Car dies at a light.


Asked by Jan 01, 2011 at 08:53 PM about the 1984 Ford Tempo

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hey guys i have a 1984 ford tempo GL that i bought from a guy. I like the car but i have a issue. When ever i idle or come to say, a red light the car likes to die on me. But as long as my foot is on the gas it wont die. what could this be? please help!

14 Answers

Its the IAC (idle air control valve) try cleaning the one on it with carb cleaner or shell out $40 and buy a new one.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

okay, thank you so much! its been buggin me! where is it located?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

not the IAC,if it were bad you would also have rough idle and a bad idle in gear,sounds like the throttle position sensor is bad,also the IAC is 90 bucks.


well i know befor it dies it bogs out and stuff lie it is trying to stay on. is that what you mean by idling rough?

NO,just a bad IAC will cause this,but it will not die,do what i posted before and check for any vacume line leaks at the TB,split or cracked lines,they are small rubber lines that get old and crack break,or just become soft and the vac closes them up.

IAC is located on the plenum or intake manifold. If you go to and look up your year it should have a pic. As far as the rough running engone goes, thats a fallacy. Bad IACs usually cut the engine off very smoothly. Call for pricing, car is a bit old so they dont normally stock these.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Autozone here in town has them for $36.99, Id imagine right around the same where you are at.


What is the TB?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Throttle Body, where air enters into the engine.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

low fuel pressure. jst cuz fuel pump buzzes to indicate its workin doesnt mean it supplies enough pressure to force the gas upstream. last fuel filter replacement? could be a clogged fuel filter. if throttle body is the case which i doubt but its been mentioned. remove the air filter lid and hoses and shoot some carb in the intake. not too much or car will stall. apply atleast 1,500 rpms so engine doesnt kick or bog while sraying cleaner. other than the basic checks. could be spark plugs, rotor, non continuous flow of poer through spark plug wires. consider tune up? air oil and fuel filter also plugs distr, cap n rotor. autolites are closest to being compareable to ford motorcraft OEM (original equipment) spark plugs. tune up prolly runs from 70 - 100 $$

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Honestly its the IAC, my car had the same problem, cleaned it with carb cleaner, worked just fine. I own an 89 tempo. Heres a link to a picture If you look at the bottom, thats your IAC. Just spray a shit ton of carb cleaner in that hole, let it soak, and do that several times. After that your idle/engine will run as smooth as new! 100% guaranteed.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

in what hole. The hole in bottom of carb? thanks

I had the exact same issue where it would die at the lights all the time. I needed a fuel injector. I got it replaced and the problem stopped. If one is bad, the car only uses half the cylinders.

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