Why is my truck running so bad?


Asked by tstansbro Oct 01, 2012 at 09:41 AM about the 1988 Ford F-150

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I own a 1988 Ford F150 with the 302. A while back it started running really shitty. Now I was wonderin' what it could be. When I start it, it idles horribly. It spits, sputters and even dies out every now and again. Now when I'm driving it, it does the same thing unless I open it up. Now I've tried replacing a few parts, the high idle sensor was one of them. It didn't work. I take the high idle sensor off and hold the tab thats on the back of that sensor enough to hold it to an idle and it runs fine. But it basically spits, sputters, dies out, ect. And if I open it up, the check engine light shuts off, otherwise its on all the time. Any advice would be great. I want my truck back to the way it was before.


3 Answers


clogged fuel filter or line.


could have bad gas or the tanks lines filters and pumps could be gone to rust that could be really major or really minor

Tracy Hooks

Several things can contribute to the 302's running condition. From the sound of it, you probably have a vacuum leak. I don't know what a High Idle Sensor is and I've been a Master Certified Ford Tech many moons. Do you mean the IAC (Idle Air Control solenoid?) Check codes, check for vacuum leaks (the intake manifold gaskets, EGR and PCV hoses are notorious). This one requires diagnostics. You could throw money at it all day and never fix it.

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