Car starts and then turns itself off if I don't give it gas

Matt Dyck

Asked by Jan 08, 2016 at 03:40 PM about the 1998 Mercury Sable 4 Dr LS Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

We just bought a used car, and everything seems to run smoothly and it
usually starts just fine. But a couple times now, I've tried starting it and the
engine turns over fine, but it shuts down after a couple seconds. The only
way I then get it to stay on is by applying gas in neutral for 20 seconds or
so, then it will stay on and drive just fine. Anyone know what the problem
might be? (It's an automatic btw).

2 Answers


First try adding some seafoam fuel injector cleaner to gas tank if that does not help replace fuel filter.

Guy Outland

The cold weather and humidity make the idle air control valve stick on fords a lot of the time. It's easy, pop the hood and look at the top of the intake where the big rubber air tube goes to it as you would expect the air to flow into the engine past the throttle body there is the iac valve (cylindrical with a 2 wire connector). use a 5/16 or 8mm socket to remove it and spray the valve part of it clean with carb or brake cleaner. reinstall and try her out. If that isn't it then you can cuss me for the 5 seconds it took to clean it for free. It's Friday and getting weird here at work.

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