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Old 08-18-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
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Exclamation Engine Shuts Off at Stop Light

This started a couple of days ago.
I do mostly highway driving, but when I am in the city stop and go traffic.
It seems like about 1/3 of the stop lights I stop at, my engine will stop as though it is stalling.

I have an automatic transmission, so I dont understand why this could happen.
The idle sounds and feel great.
Ive tried different types of gas with the thought that maybe I got some bad gasoline somewhere and that didnt do anything. I also tried it with the AC on and off.

Im really puzzled.
Any suggestions?


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Old 08-18-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
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Moved to Technical Chat.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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Moved to Technical Chat.
Woops, sorry about that!
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:46 PM   #4
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Does it seem like the transmission is causing the engine to drag down? It could be that your torque converter is not unlocking.

First off though, I'd hit the typical culprit of odd stalling issues- the IACV. Remove the IAC, get a gasket for $1 if you want (I don't think Ford uses one), use carb cleaner or any handy solvent (electrical parts cleaner is good, brake parts cleaner= no) to clean the IAC shaft and everything you can clean in there. You can push the plunger down with the Q-tip to see if anything comes out. It doesn't go back all the way.

Your problem, if it is the IAC, is that it's sticking closed= no idle. Assuming it starts right up, that's because the computer runs enough juice to it to open all the way. As soon as the engine is started, it drops the idle as engine temps dictate. It happens so quick you won't notice it except on cold starts. Cleaning should take care of it.

I'd also do a close inspection on everything air intake wise, and like I recommend to everyone when they have a problem : routine maintenance. Go through all the typical tune-up unless that stuff is brand new: fuel filter, air filter, plug wires, plugs, PCV check/replacement. At least pull the plugs, check gap/deposits, and re-install. Those aren't symptomatic of your problem, but you might find something else.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:45 PM   #5
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Try something. When you come up to a stop, shift into neutral and see if it makes a difference. It could be a torque converter problem. How many miles on your Focus.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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that used to happen to my older non ford vehicle sometimes, turns out my trans fluid was low, easy enough to check. i would cruise up to a stop light, and the engine would just shut off, dropped in a bottle and never happened again, hope this helps....
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
Does it seem like the transmission is causing the engine to drag down? It could be that your torque converter is not unlocking.

First off though, I'd hit the typical culprit of odd stalling issues- the IACV. Remove the IAC, get a gasket for $1 if you want (I don't think Ford uses one), use carb cleaner or any handy solvent (electrical parts cleaner is good, brake parts cleaner= no) to clean the IAC shaft and everything you can clean in there. You can push the plunger down with the Q-tip to see if anything comes out. It doesn't go back all the way.

Your problem, if it is the IAC, is that it's sticking closed= no idle. Assuming it starts right up, that's because the computer runs enough juice to it to open all the way. As soon as the engine is started, it drops the idle as engine temps dictate. It happens so quick you won't notice it except on cold starts. Cleaning should take care of it.

I'd also do a close inspection on everything air intake wise, and like I recommend to everyone when they have a problem : routine maintenance. Go through all the typical tune-up unless that stuff is brand new: fuel filter, air filter, plug wires, plugs, PCV check/replacement. At least pull the plugs, check gap/deposits, and re-install. Those aren't symptomatic of your problem, but you might find something else.

Sorry for the late response.
I will check those items you mentioned this weekend.
However, today i did inspect all of teh intake, PCV plugs and wires and they are all good to go.

Something elkse I hadnt noticed was, this only seems to happen on very hot days and has never happened at night time.
I also checked coolant and that was fine too.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:09 PM   #8
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I am having the same issue....but when I turn off a/c it doesn't stall... when I accelerate though if feels like it flutters unless I give it full throttle.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:42 AM   #9
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Something elkse I hadnt noticed was, this only seems to happen on very hot days and has never happened at night time.
Ok, I'm thinking cleaning the IAC will solve the problem. Depending on mileage and available money, you might just want to replace it in case the solenoid is weak. I'd try cleaning it to see if that solves the problem first, then that will insure that you're not wasting money on a part that won't fix the problem.

I'd also double check the trans by shifting to N before coming to a stop. When you do that- be sure to leave yourself a lot of room in case the engine shuts off and you lose the power brake booster. If it's the IAC, the engine will still shut off, if it's the transmission- then it won't. A fluid level and consistency check would be a good idea also. If the fluid smells rotten, is brown, or very dirty, then I'd recommend a filter change. I don't personally recommend flushes, but there is a procedure for draining the torque converter if you really want to get all the fluid out of it. If the fluid smells rotten, then you should remove all the fluid, and check the transmission vent.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:47 AM   #10
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I am having the same issue....but when I turn off a/c it doesn't stall... when I accelerate though if feels like it flutters unless I give it full throttle.
That is definitely an IAC problem. Your engines ECU should increase the idle slightly- or simply maintain it- when the AC is on. I'd clean the TB, clean the IAC, then re-install, warm the engine up, then reset the ECU with the engine warm, and allow the car to idle for 5 minutes, AC off, after starting- or until the idle drops to normal which is around 800 rpm in P. If you don't have a tach, then you can either allow it to idle for 10 mins or so, or use the odometer trick before starting the car. If you have an exhaust you can hear the idle drop, but I doubt you can tell with a stock exhaust. During the A/F test, the idle fluctuates slightly around 1k rpm, and drops when it is finished.
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