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  #1  
Old 02-17-2010, 10:14 AM
cf3232 cf3232 is offline
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Default 1998 2.5 engine idle issue, only when cold

I have searched through the forum and have not found an issue quite like mine. I am not sure if it is fuel, ignition, or just a bad sensor. Everything I have read states or implies that the idle problem is the same even if the car is up to temperature.

I have a 1998 Ford Ranger 2.5 liter manual 5 speed transmission vehicle. When I start the engine cold the engine run absolutely fine for the first 3 minutes or so with no issues. I have no check engine light and the engine runs smooth. After the engine runs for the first 3-5 minutes it will not stay idle. When I come to a stop I have to hold the accelerator down to keep the engine running. I just have to keep it revved up so that it does not die. After I continue this the engine will come up to temperature normally. Once the temperature reaches normal operating temps the engine will stay idle with no issues. When it first comes up to temp it may stumble a bit but it will not die and over a short amount of time it will stop stumbling all together. At this point I will not have any problems with it staying idle whatsoever. I can drive around all day with no trouble from it dying while idling. If I park the car and let it cool all the way down I will then get the dying at idle issue until it is back up to operating temperature then it will run fine again. Whenever it is at operating temperature I have no issues.

What is throwing me for a loop is that it runs fine without dying for the first minutes after it is started and only after about 3-5 minutes do I have problems with it dying until the engine is completely warm.

Any help or insight into this issue would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2010, 12:19 PM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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if this was my truck this is what I would do. You want to make sure your cel comes on koeo, and you want to check for codes even if the cel is off. I start with the cheap easy things. 1) I would make sure I had coolant in the rad and the overflow tank. 2) I would pull the iacv off and clean it. 3)I would pull the the wire off the coolant temp sensor and see if it is working properly

* I reread your post and if your temp gauge is working your coolant level is prob fine. one of the other 2 might be your issue
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2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).

Last edited by modelageek; 02-17-2010 at 12:26 PM. Reason: *
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2010, 05:05 PM
cf3232 cf3232 is offline
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The check engine light does come on when the diagnostic runs when starting the car. I thought about taking it in and seeing if I got a error code on something, but went against that because the light was not on. I will do this since you are suggesting it.

Coolant is good, enough in the radiator and in the overflow bottle.

I will clean the iacv and see if that makes a difference.

I will do these things and report back with the results.

Thank you for your suggestions.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2010, 03:05 PM
00bamaranger 00bamaranger is offline
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I agree with modelageek, mine was doing the opposite a while back, before the engine would warm up it would rev up to about 3000 rpm when i would stop at a light, but it was because my iacv was sticking wide open, if yours is sticking closed that could explain it. not sure if they designed it so that when it went bad it would stay one way or the other, but i would try there first.
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  #5  
Old 02-23-2010, 11:01 AM
cf3232 cf3232 is offline
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Okay I have tried a couple of things and the problem still persists.

The one thing that strikes me is that the problem does not show its head until about 5 minutes after I have started and driven the truck. This makes me think it is an electrical sensor issue. Not a mechanical issue. I am thinking a mechanical issue would show immediately, and electrical issue would show when the electronic component starts to fail. I think that it starts after the five minutes because the component that is failing is not being utilized by the computer until the engine starts to warm up.

Any opinions on this theory?

Okay thing s that I have done:

I have cleaned the IAC valve. It was nice and clean when I put it back on the car.

I have checked the resistance hot and cold on the Engine Temperature Sensor it shows 67K at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and shows 3000 at normal operating temperature.

I also checked the Engine Temp Sending unit and it is working properly. I know this has no bearing on the engine running, but it is working properly.

I have cleaned the MAF sensor as well. It looked really good.

I also cleaned the posts on my battery and made sure I had a good metal to metal connection on all the connections. I have known of peoples cars dying at random times when idling when the battery terminals have been gooked up.

I also pulled the electric connectors off of the coils at different times to make sure the coils were not going bad. I let the engine idle and I pull the connector off of one coil and it kept running then I put the connector back on and pulled the connector off of the other coil and it kept running so I think the coils are not the issue.

I have not checked the computer for codes. I will do that next. For anyone not reading my previous post the CEL is not on.

