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I own a 1996 Escort LX. Up until now the car has been bulletproof, only needing regular maintanence. The other day it developed an idling problem. When I come to a stop (ie. stop sign or light) and sit there for a few seconds the car starts idling erratically between 400 RPM and 1700 RPM. I should mention the car is an automatic. Eventually the car stalls because it is working against the brakes. In other words the car is trying to accelerate when the brakes are fully on. Obviously the car only stalls in drive or reverse (I have been putting it in neutral or park at lights to keep the car running).

The sporatic idle has a regular pattern which makes me think it is something electronic. It usually takes about 30s before this problem starts but recently it only takes around 10s. The problem stops when I press the accelerator. When I do this the cars RPMs jump to 2000 and stays there for a while before slowly decreasing to 800.

I looked in the forum tech archives and it looks like a lot of people have had this problem. I just couldn't find any forums where someone plosted the fix.

Any ideas? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Cheers!
 

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I had the exact same problem - replaced the idle air control motor and it was fine again. I've heard of people just taking them off and cleaning them up, but that didn't work for me. I think the part was about $45.

Oh... and I believe you have to disconnect the batt. for a while after this repair to reset the computer or something... Not sure about this, but I've been told...
 

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I own a 2000 Ford Escort with a 2.0 liter engine. Within the past year it has began to stall out at traffic stops. I can be driving, come to a traffic stop, the engine appears to reach idle speed normally, but the rpm continues to decay until the engine is barely running, idling roughly. If it dies completely, which it does most of the time it experiences this condition, it always starts right up. The engine starts ok when cold or hot, and not other symptoms are evident, no Check Engine light. The OBD II scanner shows no errors or faults.

Reading through various forums trying to find an answer I compiled a list of things to check beginning with vaccum leaks, MAF sensor, IAC vavle, etc.

Before starting the engine I checked all vacuum hoses for security and everything appeared ok. Started engine and checked hoses again for a vacuum "hiss" but could find none. Then I noticed that the rubber elbow that connects the manifold pressure line to the PCV valve looked "pinched". This rubber elbow is attached directly to the PCV valve, the other end to a plastic elbow, the other end of the plastic elbow to a rubber hose that goes to the engine intake manifold and the vacuum source.

I realized that this rubber elbow was collapsing inward from the vacuum pressure within it and most probably completely pinching off the flow of air. Could this be the problem?

Following a technique sometimes used on radiator hoses to prevent collapse I used a metal spring inside this rubber elbow to prevent its collapse. The spring is captured between the PCV valve and the plastic elbow so there no danger of it being ingested into the engine.

So far so good. The engine has not stalled or exhibited any of its old symptoms. It is also running much smoother than before. I had not realized the engine was not running as smooth as this since this was a gradual failure. The spring appears to be keeping the rubber elbow in its designed shape, air appears to be once again flowing through the circuit.

Lou
Virginia Beach, VA
 
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