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Over the years, many Foci owners on this forum have complained that when they drive their Focus in hot weather and then shut the car off for awhile (e.g., run into the grocery store), the engine - occasionally - refuses to start again. Actually, the engine starts fine - but it stalls immediately, and will not run until the car has cooled for 15 or 20 minutes. No CEL's and the car otherwise runs well.

The forum has offered alot of solutions; a stuck IAC is the most plausible, but its location under the intake manifold makes a DIY repair a major hassle and probably a couple of hundred dollars for a mechanic to do. I discovered an easy, free workaround that kicks the IAC, un-sticking it, allowing the engine to start immediately and smoothly.

After spending the month of July in the hot south, I had lotsa opportunities to test it, and it worked every time. There are still plenty of hot days left in August for most parts of the country, so try this the next time your Focus does its hot-weather-no-restart bit:

1. Turn ignition off.
2. Turn ignition on - but do not start engine (i.e. turn key until all the usual dash lights illuminate).
3. Turn heater fan speed switch to the 1 or 2 position. Fan should spin.
4. Press the A/C button. Green A/C LED should light.
5. Start engine.

Note: My Focus has had this stall problem for the last few summers. Living in a northern climate, I usually don't use A/C, and I noticed that the stall usually coincides with no A/C. On the rare days that I am running the A/C and the engine stalls when restarting it, I simply did the opposite of this procedure - in steps #3 & 4, I turned the fan & A/C off, and then it started fine.

Summary: the IAC seems to get stuck on some Foci in hot weather, preventing a normal start. The A/C can be used to toggle the valve to its correct position, allowing the engine to start.

I hope this helps any of you who have suffered from this aggravating problem!!! [wiggle]
 

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First, Many thanks for this solution.

Second, this solution worked for me yesterday (9-29-14) exactly as outlined when I stopped at a local fast food place for supper and got to experience this stalling issue for the first time with my 2002 SE Wagon.

Yes, I Googled it from the parking lot!
Saved my bacon, it did!

The only variant to my parking was that this parking space had a slight uphill elevation in the front of this store. I wonder if this was coincidental or perhaps contributed to this issue.

Nevertheless, I am one Focus owner who greatly benefited from the sharing of this tip.
Thanks again.
 

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More like just strokes the IAC shaft a little more than normal to scrape the shaft clean. It can work but not always. Easy to do though. Sometimes stroking more can make it stick worse though, the luck of the draw.
 

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Hey, we charged $150 for demon exorcism on cars at the family garage.
 
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