You need a coolant temperature sensor. (Yes, that does sound ridiculous but it's true).
Your car has two temp sensors; one for the gauge and one for the computer. Replace them both. The sensor for the computer is malfunctioning, telling your computer that the coolant temp is wrong. This makes the computer alter how your engine runs (and why you have to hold the accelerator down to crank it). These are about $10 a piece so it will be cheap.
Also, you should pull the throttle body and clean it thoroughly. It will likely be gunked up pretty good.
I just went through this with my 1995; I replaced the TPS, the idle air control valve and cleaned the throttle body before finally finding out about the temp switch. Good luck!
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 AT 7:09 AM