Thanks

Last edited by cf3232; 02-23-2010 at 11:04 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-23-2010, 11:46 AM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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a few thoughts. what did you clean the maf with. you should use maf cleaner. even though you cleaned the maf and iacv they could still be your issue. a few cheap and easy suggestions. clean your throttle body(throttle body cleaner), run fuel injector cleaner in the tank, pcv valve? clean the egr valve, airfilter. look AROUND FOR A LOSE OR BROKEN VACUUM HOSE, ETC.

after you check for codes I would disconnect the neg battery terminal for 15 minutes so that the pcm resets.
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2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2010, 09:10 AM
cf3232 cf3232 is offline
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I cleaned the MAF with MAF cleaner. I used MAF cleaner and carb cleaner on the IAC valve. I am not sure if the carb cleaner was a no no, but the IAC got really clean after that. I run STP complete fuel system cleaner through the engine after every oil change so I should be good there. How do you clean the EGR valve? Do you have a procedure for this? I can look it up as well. The air filter is clean enough. It is a K&N and it is fine.

I can change the PCV valve and fuel filter. Those are easy enough to change and cheap.

I looked for hoses that were loose or broken when I was under the hood, but I will double check. I would think if it was a loose or broken hose or a vacuum leak i would have symptoms immediately after starting the car. Seems like since it does not show its head until after about 5 minutes and goes away when the car gets completely warm that it is an electrical/computer/sensor issue.

I disconnected the battery when I cleaned the terminals for longer than 15 minutes, so I should be good there.

I still need to take the truck to a parts store and have it hooked to a computer to see if I get any codes I have not done that yet.

Thanks for the suggestions and keep em' coming. I will report back with results.
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2010, 09:07 PM
lildevjkoch1977 lildevjkoch1977 is offline
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My truck is doing the same thing. But i have a check engine light. The code is p0302 they say it is a miss fire in cylinder 2. I dont know if that is the same thing you are dealing with. But what you are saying sounds just like what i am dealing with.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2010, 09:46 PM
moneypit moneypit is offline
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Have you tried the old "spraying wd-40 / starting fluid trick " ? maybe you have sonething that has a crack in it and once engine temp. is up there...things expand to seal it...just a thought.
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2010, 04:49 AM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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lildev... I had the same issue. I solved it by chnaging the fuel filter(it was very very clogged. and adding a bunch of fuel injector cleaner in the tank. you might want to chekc your plugs and wires too. you can get at the 2 plugs for that cylinder without and issue. #2 cylinder 2nd from the front
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2004 Ext Cab, 4WD, 4.0, Auto, 154k. (4.0 engine is out of a 2009 Ranger w/96k) ( as of 7/1/2017)

2004 Ranger, Ext Cab, 2WD, 3.0, 5 speed , 4WABS, crank windows, no cruise, Edge 116k.(6/5,2014) (SOLD).
1999 Ford Ranger, Reg Cab, 2.5, 5 speed, 2WD, no AC, 150k (SOLD).
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2010, 07:12 AM
cf3232 cf3232 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneypit View Post
Have you tried the old "spraying wd-40 / starting fluid trick " ? maybe you have sonething that has a crack in it and once engine temp. is up there...things expand to seal it...just a thought.
Yeah yo may be on to something here and I would try that. The only reason that I do not think that could be the case is because the truck runs fine for the first 5 minutes without a problem when cold. Only after that time does it act up until it is completely warm. This is why I think it must be an electrical/sensor problem.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2010, 07:38 PM
cf3232 cf3232 is offline
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Okay guys got it fixed. It was the fuel filter. Changed it and the car runs fine from start to finish. I just never thought that was the issue. I just did it because it was cheap and I can change it in like 5 to 10 minutes. I thought it was electrical because the issue went away after the car warmed up, which is weird because the heat has nothing to do with the fuel filter. Oh well it is fixed so I am a happy camper. Thanks for all the input. Wanted to give a couple of days before I posted after the problem left just in case it came back and this was not the fix.

Also I changed that fuel filter for a new motocraft filter less than 50k miles ago so that was another reason I did not suspect the filter.

Thanks again to all that replied!!!
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2011, 11:26 PM
cf3232 cf3232 is offline
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Default Re: 1998 2.5 engine idle issue, only when cold

Turned out to be low compression in the second cylinder. It was not the fuel filter. Did a compression check about a day ago. 1-2-3-4 was 130-30-140-155.

Hope this helps someone.

Been driving it like this for a year and a half. Just hit me to check the compression. Taking the engine apart to find out what the issue is and will be replacing a bunch of parts.
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