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.