The engine stalls at idle?

Tiny
NICK9THOMAS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 134,000 MILES
The car will turn over but it will not hold an idle. I can hit the gas and it will rev but will soon die immediately after. This problem seems to only happen when it is hot. I took the IACV out and cleaned it until it looked brand new. Put it back in and it worked but the next day it had the same idle problems.
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Friday, April 2nd, 2010 AT 7:48 PM

39 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Has the check engine light come on? It sounds like a vacuum leak or the IAC is bad. These guide will help us find out the problem

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/stall-at-idle

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/checking-a-service-engine-soon-or-check-engine-light-on-or-flashing

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-an-idle-speed-control-motor-iac

Please run down these guides and report back.
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Sunday, April 4th, 2010 AT 12:55 AM
Tiny
NICK9THOMAS
  • MEMBER
Yes, the check engine light has been on for awhile now so I changed the IAC and that fixed it thank you.
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Sunday, April 4th, 2010 AT 8:25 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Good to hear, please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help.
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Sunday, April 4th, 2010 AT 10:16 AM
Tiny
CMILLER.05
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
I have a problem where while driving at a low speed with very little to no throttle, slowing down, or trying to stop, my RPMs will waver and drop. Sometimes the engine will stall. I will have to restart the engine while driving or stopped. Sometimes I can tap the brakes or gas and the RPMs will go back to normal. I have a code on the dash. I have pulled it. It talks about something running lean. This points to Mass Airflow Sensor. I have removed, cleaned, and reset the system twice now. The problem was temporarily fixed the first time. The problem got worse (aka happening on a regular basis now). I was wondering if there is a way to bypass or fix this problem, or if anyone knows what exactly is causing it. I might also have a bad catalytic converter. Could that be causing my problems. I greatly appreciate any assistance.

Thank you ahead of time!
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
A lean mixture can also identify a vacuum leak. Have you checked for that?
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CMILLER.05
  • MEMBER
I have not checked for a vacuum leak. I'm not necessarily sure how to go about that. Could that explain how my MAF sensor keeps getting dirty and clogged? What's the best course of action for checking for vacuum leaks?

Thanks
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Is the MAF getting clogged with dirt? If so, is the air filter good? Also, there are several vacuum hoses that are on and around the engine. I would recommend checking for any broken, disconnected, or dry rotted ones.

As far as the MAF getting dirty, do you live in an area where there is a lot of dust and dirt?
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CMILLER.05
  • MEMBER
I don't live in a dusty or dirty area. I will take a look to see if I can find any dry-rotted or weathered hoses. I'll also check for any disconnected or broken hoses. The MAF sensor seems to be getting clogged with grimy dirt. The air filter I good. I'm not sure what is causing the ridiculous build up.
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Have you ever noticed any oily substances on the air filter or in the intake where the MAF is located? Have you ever replaced the EGR valve? I'm starting to think the engine may have blow-by and allowing oily air from the engine is making it way through the PCV and into the maf.

Let me know. Here is a little check. With the engine running, open the oil fill cap and see if there is a lot of pressure coming out of it.

Let me know what you find.
Joe
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CMILLER.05
  • MEMBER
Yes.I have noticed that the dirt is usually grimy or oily. I wasn't sure what was causing that. If I do have a blow-by problem, how do I fix it?

I have not replaced the EGR valve because I have never pulled a code referring to that problem. I had another vehicle with that problem before.

I will try that oil pressure test you were referring to. If there is a lot of pressure coming out, what does that tell me?

I am definitely not a mechanic. I have worked on cars a little bit in the past, but it has mostly just been maintenance work.

I appreciate your help, Joe.

