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89 DA LTD 3.9MPI
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116 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok.. this is probably the most basic question ever asked on these forums but I dunno shit about car engines etc..

Here's the problem:

Battery died.. was a hell-old battery so decided to replace it anyway.

Take out old battery, put in new battery (simple)

Start car.. starts easier than it ever has before.. pull out of garage.. car conks out. Start car.. give it some gas.. take foot of pedal.. car conks out.

It can't idle AT ALL.. doesnt even nearly idle.. just splutters and stalls.

I have NO idea what I could've done wrong.. all I did was change the battery!

Help :(

Only thing I can think of is something to do with the old alarm that the previous owner had, but that has been disabled completely. Maybe changing batteries made some kinda fuel cut kick in? but then it wouldnt start at all right? The alarm box is still in the engine bay and wired up, but he said I wouldnt need to worry about it and it wouldn't effect anything.
 

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formerly sikEA
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2,142 Posts
When you change batteries the computer loses memory, causing it to have all sorts of issues trying to idle etc. You need to disconnect your battery again for around 10/15 mins, reconnect it, turn all accessories off, start the car. Dont touch the throttle, just let it hunt for its idle. It should sort itself out within 10 or so mins. Then take it for a drive, give it curry, baby it, every kind of driving style. Run the aircon too.

Im pretty sure thats how most people reset their computer, im usually too impatient to do it that way so i take it to my local Ford Dealer who for 5 bucks reset my computer and check base timing for me

if its your alarm, well, I have no idea lol.
 

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do YOU have rubber?
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2,357 Posts
The first thing that popped into my mind is the fact that your ECU has reset (it forgets its settings and "relearns" them) but usually that requires an extended period of time without voltage. Nevertheless I'd not rule this out. I'm assuming that the car just stalls straight away or does it go for some number of minutes first? Have you checked the idle speed? Has it slowed since the new battery? Have you cleaned your filter, ISC, throttle body etc recently? Of course this is all not directly related to the new battery but it'd be good to eliminate these anyway. Spark plugs, leads etc are also worth a check if you’ve not attended to these in some time.

The other thing I would try is disconnecting the battery for 24hrs or so and then taking her for a drive after re-connecting. This will guarantee a reset ECU.
 

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Registered
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16 Posts
same thing happened to me and for some stupid reason it was the MAP sensor.some how someway they stuff up due to the battery being changed :fraz:
 

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100MPH Hunter
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1,045 Posts
Are the connectors OK on the battery, if they look doubtful and could be that they are loosing connection with the battery.
 

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T5 Expert Operator
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6,540 Posts
It's the ECU in relearn mode as others have mentioned, best way is to just drive it and it will learn back, i've experienced that it could take about 30-40km or more worth driving before it gets back to the way it was. Nothing to worry bout though.

Cheers,
Gary.
 

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89 DA LTD 3.9MPI
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116 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
It could well be the ECU like you gus are saying.. but I can't start it and let it sit and learn because it doesn't sit.. you start it, it just conks out instantly. The ONLY way to keep it running is to keep your foot on the accelerator.

As for any other parts of the engine as far as leads, filters, etc.. the car was running absolutely perfectly until a few days ago when the battery died, and it was the next morning that I put the new battery in.

Any advice on what to do if it's the ECU? or what else it could be?

Thanks for all the help guys.
 

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Registered
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155 Posts
cenithx said:
It could well be the ECU like you gus are saying.. but I can't start it and let it sit and learn because it doesn't sit.. you start it, it just conks out instantly. The ONLY way to keep it running is to keep your foot on the accelerator.

As for any other parts of the engine as far as leads, filters, etc.. the car was running absolutely perfectly until a few days ago when the battery died, and it was the next morning that I put the new battery in.

Any advice on what to do if it's the ECU? or what else it could be?

Thanks for all the help guys.

Don't Worry Cenithx.
My EF has done this twice (don't get batteries from Super Cheap). My car wouldn't start for nearly 10 secs of starter motor action.

Wouldn't idle for a few days, still completely drivable.

It will sort it self out... Give it shit loads... Its a ford.

Cheers, Case.
 

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89 DA LTD 3.9MPI
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116 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Even though it conks out at every set of lights? :p

I'll try what you guys say.. take it for a few decent length drives each night.. hopefully it sorts itself out. I want it working nice coz i'm looking at selling it soon.. founds a new toy that I want :D
 

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Two SC 61's = trouble
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6,360 Posts
Turn the idle up alittle. Check that no vacuum hoses etc have come adrift esp from inlet..I guess you have put every lead back on battery? All earth & connections o/k ??
 

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Super Moderator
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3,722 Posts
You will also need to reset the 4 speed auto throttle calibration, With engine off and ignition on go through the following sequence with the shift lever and power/economy switch:
Manual 1
Economy
Manual 2
Power
Manual 3
Economy
 

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Registered User
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345 Posts
cenithx said:
Even though it conks out at every set of lights? :p

I'll try what you guys say.. take it for a few decent length drives each night.. hopefully it sorts itself out. I want it working nice coz i'm looking at selling it soon.. founds a new toy that I want :D
Learn to drive with the left foot for braking and keep the right foot on the throttle,the ecu will relearn and everything will be fine.
 

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89 DA LTD 3.9MPI
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116 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Hrm seems to be slowly on its way to recovery.. it can drive forwards now at least.. still conks out sometimes but most of the time manages to idle.. as long as I don't turn the wheel while idling.. power steering seems to tell the engine to turn off :p

Reverse also just doesnt work.. as soon as you put it into reverse and try idle it conks out.. guess its just a matter of time..

thanks for all thehelp guys :D
 

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Hanging Around
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1,209 Posts
Im with EBXR, 90% of cars I service need base idle adjustments, You can get a 75,000km EL, and it will need at least 1/2 - 3/4 of a turn with the ISC disconnected.

On the right of the throttle body is a screw, it may be a hex head, and it may not.
Screw this in just under one turn and start it up and see how it goes, if its idling too fast back it off slightly, until it idles nicely at around 650rpm (this is the cheats way to do it - with out unplugging the isc.)
 

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BA Fairmont ZL Fairlane
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3,293 Posts
ok so i went thread mining! my car is doing EXACTLY the same with the exception that it has no computer (to my knowledge) and i didnt change the battery. it is a 1984 carby fed Ford Meteor and it just will not idle. it will drive but as soon as your foot comes off the accelerator it just dies. the car was running fine till the other day when i was doing 100kmh and it cut out as i was slowing down to go to 80kmh. since then it just doesnt idle anymore. looked all over the forums and tryed everthing i can think of without adjusting mixture screws and things like that. any ideas?
 

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No longer around
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4,882 Posts
Aussiblue said:
You will also need to reset the 4 speed auto throttle calibration, With engine off and ignition on go through the following sequence with the shift lever and power/economy switch:
Manual 1
Economy
Manual 2
Power
Manual 3
Economy
is that just for 6 cyl or for all???
 

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400 kg ego
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6,188 Posts
davway, easiest thing would be to up the base idle a bit. Your workshop manual will tell you where the idle screw thingy is. :s5

Mind you, my dad's carby Corolla had a problem where it was idling at 2000 rpm. I never got around to reducing the base idle and now it has fixed itself. :wtf:

/me doesn't understand carby
 

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Banned
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3,104 Posts
If a carby won't idle it could be a few things - blocked idle jets, mixture leaned out, or what.
Does it have an electric choke?
Can you fix it by adjusting the throttle stop screw a little?
 
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