Is it the computer?

Asked by Jan 05, 2013 at 10:25 PM about the 2003 Ford Escape XLT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 2003 v6 ford escape seems to be having
a intermittent problem. It will run fine for
weeks and then suddenly won't maintain an
idle when started. I know I'm in for it when
it has trouble starting. It will start but then
dies when I let off the gas. While in park, if I
rev it up to 5 or so, it shakes. It will get me
home if I drive 2 footed to keep the rpms
above 1. After a mile or so it will let me let
take my foot off the gas and brake and drive
normally. The next day when I go to drive it,
it starts and drives normally. It has done this
5 times in the last year. I just had a major
service done with all new filters, hoses, fluids
etc. It ran perfect for them. Today it
happened in front of my dad who is a
machine mechanic. He says he thinks it is
the computer since everything else seems
perfect. Is he right? Suggestions?

2 Answers


Have the ECU codes read. A good scan tool will detect pending codes that haven't happened enough to trip the CEL. That should get you pointed in the right direction.


Sounds like the IAC (Idle Air Control Valve). The computer maintains idle speed using this device. With the throttle plate(s) closed this valve regulates air flow through a small passage to keep the engine idling at the proper speed. Sometimes the IAC will stick & not work correctly. HTH. -Jim

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