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Old 11-03-2009, 10:17   #1 (permalink)
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03 Escape won't hold idle

I have a 2003 escape XLT w/ 6cyl engine. Last week the engine would crank fine, however it would NOT idle upon a cold start. I had to hold my foot on the accelerator to keep the engine running at a low RPM. Take the foot off, and immediately it would die. After a while, it would hold idle and I could drive fine and the performance was fine. Restarting was fine until the next day the same problems with not holding idle.

Took it to a mechanic and there were no codes, no engine light and he couldn't repeat the problem. The diagnostic did suggest the air/fuel mix was off, but not enough to throw a code. He suggested a new air filter and a cleaning of the MAF sensor. I thought it would be the IAC, however the mechanic didn't find any indication of a faulty IAC, and didn't want to throw parts at it prematurely. The mechanic also sugggested escapes/tributes have a history of poor performance on low octane gas.

I typically use 87 octane fuel and never had a problem in the 10K miles I have owned this car. Currently the car has 57K miles. I filled a half-tank of high octane fuel and have been running fine for now.

Should I add fuel injector cleaner...if so, which type/brand?

Does anyone else promote higher octane fuel?

Problems that just seem to go away always scare me. I am not sure how often "bad fuel" is the answer but konw of others who had issue with poor quality gasoline.

Please share your comments and I will post again as updates.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:34   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Escape won't hold idle

If the IAC is dirty, it won't neccesarily set a code. I'd say to clean the IAC and Maf and see how it goes. You shouldn't have to use a higher octane fuel unless the station you use doesn't have very good gas.
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Old 11-12-2009, 15:48   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Escape won't hold idle

I agree with rtg143...the IAC is most likely the problem and it won't necessarily throw a code.

You don't need a mechanic to replace it; it's very easy to do yourself (2 screws and 1 electrical connector). There are instructions at the link below as well...

Autoclinix.com: Free Do-It-Yourself Repair Instructions
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