engine starts then dies (lincoln towncar)?

Hi, The car in question is a 96 lincoln towncar. When I turn on the ignition, it starts, but dies as soon as I let go of the gas pedal. However, after I called AAA, the guy held the gas pedal
down for a couple of minutes, and it then worked - at least long enough for me to drive it to a garage. The garage I took it to says it is the fuel pump and the entire sending unit. They quote $350 for a used part, not including labor. But now they also told me there is an electrical short in the car and it might have caused it. Two questions: 1. Does it sound like the right cause? 2. If it is the fuel pump and sending unit, do you think I could get those two items for less money than they quote by buying online? If so, where? Thanks a lot - I don't understand much in cars so would be grateful for any advice. Paul
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Paul wrote:

The symptom sounds very much like the IAC - Idle Air Control Motor. This is a $70 part held on by two screws with one electrical connector. It is bolted on the side of the intake manifold. They can become contaminated and not operate properly. When they don't work right, the engine won't idle properly. You can remove it and clean it and it might work fine. I usually just replace them. It might not be the IAC, but that is where I would start if it was my car. You may have to remove the plastic cover over the engine to see it. Just look for a silver cylinder about 1.5 inches in diameter bolted to the intake manifold. It will have a single electrical conector.
Ed
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Paul wrote:

The symptom sounds very much like the IAC - Idle Air Control Motor. This is a $70 part held on by two screws with one electrical connector. It is bolted on the side of the intake manifold. They can become contaminated and not operate properly. When they don't work right, the engine won't idle properly. You can remove it and clean it and it might work fine. I usually just replace them. It might not be the IAC, but that is where I would start if it was my car. You may have to remove the plastic cover over the engine to see it. Just look for a silver cylinder about 1.5 inches in diameter bolted to the intake manifold. It will have a single electrical conector.
Ed
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Paul wrote:

<snip>
My first impulse is the same as Ed's. I have a 97 T-Bird and the IAC is very accessible and I usually clean it a couple time a year. (learned how right here). I seem to recall a man with a Lincoln who had to have his done because it was in the back of the manifold and he couldn't get to it. If you can find it and remove it, it just needs to be cleaned with some kind of electronics cleaner that won't leave a residue.
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Paul, you have found a great resource here. I agree with Ed and F.H., My first suggestion is that you need a new garage/mechanic. I use the local Ford/Lincoln/Merc dealer when I can't do a job myself. I did the IAC on my '93 Cougar for about $40...
PoD

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