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99 Taurus Duratec High Idle on Startup

02-16-2009, 03:55 PM
I have a 1999 Ford Taurus SE with the 3.0 24v with 72,000 mi. Within the past two months I've noticed that it idles higher than usual when the engine is cold at startup. It usually lingers around 1800-2000 rpm for about 6 seconds then 1600 for a little bit then after a minute it finally goes down under 1500. Occasionally, it will start up and stick at like 2300 rpm for a few seconds then go down.

Normally, I wait for the idle to slow down when I start it up before I put it into gear, but if I'm in a hurry and have to put it in drive right away with the idle still high, it jerks and I'm afraid I'm going to break something. If the engine is warm, it starts and idles normally.

I don't know if this is connected or not, but I also have to turn the ignition to ON for 2 secs then to START, otherwise it doesn't start right away. If I go right from OFF to START it cranks longer than usual. Again, it only does this when the engine is cool, totally normal when warm.

I don't know if this is normal for the Duratec, but I had a 1996 Taurus GL with the Vulcan and I never had this problem.

I'd appreciate any advice/opinions.

Thanks in advance!

02-19-2009, 06:32 PM
try cleaning the IAC and throttle body

02-20-2009, 01:19 AM
for the having to wait to start it problem check for fuel pressure after the car sits overnight. Do this by going to the fuel rail removing the cap that looks like a valve stem cap and pushing a small screwdriver into it. if fuel sprays out your good if not then the fuel lines and pump are losing their prime.

02-21-2009, 08:48 PM
My father's '99 Sable Duratec did this, but at 115K miles, lol. First of all I found a couple of vacuum leaks, one was the PCV U bend hose-it was collapsing and had a split in it. Also, the PCV hose where it connects to the oil separator underneath the LIM was shot. I found this while I was replacing the LIM gaskets assuming they were the problem-which they weren't, but performing that task allowed me to find the bad hose on the oil separator. Hopefully this'll help to either find your cause, or at least eliminate a couple of possibilities.

03-04-2009, 09:19 PM
I checked the stem on the fuel rail a few hours after I used the car, and when I pressed on the pin nothing came out. Does this mean I'm going to have to replace the fuel pump?

As far as the IAC and throttle body, I've been told that you cannot clean the IAC, instead it must be replaced? I'm going to ask my parts guy tomorrow.

I also checked that hose on the PCV, and mine looks worn, I think I could feel a crack when I stuck my hand in there, so maybe I'll replace that too, just to be safe. Do you know if I'll have to get that from Ford, or is that just a generic hose?

03-04-2009, 10:12 PM
I wouldn't condemn the fuel pump based off of your check. I wouldn't be surprised if the pressure bleeds off after sitting a couple of hours. Afterall, the fuel pump will reprime the system after only a few seconds of having the key off.

I'm not familiar with the PCV hose on the Duratech. If it's not an elbow or something that needs to be a formed hose so you opt for generic hose, you'll need to get hose intended for use with the PCV system so that it will not be deteriorated by oil and crankcase fumes and can also handle the pressure/vacuum.


03-04-2009, 10:17 PM
when was the last time you had your fuel filter replaced (if ever)?
take your car for a drive then park it and turn it off look under it for any gas leaks anywhere under the car it is possible that a line is leaking or a connection is leaking.
having less than 100,000 miles i highly doubt your fuel pump is bad.

if you havent replaced your fuel filter within the last like 30,000 miles you should. its not very hard and can be done with the rear end of your car on ramps and the only tool you need is a screwdriver or a socket that will work on the clamp holding the filter.

also if possible get a pressure gauge and check the pressure to your fuel rail. should be around 45psi i believe.

03-16-2009, 09:04 AM
Sorry I haven't posted, I keep forgetting I have this post...

Anyway, I replaced the fuel filter on Saturday, and the car seems to cold start much better than before, as in I can turn the key right away and it starts right up.

As far as the high idle, it hasn't stuck at 2300 rpm for awhile, but it only does it so often... If it comes down to the IAC, do I have to replace it or is there some way to clean it? I've heard it's a $90 part.


03-16-2009, 12:27 PM
You can try cleaning the IAC, but since you experience a high idle, it would seem the IAC is letting too much air through rather than not enough, as would be expected due to a restriction from carbon. You wouldn't really be out much to try to clean it and the passages though. I've had good luck with STP Throttle Body Cleaner, it seems to cut through the carbon better than most.


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