Ford explorer will not idle

out of the blue my 2001 ford explorer xlt will not idle. It stars up fine but cuts out as soon as I take my foot off the gas. Any suggestions where to start?

There might be a problem in the Idle Air Control circuit.

The throttle body has mounted on it a component called the Idle Air Control motor. This component controls the engine idle speed under all conditions whenever the accelerator is released. If the idle air bleed port on the throttle body is dirty so air can’t enter the engine, or if the IAC motor itself is dirty where it’s sticking and not allowing air into the engine, the engine can stall whenever the accelerator is released.

The first thing to try is remove the IAC motor from the throttle body, and try cleaning it along with the throttle body and idle air bleed ports to see if this remedies the stalling problem. If it doesn’t, then it might mean the IAC motor is defective and requires replacement.


This may be what your idle air control valve (iac) looks like:,59818/vehicleId,2603201/initialAction,partProductDetail/store,1140/partType,00207/shopping/partProductDetail.htm Use the Throttle Body Cleaner spray, without removing the iac, first, to clean the throttle plate and bore and iac valve. Let it soak a few minuets, spray again, soak again. Start the engine and see. Results?

Sometimes when these idle valves stick (a common problem with them), you can tap them a few times with a hammer to unstick. If that works, you still need to clean or replace the valve. The latest rev of the valve has some design changes that make it much less likely to stick.

It sounds like the IAC to me too. Do you normally start the vehicle with your foot on the gas? You are not supposed to.

its really an air bypass valve,just called an IAC,and there is no said motor,and will never have a said motor,thats GM,and all others ,air bypass works completly opposite.its a solenoid.

the guess is correct,but the DIAG is incorrect.

hope that helps.

Tapping it worked! Thank you so much for the info

Thanks so much, I cleaned it and it works fine!

Thanks, the picture was great and cleaning it worked fine!

No I do not step on the gas to start. Cleaning the IAC worked