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My Car is Trying to Kill Me

I drive a 2001 Ford Taurus with 140,800 miles on it. And it’s trying to kill me. Since last October when it started to get cold in Colorado (I took the car from NC) the car started to speed up at random times. It’s been to the dealer and two different mechanics, none of whom can fix the problem. The mechanic who has been the most helpful cleaned out the throttle body and ran diagnostics on it. The cruise control has also been disabled. He said the car looks like it should work (though he has also experienced it’s episodes) and is stumped.

It has “episodes” where it speeds up to about 65 mph without touching the gas. When I step on my brakes it will stop speeding up. Though the gas pedal occasionally feels like it’s “catching” it does not get stuck, and has so far not been catching prior to an episode. Sometimes it doesn’t want to slow down at a stop light, and when I can reign it in, the RPMs climb up around 3 or 4 thousand (I have to throw it in neutral and rev it to get it to go back to normal). It also has a tendency to drive through my neighborhood at 15 mph without me touching anything…and it doesn’t slow down even after it goes over the mountain sized speed bumps. I’m currently keeping a log of what happens before the car does this…but there are zero consistencies.

Please help me before I have to bring in a priest and some holy water for an exorcism.

I can only guess that the IAC (idle air control) valve or the throttle plate is persistently getting stuck wide open, or that the throttle cable from the gas pedal is binding.

I should probably also mention that it’s been through all diagnostics possible and the computer thinks that everything’s fine…