99 Ford Escort idles low

Hi all,
Im new here and i have very little knowledge about vehicles. Recently, Ive noticed that my 99 ford escort is idling really low. Whenever my car is stopped or parked it starts to vibrate vigorously.

So far, I have about 95000 miles on it and I would like to know if there are any suggestions or tips on resolving this issue.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
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In the absence of any other specific symptoms, I would have to GUESS that the Idle Air Control Valve needs replacing. Something that the casual mechanic can handle with a few metric tools
see autozone.com for location and instructions Also known as ISC
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

This symptom appears to be really common on this car in this vintage range. I've seen several people here complaining about it, and I've had the problem myself.
I didn't clean nor replace the IAC valve on this car (yet), but what I did do was replace the air filter, clean the MAF sensor (this seemed to make a big difference), replaced the PCV valve and wiggled all the vacuum connections. This set of magic runes totally fixed the problem for a while.
I suspect I have a vacuum leak somewhere.
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On Sun, 3 Dec 2006, at 7:28pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have the same problem with my 1996 Ford Escort. It rumbles VERY roughly whenever I am idling. I recently replaced the air filter and the IAC valve, and this helped a bit, but it hasn't entirely eliminated the problem. Next on my to-do list (whenever I get some free time) is to clean the MAF sensor and possibly replace the PCV valve to see if that makes a difference.

Is there anyway one can detect this on their own? Would I need to purchase any specialized tools or sensors to accomplish this?
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Thank you all for your suggestions.
Does anyone have any idea how much a mechanic should charge to clean or replace the IAC valve in my car? I just want to get an honest estimate so I can walk into a mechanics garage knowing whether he is going to rip me off or not.
Thanks.
"Doors of Perception" wrote: > On Sun, 3 Dec 2006, at 7:28pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: > > > This symptom appears to be really common on this car in this > vintage > > range. I've seen several people here complaining about it, > and I've had > > the problem myself. > > > > I didn't clean nor replace the IAC valve on this car (yet), > but what I > > did do was replace the air filter, clean the MAF sensor > (this seemed to > > make a big difference), replaced the PCV valve and wiggled > all the > > vacuum connections. This set of magic runes totally fixed > the problem > > for a while. > > I have the same problem with my 1996 Ford Escort. It rumbles > VERY roughly > whenever I am idling. I recently replaced the air filter and > the IAC > valve, and this helped a bit, but it hasn't entirely > eliminated the > problem. Next on my to-do list (whenever I get some free > time) is to > clean the MAF sensor and possibly replace the PCV valve to see > if that > makes a difference. > > > > I suspect I have a vacuum leak somewhere. > > Is there anyway one can detect this on their own? Would I > need to > purchase any specialized tools or sensors to accomplish this?
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On Mon, 4 Dec 2006, at 7:25pm, snagglet wrote:

I don't know how much it would cost to clean the IAC, but to replace it, my local mechanic charged $440 (including tax) for the sensor and labor...
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Lol! didn't you think of buying one yourself, and trying to fit it? You've been conned!!!
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On Mon, 4 Dec 2006, at 10:14pm, David R wrote:

Well, that was before I got serious about really learning the ropes of car repair. Trust me, when I saw that bill, I was like, NEVER again! :)
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depending on the engine and configuration and when it was... about twice as much as reasonable. And aftermarket is just fine for these.. ask the NAPA counterman for the best one.
Most guys could do it in fifteen minutes, actual; one of the easiest parts to replace on many engines
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On Tue, 5 Dec 2006, at 10:47pm, Backyard Mechanic wrote:

I forgot to mention that the price also included the non-refundable $100 "diagnostic fee" (which was basically nothing other than reading off the OBD-II code) that the mechanic charged. They refused to even look at the car until I agreed to pay that fee. At the time, I was in a hurry and couldn't waste time finding another mechanic, so I agreed to pay the hefty price, even though I knew full well that I was getting ripped off.
But still, yes, it was quite expensive. That particular episode directly led me to get a serious interest in car repair so that I wouldn't have to ever pay such an outrageous price again!

