1996 Taurus-strange stall

Howdy ya’ll!

My 1996 Ford, 3.0 V6, auto, 161,000 miles lately has been doing something strange. It doesn’t do it all the time. Here’s what it does:

I’ll go to start it and after the engine catches and starts to run, it’ll start idling rough…well, actually, it’ll almost stall because the RPMs are dropping below 500 rpm. I can rev it and it’ll get out of that slump. It’ll idle irradically and then it warms up and all is fine. I thought it was the cold weather. I commented to my wife that this is a rather cold winter, coldest we’ve had in a while. IT HAS NEVER STALLED COMPLETELY ON ME. She used my car to go to work, 4 blocks away, so it had NO time to warm up. There’s only one stop sign before she reaches work and its on a slight hill and she said it died on her there. Apparently she got it started and went on to work.

I thought this was because of much COLDER temperatures but I remembered that sometime this last summer, it still did that funny start up BUT NEVER DIED. My difference is I hit the highway to go to work.

It doesn’t do it everytime, but what’s the culprit?

Thanks to you all


The cheapest idea that comes to mind is a sticking idle air control valve (iacv) pintle. Remove said iacv and use throttle body spray cleaner to clean the pintle, and the air passages to and from it. While there, clean the throttle body bore and throttle plate.