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  #1  
Old 08-19-2010, 12:40 PM
VegasRanger02 VegasRanger02 is offline
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Exclamation LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

Wow, I am at a loss where to start. I have a 2002 3.0 V6 non-flex fuel Auto Ranger.

Here is the issue, I will try to keep it short, but it probably wont be. Any help is appreciated.

The truck, when I come to a stop and idle, will drop down to 500-450rpm and if in put into park, even lower and usually die. The idle is extremely rough and feels like it is going to poop out. No difference is noticed with the A/C on or off, as well as the stereo. Also, the oil gauge will flicker like crazy occasionally at idle. The door sensor is out also if that matters.

History:
When I bought it, it idled rough, but at the appropriate rpms (650-750 in drive) but it was missing. The plugs in the truck were replaced, solving the missed cylinders. Fuel filter was also replaced. The truck was idleling smooth and drove fine. The truck always started right up.

A day maybe two after changing the plugs, I started noticing the low rough idle. As well the battery gauge would fluctuate up and down (maybe a 1/4" of movement). However, as long as I was driving or giving it gas everything was stable. That night my truck did not start, I had to have it jumped. Then it ran fine.

In the morning it started right up, and hasnt had a problem starting. However, this idling problem started happening, but it was off and on. It would be fine one day, but the next day it would do it. It has since become consistent for the most part.

The battery in the truck was old (2007) and had acid on the terminals so I just replaced it with an Optima Red Top and the fluctuation seems to be gone (still moves a tiny tiny amount I think).

It seems to always be fine when I first start the truck, but then slowly go down to that 500rpm at idle and get rough, and I feel like it goes lower and lower the longer I am at a light. The Oil Guage will also flicker occasionally (which is too often).

Though the truck will drive fine, I do notice a change in sound, when I dont have the low idle it sounds more "windy" Kinda like a big fan (think its just intake noise, not familar with the engine) but with the low idle problem it sounds like there is no "wind" but lower and more "growly" and have that engine cam noise which sound more normal to me. Not sure which is the correct sound? And Im not a hundred percent that this is even a problem.

In addition, The engine temperature is always good and stable, the truck runs fine. Oil is clean and level is good. Air filter is good.


The only things done to the truck is New plugs, Optima Red Top, New fuel filter, and a HID kit (ebay, could be a problem?)

One thing I saw was a snipped small red (apprears to be a ground) wire just left of the fuse box bolted down under a wierd plastic can lookin thing (zero idea what it is). I will post a picture later today.

I thought I would start with the basics, clean the MAF, IAC, replace the PCV. change my spark wires as well. I havent done this stuff yet (no much time in my life.) But I was hoping someone had this problem or could point me to a good starting point if the above doesnt solve this. I know it could be anything from the computer to possibly a vaccum leak. Looking for a similar experience or some Ranger expert, hope someone can help.


Thank you very much for taking the time to read this long post and help out.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2010, 09:36 PM
goast10940 goast10940 is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

hey man i thought it was a prob to in and out of the shop different 1 each time they all said that normal the winding the idel like 750 or a little lower
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2010, 07:25 AM
jveigl jveigl is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

Idle Air Control Valve

Costs around 50 to 60 bucks and takes about 5 minutes to replace. You can try cleaning it out but I would recommend replacing it. Its on the air intake right at the top of the motor. It has two bolts holding it on. I just replaced mine on my 07 3.0 with only 38k miles on it. If it sat all night and I went out early morning and cranked it, it would run so rough I thought it would die. This has happened to almost all my Rangers I have had. Hope this helps! If you need pics or more technical advice on how to replace it just let me know.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2010, 08:12 AM
VegasRanger02 VegasRanger02 is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

I did the basics like I was talking about. I cleaned the MAF, Throttle Body, and Idle Air Control Valve. The IAC was pretty nasty. Not that this probably affected it, but I changed my battery terminals since they were caked in acid from my old battery.

I started her up, and boom. Problem solved, or so I think. It idles higher at initial start, about 1000rpm. while driving the idle will usually sit at the normal 750rpm idle, but sometimes it drops to 600?

