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Hey guys,got an irritating prob with my 99 1.8zetec which Ive owned for around 2 months,this is my second time owning this car,when started from cold usually first thing it revs about 1400-1800 rpm steady for about 2miles then drops to normal and car drives fine,then sometimes you get the feeling when your dipping the clutch pedal at junction's/roundabouts the car is going to stall but never has,then when the car has sat for 2-3 hours again it revs to about 1400 rpm again untill it warms up, this has been a steady pattern over the past month and a half,the car runs perfect apart from this and has been regularly serviced, I just feel its wasting valuable fuel needlessly,thanks for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hey guys,got an irritating prob with my 99 1.8zetec which Ive owned for around 2 months,this is my second time owning this car,when started from cold usually first thing it revs about 1400-1800 rpm steady for about 2miles then drops to normal and car drives fine,then sometimes you get the feeling when your dipping the clutch pedal at junction's/roundabouts the car is going to stall but never has,then when the car has sat for 2-3 hours again it revs to about 1400 rpm again untill it warms up, this has been a steady pattern over the past month and a half,the car runs perfect apart from this and has been regularly serviced, I just feel its wasting valuable fuel needlessly,thanks for any help.
no-one help me with this one?[:(]
 

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Hey guys,got an irritating prob with my 99 1.8zetec which Ive owned for around 2 months,this is my second time owning this car,when started from cold usually first thing it revs about 1400-1800 rpm steady for about 2miles then drops to normal and car drives fine,then sometimes you get the feeling when your dipping the clutch pedal at junction's/roundabouts the car is going to stall but never has,then when the car has sat for 2-3 hours again it revs to about 1400 rpm again untill it warms up, this has been a steady pattern over the past month and a half,the car runs perfect apart from this and has been regularly serviced, I just feel its wasting valuable fuel needlessly,thanks for any help.
This behavior- aside of feeling like it might stall- is completely normal. In order for your engine to operate at peak efficiency it must be warm. A cold engine wastes fuel.

Typically, the cold idle shouldn't last that long though. You might have some other issues. What is your normal idle speed? If it's not around 700, if it's lower, then you might have a vacuum leak at the PCV vacuum hose. That is common in NA cars, but not sure about UK. It should be checked thoroughly because 2 opposite issues with the same effect can occur- 1 is cracking rubber elbows that leak, and the other is decaying rubber elbows that collapse under idle.

Finally, the device that controls idle is called the Idle Air Control valve. It is a simple device to remove and clean, and if there are gaskets associated with it, then you can purchase those for less than a pound. It wouldn't hurt to remove it and clean it with carb cleaner. It sounds like yours might be sticking- some fast idle when the engine is cold is normal, but unless temps are approaching 0C, I wouldn't expect it to last more than a few minutes.
 

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OH, for kicks, you might want to use the electronic odometer trick to track your engine temps in C. These engines are most efficient when right around 100C- just above or just below by a few degrees. The procedure is simple: key off, press and hold the trip odometer reset button. Turn the key to ON while still holding the reset, wait for the electronic odometer display to change to [test]. Now release the reset button. Every time you press and release the button until you turn the key off, the odometer will scroll through another test mode. You're looking for one where the display changes to [15 C] with the number corresponding to something logical. Overnight on a cold engine, it should be close to ambient temperature.

You will also be able to see if the thermostat is working correctly. Engine temp should go up to your thermostat temp, which is around 95C, then when the thermostat opens, temp will fall again. Over several cycles like this the engine temp will hover around the thermostat temp. If you're not seeing this kind of cycling, then you might have a thermostat that is stuck open.
 
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