Idles faster as car warms up

I have a 1995 Mercury Tracer Trio with a Toyota syndrome. This car is as basic as it gets. The only power options this car has are electric mirrors and power steering. It doesn’t have cruise control and it has manual roll up windows.

When I start the car, it idles at about 1200rpm which is a little high. As the car warms up the idle will go higher. The car idles at 3000rpm after it warms up and will travel about 45 mph. If I turn off the car and go into a store for an hour or two, when I start the car it will idle up to 3000rpm then drop to about 2500rpm.

The car had a blown head gasket, which was replaced before I got it. About 6 months later it blew another head gasket and I found it had a cracked head which I replaced. The high idle problem started between the first blown gasket and the second blown gasket.

I checked my throttle cable and it is not sticking. I tried manually turning back the throttle and it’s as far back as it goes.

I just replaced my brake pads and figured I should try to get this fixed so I don’t have to replace pads every 20,000 miles or have my tranny go out from all the hard shifts when changing from forward to reverse. I drive the car daily to work which is about 80 miles roundtrip.

I’ve talked to area mechanics about this problem but when you hear “I’ve never heard of that before, but you can bring it in we can check it out!” That doesn’t exude confidence and sounds like it could get expensive, more from a labor standpoint than a mechanical one. Can you help me out with this one?

Check the electrical workings of your idle air control valve and pull it and clean it.

Check for vacuum leaks, including the intake manifold.

If it has a mass aiflow sensor (I’m pretty sure it does) clean it.

Is the check engine light on?

The intake manifold gasket and the idle air control valve were replaced when I replaced the head, which was after the problem started. The check engine light comes on intermitently and has since I owned the car. We could never find out why. It does have a mass airflow sensor and I’m going out to check it now, as well as check for vacuum leaks.

The check engine light is associated with codes. So find out what the codes are and post them.

As a '95 this is an OBD-1 system - on OBD-2 large auto parts stores read codes for free but I doubt any of them can do OBD-1. There are sometimes ways to pull codes without a reader - if you have a repair manual see what it has to say about it.

No, your car does not have Toyota syndrome. What it has is “failure to maintain” syndrome. When you say “I talked to area mechanics about this problem,” what I hear is “I don’t have a regular mechanic.”

Any decent independent mechanic will be able to recover the diagnostic codes from the car’s computer and should be able to fix the problem. It may cost some money, but that’s the way it goes.

The car you’re driving is not safe the way it is. 3,000 RPM is highway speed in high gear. The engine should idle at around 750 RPM. You’re endangering yourself and other motorists. Why? To save a few dollars?

Stop it! Find a mechanic you’re comfortable with and let him or her fix the car.

First off, the Toyota syndrome crack was a stab at levity, but most people would know that. Secondly, a 1.9L Ford engine does not have the power to overcome the braking power of the brakes. Just because it idles at 3000rpm in park does not mean it will maintain 3000rpm under load. At highway speed if I let off on the accelerator pedal the car will slow down and the rpm will drop. The car will idle at 25mph if I would let it. When I brake the car the rpm will drop to 1500rpm and yes I have new brakes.
I was also told by Auto Zone that 1996 was the first year for this model that they could attach to the computer for error codes. If you’re a mechanic and can refute that, please feel free to do so.
And as I stated in my opening comment, there are no good mechanics in the area, at least I haven’t found one. But thanks for your comments, opinion and concern.

try replacing your oxygen censor and check all other sensors because itsn sounds like what mine was doin last year and i replaced those and it was better and dont forget to check your pcv hose because that could be the problem also