'95 explorer idles around 500 and dies


Old 08-18-03, 10:56 AM
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'95 explorer idles around 500 and dies

Hello, I hope someone can help with this one....

95 ford explorer xlt (4door)
4.0 6cyl.
automatic trans, AC,PW,PL,PS

Here's the deal, It drives great. Then every month or so, I'll be driving and the engine will idle at around 500 rpm. I have to keep the pedal down so it will rev up without dying. It isn't spurting or anything, just a nice constant LOW idle. If I manage to get where I need to go, I park it and come back 30 minutes later. Everything will be fine for the next month. It will idle at 1000 with no problems.

It was doing this more often at the beginning of the summer. So I have a mechanic look at it. He treated the symptoms, but never said for certain that he KNEW what the problem was. He gave it a complete tune up: plugs, oil change, fuel filter. air filter. He said he checked the alternator and found no problems. 2 weeks later, it happened again. I had the battery checked, and the battery expert said "it was only holding 200" (amps???). So I bought a new battery. Convinced that this must have been the problem all along, and now fixed, I drove it out of town....bad idea. It did it again. I took it to a mechanic in the city I was visiting, and basically told him to do what he needed to do. This was a real honest guy, because after 2.5 hours he called me and said he couldn't find anything wrong. He couldn't even duplicate the problem. I only had to pay him $30.00. He too said that he checked the alternator. So the rest of my trip went fine.

I don't know if this means anything, but I do notice that even when it seems to drive ok, the power windows will rob the a/c of power. (for example)

Any thoughts are helpful..One guy said to add a bottle of heat to the gas tank, because it my be water in the lines. I don't know if I buy that one. Thanks

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Old 08-18-03, 12:01 PM
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Pull off the idle air control valve. It is likely stuffed with carbon. Clean out the throttle body with the Ford approved cleaner from the dealer.

Take off the EGR valve, clean it too. Reinstall it with a new gasket.

If these don't solve it, look carefully at the vacuum lines for any splits or problems. Correct as needed.

Also, one of these two could be causing a problem and the parts need to be changed----but test them first using the procedures in autolibrary.org below in my signature file.

I do recall some vacuum/intake leaks being a problem on this era Explorer too. See if Alldata.com has anything in the way of bulletins on that.
Old 08-18-03, 04:24 PM
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Location: USA
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Sounds like to me you might have a TPS with an intermittent problem.
Old 08-18-03, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538
i would check with your local ford dealer to see if they have a revised iac valve you might even have them check for a tsb on the problem wich i believe they had at one time for a sticking iac valve.
Old 08-18-03, 06:51 PM
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Another place to look is the Mass airflow located by the air filter. I have seen dirt get lodged in there and cause this same problem.

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