Have a 2001 Escape with 3.0 v6 when first starting it sputters and idles very rough, i must keep the rpm above 2000 to keep it running, after temp comes up and stabilizes it runs ok, oh yea it only do
chane the fuel filter and throttle position sencor.
I know this is a little late but I had this same issue happen to mine, its an 01 3.0 as well. Tried plugs, air filter fuel filter intake gasket and it ended up being a module called the IAC valve, Idle Air Control valve. basically a soilenoid that bolts on and controls the cold idle position. its easy to install and 50$ from auto zone /advance.
Had the same exact problem and found a vacuum line had come off. It was just to the left of the EGR valve, (a metal tube that comes around in front of the EGR). Follow that tube down behind the motor and see if the rubber hose on the end is plugged onto a fitting back there. Mine was unplugged, plugged it back on and now it idles perfect!
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