I got in my 2000 Taurus SE Friday for the drive back from the coast (outside
temp around 35°F and the car didn't want to start. It cranked just fine but
acted like it wasn't getting any fuel. Once I started keeping my foot on the
gas, it started but stalled if I let it just idle. It seemed to want to idle
between 3-500 rpm; much slower than its normal 1100 cold and 700 warm. I just
kept giving it gas while I changed gears from park to drive.
It ran smoothly in cruise the whole way but continued to stall if I stopped at a
light without keeping my foot on the gas. Finally, it seemed to start idling
correctly after about 4 hours worth of mostly highway driving.
I'm curious what the problem is. Obviously, I've got to get it fixed but it's
running OK right now. I don't expect that to last though...
My 97 T-bird 4.6 did the same thing and I got the answer from the answer
to a post similar to yours. The problem was the Idle Air Control valve.
It (on my engine) is mounted right in front and has an electric
It's fairly easy to remove. Remove the electric connection, two bolts
and a hose. There is a spring assy and shaft that gets dirty and
sticks. I applied some non residue cleaner with a little brush to clean
and then blew out with an air hose. It should free up and fix the
problem. If you have a manual you can see what it looks like, or maybe
do a search of this group for more input.
Do all modern Fords with gasoline engines have this? I don't share the same
problem the original poster has written about. Just curious. I'm preparing
to do some significant preventative maintenance on my 1998 E-150 Club Wagon.
It has about 80K miles on it.
Yep... every port FI engine with a throttle cable. (It goes away with new
drive-by-wire) Easy to find, it mounts right near the throttle butterfly.
ALong with cleaning the MAF as described elsewhere a good preventive step.
Sorry, I don't understand. Can the TPS be cleaned? Or are you saying to
replace it, period, as a preventative maintenance issue? Is the TPS some
kind of mechanical-position-to-electrical-resistance sensor? Like a wiper
potentiometer? Messing with that could ruin it...?
MAF? Mass Air Flow sensor? This can be cleaned?
What about the all-important O2 sensor? When should that be replaced?
Then there are brushes inside the starter motor. Given that this van gets
lots of short-haul trips, those brushes are probably worn out...
Yes, messing with it definitely could ruin it.. really cant be cleaned, it's
a sealed unit.
1. just like a volume control, only higher quality.
2. look closely, can it be adjusted (mounting screw slots)?.. dont mess with
it, has to be aligned with a dvm. No slots = easy replacement
AND SHOULD BE.... google this group; I posted just a week or two ago
According to parts stores about every 50,000 or three years.
According to my empirical results, when the lite comes on (and relevant
codes) or mileage/performance drops... which is to say I've replaced them -
with no discernable improvement- but never had one fail in more than 9
different cars in 15 years.
And I've got three cars in my driveway with over 180,000 miles and none are
getting less than sticker mileage with no performance faults.
Starter brushes, yep; dont forget the solenoid contactor at same time,
Also Alternator rehab with new brushes... usually easy.
No. I initially opined that my symptoms were possibly caused by a bad TPS. I
was told that it was more likely a bad idle air control... which ended up being
correct. Air bypass valve and idle air control are the same thing; the TPS is
something else entirely.
It threw me off as well. That's part of the reason I ended up paying someone to
fix my car. I knew I didn't know enough about the fuel system to diagnose and
repair the problem without potentially creating many more. I'm good about doing
FWIW, I once owned a 1984 Mercury Topaz. In about 1991, with some 110 K
miles on it, the TPS went out. I discovered I had a problem when I flunked
a California smog test. I had way too much CO coming out of the tail pipe.
I took the car to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician allowed me to be
with him while he trouble-shot the problem. There we were, with our two
head under the hood. He wanted to change everything, including the car's
computer. Fortunately, I was able to stand in there with him and fault his
analysis. In the end, we found the TPS to be bad, and replacing that solved
On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 03:11:28 GMT, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN"
Recently encountered same problem w/wife's 2000 Sable w/3.0L
engine. New IAC fixed it right up. You can probably clean
your old one by soaking the valve portion overnight in a
good fuel system solvent. New uints are about $85US from
dealer. I found they are in short supply in the aftermarket
here in Atlanta, GA area and almost as expensive as the real
McCoy from the dealer unless you go to one of the real el
cheapo parts places.
I took it to the dealer today. It was the air bypass valve, according to them.
In any case, it's now been replaced and so far things seem to be good. Time
will tell if they got it right, given that the problem was intermittent.
Thanks to everyobdy who offered advice....
On Wed, 01 Dec 2004 04:31:04 GMT, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN"
Unfortunately, this is a repair that you could have done
yourself for less than $100US in dealer OEM parts and a
couple of readily available cheap tools with less than 10
minutes of your time as it is right there in the open on top
of the engine. But, then again, the dealer has to make a
living somehow. The problem you were having will rarely set
a fault code and it will usually work fine when ambient
temps are warm emough that you do not notice the cold idle
is too low.
I am well aware I made somebody's car payment for them. I am also aware I could
have easily swapped out the parts. If it had been a bad alternator or battery
I'd have done that in a heartbeat. When it comes to stuff like this though, I
recognize I don't really know what I'm doing. What I didn't want to do was get
into the mode of swapping parts with a breakdown between each new part change.
It was worth it to me just to have my car be fixed reliably. If I screwed
something up and the car wouldn't start, I'd have had the additional fee of
towing to pay.
When I asked the group for advice, it was basically so I would know if the
repair guys were trying to blow smoke in my face. They didn't, and I'm thankful
for the advice that I got here. Even if it did cost me $268 to get my car
It was cold this morning and yet it started up just like when it was new. I'm
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