I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, at the time, however, I did not know how relatively simple of a repair this was, so I paid the price for my ignorance. But never again! :)
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On Tue, 5 Dec 2006 18:59:14 -0500, Doors of Perception

Next time, unless you have an overriding need to get the vehicle back on the road in a big hurry, take that $100 and invest it. Go get a decent code scanner of your own and a shop manual.
I'll spend a bit more on a laptop-based OBD-II reader solution (sans laptop, I have that covered already) to get the advanced code reading for Transmissions and ABS and Airbags and Body ECU's, and the other fancy stuff they have waiting in the wings.
But the same rule as always applies: If you can solve the problem simply and be done, great. If you get stumped, STOP before you do any further damage and take it in to a Mechanic. Tell him the codes it threw and what you have already tried - so he doesn't have to try the same things unless he has a suspicion you missed something. And DO NOT try to tell him what is wrong, only the signs and symptoms - you may send him off in the wrong direction.
(I'm an Electrician, and you can always tell the people who didn't follow that rule - They take all the wires in the box apart (three or four circuits) and try to find the short. But they can't, so they just put the cover back on and call for help. And now I not only have to go find the short circuit that started the mess, I also have to figure out how to hook all the wires back together again so the rest of the lights work, and on the right switches. Aargh!)
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That point cannot be emphasized enough. Anyone who has spent any time in technical support will tell you the WORST problems are the ones where the client tells you what is wrong and wants you to fix it..
And you will also see that on here.. often the poster asks "where the O2 sensor is"
Of course that isnt as bad as the office worker who calls IT support and tells them his "Hard Drive needs reformatting" -LOL-

How about when a tenant calls about a slow drain and you get there and both sinks are full and he says he put 2 bottles of drain opener in it...
Hmmm.... do I deal with 5 gals of diluted acid, myself, or call a pro for 200 bucks?
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

Ahem. NaOH - alkaline, not acid.
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snagglet wrote:

Before you go replacing expensive parts (IAC usually o$50 to $75), here's something really simple to check, the large air tube between the air intake and the throttle body, check that for cracks and holes. When they dry-rot and crack they let too much umetered air into the throttle body, lowering the idle to the point where the car wants to stall. If you find one put your hand over it with the engine running and and watch as the engine begins to idle towards normal.
If you find a crack or hole, put some duct tape on it until you can get to a parts store. I've had to do this before, works as a temporary solution. Two hose clamps usually hold the hose on, use a regular screwdriver to undo the hose clamps and replace the hose.
Should take you five to ten minutes to inspect the hose, five to ten more to replace it.
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Thanks for the descriptive tip. I will go ahead and check on this before seeing a mechanic.
Also, does anyone know any trustworthy mechanics within the San Francisco or Sacramento area?
"sleepdog" wrote: > snagglet wrote: > > Hi all, > > > > I'm new here and i have very little knowledge about > vehicles. > > Recently, I've noticed that my 99 ford escort is idling > really low. > > Whenever my car is stopped or parked it starts to vibrate > vigorously. > > > > > > So far, I have about 95000 miles on it and I would like to > know if > > there are any suggestions or tips on resolving this issue. > > > > Any help would be greatly appreciated. > > > > Thank you. > > > > Before you go replacing expensive parts (IAC usually o$50 to > $75), > here's something really simple to check, the large air tube > between the > air intake and the throttle body, check that for cracks and > holes. > When they dry-rot and crack they let too much umetered air > into the > throttle body, lowering the idle to the point where the car > wants to > stall. If you find one put your hand over it with the engine > running > and and watch as the engine begins to idle towards normal. > > If you find a crack or hole, put some duct tape on it until > you can get > to a parts store. I've had to do this before, works as a > temporary > solution. Two hose clamps usually hold the hose on, use a > regular > screwdriver to undo the hose clamps and replace the hose. > > Should take you five to ten minutes to inspect the hose, five > to ten > more to replace it.
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