Maybe its normal, but I think I will replace my IAC. Thanks for the advice guys.
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2010, 09:23 AM
mickblock mickblock is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

yeah the 1000 rpm at startup is normal. Then the drop to 750. But maybe look into the lower drop to 600. Good to hear you made a huge improvement for free. Almost.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2010, 10:10 AM
VegasRanger02 VegasRanger02 is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

Ya just ten bucks for MAF and TB Cleaner! It seems to be fine for now, but I will look into grabbing a new IAC eventually. Gotta get settled in at college first. Being new to the Ranger, however, Im not sure if this is normal. This morning I did the Air Box mod and I went to rev it to see if I could hear a difference (couldnt hear a damn thing over that clutch-fan!) Regardless, it wouldnt rev past 3000-3100 rpm, it would just bounce. It was in park. Is there a limiter if you are in park? It will hit 5000-5500 or whatever the top end is while driving (its an auto.)
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2010, 10:48 AM
goast10940 goast10940 is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

did u tri fuel adatives for injectors like lukis fuel pump filter on top of gass tank is your gas cap vented/?
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2010, 11:48 PM
VegasRanger02 VegasRanger02 is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

Yes. I did throw in a bottle of lucas fuel system cleaner. But everything was running well after i cleaned the TB, MAF, and IACV. It was still hitting that lowish 600 though but not idleing rough. I put the fuel system cleaner in later the same day I cleaned everything. I do believe it did not idle low at all today. So the cleaner may have helped do a little something. I doubt it is the real problem but it cant hurt anything
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2010, 03:47 AM
fooskinator fooskinator is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

so how has every thing worked out. im having the exact same problems. need some direction.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2010, 07:31 PM
Gort Gort is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

I had the same problem with my 2002 Ford Ranger V6 3.0L I just fixed last week.
Have you checked the PCV elbow? They are prone to cracking & splitting causing a vacuum leak, as google searches have proven. Try a search of Ford Ranger PCV Elbow Crack
On my truck there were 2 splits, one where the rubber hose connects to the PCV on the valve cover grommet, the other was at the elbow it self.
The elbow on my truck is located drivers side rear, just below the wiper motor. It is a pain to get out as it seems to be part of a complete assembly. here is a picture:

I found the answer here:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=217062
Hope this helps

Last edited by Gort; 08-28-2010 at 07:59 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-04-2010, 01:33 PM
VegasRanger02 VegasRanger02 is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

I kinda forgot about this thread! Yes, so far everything has been fine. But the idle is not consistent. It will still be low, around 600-650 at times, others its around 750-1000.

I need to go check that hose now, and if thats the PCV elbow, I hope I can find the PCV valve near that lol.
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2011, 09:39 PM
jgandme2 jgandme2 is offline
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Default Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

I got a 2004 3.0. been having the same issues. cleaned the MAF, new IACV and that helped. I'm idling at 1000-1100 rpm. I tried to buy a new pcv today but two places had to order it so I cleaned it out. Interesting.....The elbow is in good order. I removed it. Inside the elbow there is a hard plastic pipe inside. It slides into top rear of the engine. When I removed the pipe and the elbow there was a lot of excess oil in there. I cleaned it all out with carb cleaner including the pvc valve. Mine has an electrical hook-up on the pvc. Don't know what that's all about unless it's a sender of some kind to the brain box. It seems to be running smoother after the clean out however I still have a high idle. I've done all the some things you have done, also New plugs and plug wires. I'm still at a loss. It's not a big deal but it doesn't have to idle that high. When I turn on the AC the idle does slow down to normal but without it on the idle is to high. I'm kind of at a loss at this point. Any Ideas?

PCV valve is located on the rocker cover below the elbow on the back drivers side of the engine. Remove the wire, turn it about a third of a turn and it pops off the rocker cover. Much easier to remove if you remove the elbow first.
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Last edited by jgandme2; 04-08-2011 at 09:46 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2011, 10:06 PM
jgandme2 jgandme2 is offline
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Talking Re: LOW ROUGH IDLE, Sometimes dies!

I had all the same crap, did all the same stuff everyone else above did, made some gains however the bottom line for my truck was a Throttle Positioning Sensor. A $25.00 part that is replaced by removing two screws. Made a world of difference on the high rough Idle situation. Now she runs like a puppy again. The TPS or throttle positioning sensor is just below the IAVC. One elect plug two screws. Less than 5 min. repair.
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Last edited by jgandme2; 04-12-2011 at 10:09 PM.
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