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Old 10-17-2007, 08:48   #1 (permalink)
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Idle Air Control Valve??

I have a 2000 Mountaineer V8, about 103,000 miles, and live in TX. About two months ago, I began to notice that the engine upon start-up would idle back down, and sometimes stalled. Over the last week, it has become noticeably worse - such that I need to slowly depress the accelerator to increase the revs to avoid the stall, then move the transmission into Drive. When slowing down at an intersection to stop to turn, the engine almost stalls. The problem seems to go away when the engine is warm. I called a couple of repair service shops, and they tell me that the symptoms suggest a faulty Idle Airl Control Valve. Covert Ford (Austin) quoted me 2 1/2 hours of labor at $108 per hour, and then didn't tell me the price of the valve. I called Advance Auto, and the unit is less than $50 - so I've purchased it, and plan to change it myself. (Incidentally, I found out that the labor charge at the Georgetown Mercedes Benz dealer is $90 per hour - so I'm not sure how much more specialized the Ford mechanics are that justify that almost $20 per hour difference - he said sarcastically).

Some futher searching on the Internet found a site with pictures of the replacement process - but that valve on the Ford sits near the top of the engine, but is located on the side of some housing. The unit on my Mountaineer sits on the very top of some housing near the back of the large air flow hose.

My question is as follows. I have read that I am supposed to liberally spray the electrical cleaner in the two chambers to clean out the carbon build-up. I have purchased a new unit, so I don't need to spray that, but I think I need to spray inside the chamber in the engine. (Yes/No??) However, I also read that I need to let the spray dry out, otherwise I could start a fire on start-up. Since the chambers on my Mountaineer are on the top (and can't use gravity to help the cleanign or drying process), how do I clean out that area, and ensure that it is dry?
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Old 10-17-2007, 13:39   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Idle Air Control Valve??

If your replacing the Idol Air Control Valve you most likely don't need to clean anything. I replaced mine. Just took off the old one and put on the new one. No issues since, that was 10,000 miles ago.
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Old 10-17-2007, 16:21   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Idle Air Control Valve??

if that doesn't work, take a peek at your MAF sensor. My '94 had similar symptoms on start up, making me think it was the IAC valve, but I had different running symptoms once it warmed up. I just gave my mass sensor a clean and everything runs awesomely.
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Old 10-17-2007, 16:56   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Idle Air Control Valve??

Thanks guys.

You were right. I simply took off the old one, and replaced it with the new one. Took me all of 15 minutes (including the time it took me to disconnect and reconnect the negative cable to the battery). I think the spray was for cleaning out the old one (which I simply tossed).

I've started the vehicle several times since this morning, and it immediately goes to 1,000 rpms and stays there. Job finished and the car is fixed. (YEAH!!)

It cost me all of $55 (with tax), and I saved at least $350. (2.5 hrs x $108 per hour of labor = $270, plus about $70 for the part (at their price), plus tax of 8.25%.

While I am thrilled with my success, I am really irritated by the scam of the auto repair shops. Just think about it, the labor rates of $108 per hour, translates into an annual income of $220,000. How much does the technician get? - $50,000. In addition, I would have had to wait at least 2.5 hours - for a 15 minute job.

Now - I did not have to hook up my Mountainer to a $100,000 diagnostic machine, so it could say, it MAY BE the Idle Air valve. But based on the symptoms, any certified technician could have figured it out in 1 second. Moreover, I understand that this is a common problem - so let's shave 0.5 seconds off that thinking time.

In any event, thanks for the help. It worked, so I'm happy.
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Old 10-17-2007, 17:30   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Idle Air Control Valve??

Incidentally - what is the MAF sensor??
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Old 10-17-2007, 20:07   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Idle Air Control Valve??

MAF= Mass Air Flow
It's basically in your intake (where the air filter is), before the throttle body
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