance, it seems to warm up and will then idle no problem. When its warm or has gas applied, it runs perfectly, very smooth and clean.
It's been suggested that perhaps my temperature sensor is not functioning (transmitting that the engine is warm when it's actually cold), and hence the computer is sending a mixture that will not properly run on a cold engine. This may also explain why my temperature gauge is not always accurate (sometimes jumps around, usually just stays all the way "cold").
This is getting to be a real pain. I am still able to drive it cold, but when I stop at lights etc. it stalls... not good in the middle of an intersection. When it stalls, the battery warning light and check engine indicator come on... If I scan the codes on the computer, is this likely to yield any results?
I've purchased a new temperature sensor for $6, but can't find where I need to change it from, and I don't have any fancy repair manuals. Either way, is this likely to fix the problem?
Thanks for any help you can provide!!!
Warren
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Warren wrote:

Throttle positioning switch or IAC has gone bad. Neither is real expensive to fix.
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

Thanks for the quick response... whats the IAC? How do I replace these?
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not the temp sensor for the guage. the coolant temp sensor for the ecm. look around the t-stat
http://www.thebesthardparts.com/forum
Warren wrote:

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The two temp sensor for gauge and Comp are different:
The one for the gauge has one wire, for the Engine control, two.
But your, classic symptom, problem is 95% the Idle Air control. (IAC) Very common failure.
Under the plastic cover at the throttle area.
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Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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So I changed the temperature sensor and cleaned the IAC solenoid... no change at all. I had a mechanic friend test the engine vacuum, and it appears to be below optimal. He suggested that this could be due to the timing chain having jumped a link, so he tried advancing the timing. This made no difference for the laziness of the engine. Is it worth me taking the car into a shop to get the timing chain set properly? Could this be related to the startup/idle issues? Any other good troubleshooting steps? :-)
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your coolant temp sensor can be easily tested with a multimeter, you can pick up a cheap analog one at walmart and it will do the job just fine. you also need a chiltons, it has a table in it off allowable readings, i also suggest one to find your parts.

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Just replace the oxygen sensor in the exhaust manifold.

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