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Discussion Starter #1
I posted a similar thread recently, just after the Ford told the dealership to recalibrate the PCM, just after they replaced a perfectly fine fuel pump. The car still does this: First start in the morning is normal except that the engine dies immediately. Wait a few seconds and try again, and it usually starts perfectly and runs fine all day. Occasionally, the second try in the morning doesn't work and I have to give it some gas to keep it running while it warms up.

Ford Customer Service tells me they have no help to offer. The service manager at the dealership agrees that it's not normal, but his hands are tied. It's a "driveability issue", he says. Meanwhile, I have a three year old car with progressively more serious starting issues.

Can someone suggest how to fix this, or how to get Ford to take another look?

I love this car, but I'm getting very tired of hearing "Oh, well, it's a Ford, what did you expect?" from my coworkers, etc.
 

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depending on how cold it is my 07 does that with the remote starter... tried a few times then finally starts... works fine in the summer... no idea what causes it I just let the car try to start itself until it works... just my own experience not a fix or anything
 

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Explain further.....the car won't idle in the morning (initially) without holding the gas pedal down slightly? But you can keep it running using the gas pedal?

These sorts of problems are difficult for a dealer to find......since he only gets one chance in the morning to test things. Nobody wants to pay the poor mechanic for the time involved to find the fix. The easiest way is to bolt on a part.....then have the owner do the testing. Ford doesn't go for that sort of fix however.

I'd suspect a problem in the cold start circuit, maybe a gummed-up throttle plate. Tough problem...
 

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If the car runs smoothly with the gas pedal while its warming up, I'd check the IAC valve. It may be sticking when cold or not operating at all. Will the engine maintain its idle speed, after its warm, if you turn on the headlights or turn the steering wheel? It should if the IAC valve is working.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Explain further.....the car won't idle in the morning (initially) without holding the gas pedal down slightly? But you can keep it running using the gas pedal?
Correct. It runs very smoothly, too, as long as I keep holding the gas down slightly. The revs seem to drop off and I have to give it a little more, but it doesn't act like it's going to stall unless I lift my foot too soon, then it dies instantly.

The easiest way is to bolt on a part.....then have the owner do the testing. Ford doesn't go for that sort of fix however.
Sadly, that's exactly what's happening. According to Ford, it's a "driveability issue" that I just have to live with.

I'd suspect a problem in the cold start circuit, maybe a gummed-up throttle plate. Tough problem...
Haven't heard anyone mention the cold start circuit. Is that part of the ECM? They recalibrated that, and I immediately lost about 5 mpg.

Thanks for your input! I called the dealership and told them I want the IAC replaced. It will cost me $148 but the car rental will exceed that in two more days, so I figure I have very little to lose. It's a cinch Ford isn't going to agree to pay, even if/when it fixes the problem. It's either bite the bullet or sell the car, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the car runs smoothly with the gas pedal while its warming up, I'd check the IAC valve. It may be sticking when cold or not operating at all. Will the engine maintain its idle speed, after its warm, if you turn on the headlights or turn the steering wheel? It should if the IAC valve is working.
It maintains the idle speed perfectly for the rest of the day, once it's going. Occasionally, I have problems starting it when I come out of work at night, but usually it's still good until morning. Unfortunately, it doesn't have issues EVERY morning. That's one of the problems I've been having with the dealership. They were able to reproduce the issue once, but not after that. I think they believe me, but they can't fix what they can't see. I can relate to that since I work on computers all day and have the same issue when users report something that only happens when no one is looking.
 

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it's just a F.O.R.D. it's perfectly normal!

haha! jp...can you tell i've had a rough day with my ford too?!

After reading through this thread, I was even thinking of checking something even simpliar than everything else that's been mentioned in this thread...maybe you just have a bad tank of gas [idea] [dunno]
 

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it's just a F.O.R.D. it's perfectly normal!

haha! jp...can you tell i've had a rough day with my ford too?!

After reading through this thread, I was even thinking of checking something even simpliar than everything else that's been mentioned in this thread...maybe you just have a bad tank of gas [idea] [dunno]
Lately I've been responding to the "what car do you drive" question with Ford POS. ;-)

I thought of the gas, too, but I've been through lots of tanks since this started, and many different stations. I buy gas in Ohio and Michigan due to my 110 mile roundtrip daily commute. Yet another reason this is SO wrong.
 

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Mine is a 2007 and it does same only once or twice a month..I just left my local dealer and they told me to apply light throttle until it starts...
 

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^^Don't do that. It isn't a carburetor.


Only things that are coming to my mind are too large of air gap in the Crank Position Sensor or maybe Cam Position Sensor (little bit of absorbed engine heat and they read properly?) or something not quite right with the way the ECU reads the initial TPS location (sends a quick 5volts and reads where the TPS is and calls that closed throttle, everything there after is open throttle). Or possibly something with the way the power for the fuel pump is directed - initial key on should prime the pump but maybe it is crossed somewhere and 'start' is priming the pump ...
 

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Check your ground wire from your battery... mine was loose and slightly corroded... i could keep the engine alive at high revs but would die immediately after i released the gas... Sometimes the car would work, but the vibration of the engine would move the ground wire and cause the car to stall...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hallelujah! The car is fixed, due almost entirely to the advice I got from you all. I told the dealership I wanted the IAC replaced, even if I had to pay for it myself. I asked them to look at it one more time, left it with them last night, and they started it this morning. Voila! The car wouldn't keep running when they started it. The service write up says that the IAC was reading 58% and was sticking. They "smacked it", and it started working. They replaced the IAC and it's working like a charm now. Bottom line is, my car is fixed and the warranty covered it.

Many many thanks to the REAL experts here at the forum!
 

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Mine is a 2007 and it does same only once or twice a month..I just left my local dealer and they told me to apply light throttle until it starts...
Yeah, that's what they kept telling me, too. All I can tell you is, my problem started exactly like you describe. It only happened once in awhile, so I just chalked it up to questionable gas. Not so. Beware, beware. If it starts happening with more frequency, take this thread to the dealership and save yourself a lot of time and aggravation.
 

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God I can't believe that Ford wouldn't catch something like that. Thats ridiculous.
Yeah, I agree. They said it was the first thing they checked but there were no codes stored that supported the IAC being the problem so -- in spite of all evidence to the contrary-- they decided it was working just fine. Problem solving is a lost art.
 

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Yeah, I agree. They said it was the first thing they checked but there were no codes stored that supported the IAC being the problem so -- in spite of all evidence to the contrary-- they decided it was working just fine. Problem solving is a lost art.
Maybe for them, but obviously not for the fine folks at Fooooocus Fanaaaaaaaatics. (Que cheesy super heroesque music now) :p
 

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LOL Mine does this, it's just an annoyance I ignore, like some others, because I know what the problem is and I'm not about to leave my car at the dealership for a couple of days for a free IAC.

The idle does bump up to normal if I tap the accel, although it has been a little high here recently, but that's because I haven't "winterized" my radiator yet.
 

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Yeah, I agree. They said it was the first thing they checked but there were no codes stored that supported the IAC being the problem so -- in spite of all evidence to the contrary-- they decided it was working just fine. Problem solving is a lost art.
If the mechanic can't verify the concern what do you expect them to do? Throw parts at it? Ford would not be happy with that dealership if they did that all the time, especially when they are footing the bill. Every car they look at they are expected to solve problems, so I guess nobody's cars get fixed if the art has been lost. I get sick of all the mechanic bashing on this forum.[mad]
 
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