2003 Ford Escape V6 Needs Experts Advice

So . . . my car runs fine almost all the time and I love it. But every couple of weeks when I start her up she won’t hold a steady idle. Unless I hold my foot on the accelerator pedal she dies right out. I have had to limp home as she dies at each stop light. I have tried disconnecting the battery to re-set the computer but it never seems to help. On the drive home, there will be episodes of misfiring after which the computer will re-set itself. (The dash instruments go to zero and then back into normal range while I am driving down the road!) After a couple of re-sets, the car drives fine the rest of the way and continues fine for a couple of weeks (except for some misfiring at idle). And at cruising speed there is a chatter behind the dash which sounds like its from the computer–very intermittent and only at around 45-60 mph–it only lasts a few seconds and goes away when I changed speed. Has anybody ever had these problems? The car is great in every other way after 104,000 miles. In the past 12 months I have changed the thermostat, the plugs, the PCV, the fuel filter, and the air filter. A year ago both Brake Sensor rings cracked so I replaced both CV shafts. The crankshaft position sensor code came on twice and I replaced it twice. I do all my own work but I am stuck in a rut right now. Has anyone had this problem and solved it?


You may have more than 1 problem . . .

“Won’t hold a steady idle . . . dies at each stop light” almost certainly the IAC idle air control valve

Common problem on Fords, and it’s an easy fix

As for the misfires, a lot of things could be causing them

Check fuel pressure

Do an injector balance test

Do a compression test

I will say this . . . if you let that misfire go for too long, you may wind up damaging the cat

Does your engine us wires or is it COP coil on plug?

There are lots of things that could cause the intermittent idle issue. You will have to eliminate things one at a time to get to the trouble, starting with the most likely issues. The dash problem appears to be due to a intermittent power problem to the dash area. By looking at a wiring diagram and by checking which things are affected you should be able to locate suspect trouble areas in the wire connections.