Ford Windstar 2001 HELP! "Mysterious" Stalling problem.

Hello,
We bought a used 2001 Ford Windstar from a supposedly reputable dealer about 9 months ago. This is our first mini-van and thus far we have loved
it. However, about 3 weeks ago it started to have a problem. I will do my best to describe it:
When starting the car will turnover and then stall either imediately or when gas is applied. This will occur with-in 1-20 seconds after ignition is turned. When it doesn't stall immediately you can hear the engine cycling (only way to describe) and the battery (looks like a batter and is red) flashes on the dash almost in cycle with the sound in the engine.
Ok, now here is where it gets weird. If you are persistent and try starting anywhere for 1-2 dozen times, eventually it starts and runs fine. It will then continue to start and run fine for a while.
The first time this happend the car had sat for an hour and was cold.
The second time, about 5 days later, I had driven for about 45 mins, stopped, let it sit for about 10 mins.
Then I took it to the dealer (who I don't like at all right now) Who kept it for 9 days, and tells me the "computer" reads no faults and that they can fine nothing wrong with it. The reason they kept it so long was so that they could try to replicate the problem. They say they couldn't.
So, I got it back on a Friday Night.
Saturday morning, myself, my 4 year old, my husband and our dog all found ourselves stranded with the same thing happening. I opted to call the dealer and have them tow the car rather than get it running again. My thought was since they couldn't duplicate the problem I would give them the problem fresh. (This occured on Memorial Day weeked). This morning, I got a call from the dealer saying the car started and again there is no problem.
I can find no listing describing a similar problem.
Has anyone heard of or seen a similar problem?
Any advice would be great. This our first and very last used car. I've never run into anything like this (probably been lucky) and I have no idea what to do.
Thank you in advance for any info you can provide.
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I had a similiary sounding problem in my 99, pulled and cleaned the... IAT I believe? intake are temp sensor I thinks... very easy to get to sits right on top, its silver, mine was full of crap

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checked the book, i was wrong, its the IAC(idle air controller) that I cleaned to fix it, very easy to remove and clean with some throttle body cleaner.

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Hey hurc, look, someone fixed their problem by cleaning the IAC, how about that?
Wow, who woulda thunk it...
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On 31 May 2005 10:44:48 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

so what your telling me is that you throw parts to fix a problem ?
hurc ast
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I guess you can't read either, he said he CLEANED the IAC, not replaced.
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On 31 May 2005 17:54:32 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

cant diagnose either lmfao
hurc ast
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No diagnosis required, the poster said he fixed his problem by CLEANING THE IAC.
Must be strange to you since they never fail in canada
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On 31 May 2005 19:31:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

lmfao we diagnose here
hurc ast
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To those of you who have tried to help, Petebert, "Shoe Salesman", thank you. To the others who apparently use this forum to make fun of or harass others, I just want to say.....you must be proud.
Clearly you must have some mechanical skills. I posted this because I don't. I'm a physician. I don't know much about cars, and I was hoping to find help on this forum.
I often go to Web MD and participate in forums there, and it's funny....I've never had the inclination to mock people seeking advice, use terms only other MD's understand, or start post arguements with other experts who are trying to help the poster.
You must be proud!
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To those of you who have tried to help, Petebert, "Shoe Salesman", thank you. To the others who apparently use this forum to make fun of or harass others, I just want to say.....you must be proud.
Clearly you must have some mechanical skills. I posted this because I don't. I'm a physician. I don't know much about cars, and I was hoping to find help on this forum.
I often go to Web MD and participate in forums there, and it's funny....I've never had the inclination to mock people seeking advice, use terms only other MD's understand, or start post arguements with other experts who are trying to help the poster.
You must be proud!
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To Petebert
"checked the book, i was wrong, its the IAC(idle air controller) that I cleaned to fix it, very easy to remove and clean with some throttle body cleaner."
Thank you very much, we will give it a try and let you know~!
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I think you should take a good look at the alternator. Check the battery voltage when its screwing up. The battery light flashing could very well be a clue that the voltage is going crazy. It is possible that the battery light could come on just from a very low rpm at idle/is this the case? If not, alternator or a bad connection could be your problem. It seems if the alternator went overvoltage it would get a code for it but you never know for sure. It sure wouldn't hurt to clean the battery cables and look at connections near the battery for acid fume induced corrosion. Hell, check the battery too. Car makers love to put electrical wires, grounds, connectors near the battery where they can corrode easily. A good look under the hood (visual inspection) is always a good place to start. Good luck.
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On Tue, 31 May 2005 18:46:14 GMT, "Shoe Salesman"

run the self test koeo and koer
hurc ast
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