-Chad
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CECILIE RYAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
Not all the time but a good majority of the time when I go from reverse into drive my vehicle will shut off. So this is what happen, I put it in reverse I backup put my foot on the brake shifted into drive take my foot off the brake the car shuts off. I have noticed that if I quickly put my foot on the gas and give it a good push send the car may not shut off sometime. I haven't had any other problems with the car except for a cranking sound which could be a whole other problem, I don't know.
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Chad, The EGR valve won't cause a code. It should be part of a tune up. As far as checking if there is a lot of pressure coming from the oil cap when opened, that will tell me if there is excessive blow-by. What causes that is worn piston rings. When the piston builds compression, bad rings allow compression to escape into the crank case. If that is the problem (which would be odd at this mileage), the only thing you can do is replace the rings.

Let me know what you find.
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The component that maintains idle speed is called an idle air control valve. It is located on the throttle body. If this isn't working properly, it could cause the engine to stall.

Here is a link that explains how to service one. Take a look through this and see if it is something you could do. If so, when the IAC is off the vehicle, inspect where it mounts for carbon build up and dirt. Also, see if the pintle on it moves a bit when the key is turned on and off. ( you will need a helper to do that)

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/idle-air-control-valve-service

Here is a link that shows in general how one is replaced:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-an-idle-speed-control-motor-iac

Now, if you confirm that it isn't working, here are the directions specific to your vehicle for replacement:

_______________________________________

1998 Ford Truck Explorer 4WD V6-245 4.0L SOHC VIN E EFI
Removal and Replacement
Vehicle Powertrain Management Fuel Delivery and Air Induction Idle Speed/Throttle Actuator - Electronic Service and Repair Removal and Replacement
REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT
REMOVAL

Typical Idle Air Control Valve

Pic 1

1. Disconnect the Idle Air Control (IAC) valve electrical connector.

pic 2

2. Remove the IAC valve.
1 Remove the two bolts.
2 Remove the IAC valve.
- Discard the gasket.

pic 3

INSTALLATION

NOTE: Install a new IAC valve gasket.

1. Install the idle air control valve.
1 Position the IAC valve.
2 Install the two bolts.
3 Connect the IAC electrical connector.

_____________________________________

Let me know if this helps. Also, let me know if the engine has a rough idle at all times.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CMILLER.05
  • MEMBER
Sorry for the delay on my response. I have been extremely busy for the past couple of weeks. I did get a chance to check the cap for pressure build up. I didn't find anything out of the ordinary. When I pulled the cap off, while the engine was running, I put my hand over the fill hole and didn't really feel any pressure.

I don't know if this helps or not, but when I have the a/c running, the problem occurs much more seldom. The a/c running seems to help. I'm not sure how that works, but it's an observation I made.

Well, I hope you might have some more insight into this problem. I greatly appreciate your assistance.

-Chad
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DOUG S
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 105,000 MILES
What should I check first? When it comes to a stop it stalls. If you start it and let it go it ends up stalling.
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:48 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
I need to know if the check engine light is on? If it is then call around to your local parts stores and see if one does a free scan. Have them scan it and write down what codes are found then have them clear them. Get back to me with what you find. If the engine light is not on then we will go from there.
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:49 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DOUG S
  • MEMBER
Yes the check engine light is on. It was a truck left for dead so I put new plugs and wires in and it works fine with your foot on the gas. Once you take it off it starts chugging then stalls.
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:49 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok if the check engine light is on then call around and find out if one of your local parts store will do a free scan and get back to me with what codes are there. Have them clear the codes after you get it scanned and write the codes down. Get back to me with the codes so we can try to see what the truck is telling us is wrong, and we will go from there.
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:49 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DOUG S
  • MEMBER
I got the codes, which said the I had an EGR problem (which has been replaced), misfire on plugs 4-6 and the engine was running lean. I have also changed the IAC valve. What's next?
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:49 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CPETE
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 195,000 MILES
My truck won't start. Each time I start the truck it just shuts off. As long as I press the gas it will stay running, but if you take your foot off the gas, the truck will cut off. Please help.
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Friday, October 9th, 2020 AT 12:49 PM (Merged)

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