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Old 03-10-2013, 10:37 PM   #1
milosbestfriend
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Intermittent stalling in my 2003 Ford Focus

Forgive my first post being a problem with my car, I absolutely love it and rarely have had problems with it...but...

I have a 2003 manual transmission focus hatchback with 190,000 miles. Since I bought it in 2005 I have had trouble with it stalling 4 times, once in 2006, 2009 (I think), and yesterday and today. Each time, I have been driving for a while (more than an hour), then stop and turn it off for at least 20 mins. When I try to restart, it turns over but doesn't catch (doesn't fully start on its own). However, if I give it gas while turning the key and let out the clutch quickly at the same time, I can get it to start, and even get it in gear and go as long as I keep giving it gas. If I push the clutch in, or put it in neutral, it stalls. It is as if the setting on the idle is too low to keep it going. But when it is in gear and running it runs smoothly, not rough at all. Here's the problem: every time this has happened, after the car sits for at least half a day after this problem, it starts up fine with no issues and continues to run for several years without a problem. Except yesterday: it happened around 10 am, then I left it for about 10 hours, and it was back to normal; but this afternoon it happened again. I have taken it to the dealer the other times but since it is running normally by the time they see it they can't figure it out. It has happened in summer and winter, and since it's done this I've replaced the starter, the battery, gotten tune ups and replaced the spark plugs etc. (not because of this problem, just as normal maintenance) since I got the car.

I'm taking it in tomorrow but I would love to have some idea of whether or not this has happened to others...I have been reading the forums but can't find anything exactly like this...so sorry for the long post but I'd be very interested to hear any opinions on what this could be! Thanks very much.


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Old 03-11-2013, 05:41 AM   #2
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You need a new idle air control valve. It's just a little valve that controls air flow around the throttle body to control idle. It's getting stuck because it's old. Cleaning might help, but since the car is 10 years old, you might as well replace it.

Hopefully they won't mess anything else up on a Monday.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
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thanks for the suggestion...they didn't take it!

Thanks for the suggestion...I took it to the dealer and, as expected, they could not reproduce the stalling problem. I even told the service mgr that it might be the idle air intake valve, and could they check it to see if it was dirty or needed to be replaced. But all they told me was that the mechanic checked everything and could not find a problem...so I have to pick it up (and pay the $79 diagnosis fee!). I will have to wait til it does it again, hopefully between 8 and 5 on a weekday I suppose!
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
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It's probably best just to replace the part. I found this price for you on http://www.rockauto.com. It includes the gasket so you won't need anything else.

Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve
DELPHI Part # CV10102- $53.79

It would be much cheaper to swap this part out yourself if you have some tools and are confident in your mechanical ability. I'm sure if you search the forum you can find a "how to" guide. Hopefully this resolves your stalling problem. Best of luck!

--edit--
I'm not associated with Rock Auto in any way. I just like their prices. You can usually find 5% off coupons for them too if you look it up via Google.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:04 PM   #5
milosbestfriend
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thanks

thanks for the info. I'm not very confident in my mechanical ability (mostly my lack of tools!), but I have friends and family who are... It might be worth doing if nothing more than for peace of mind.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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I found a short YouTube video for you to give you a better idea of what's involved.
It's really simple. Let us know how it turns out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RadB8iKzs5k
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