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Rick Washburn
Rick Washburn, Auto Diagnostics Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3
Experience:  Experience diagnose, troubleshoot, repair foreign/domestic autos
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1996 ford mustang: idling..tps,and plugs(normal maintance done

Customer Question

1996 ford mustang 4.6, it has a problem idling when cold. I have replaced tps,and plugs(normal maintance done also) car has 107000 miles.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Rick Washburn replied 11 years ago.
It sounds like it might be a vacuum leak or problem with the EGR valve. Check the vacuum lines to see if any have become dried out or cracked - this is a common problem in high-mileage cars. It's a good idea to snip the end of each line (say 1/4" to ensure the lines seal when they are re-installed. The EGR valve routes exhaust gas into the air intake system to reduce engine combustion temperatures and lower emissions. Since EGR valves are exposed to hot exhaust gases, they often fail to seal completely when closed, due to the accumulation of carbon and combustion by-products on the portion of the valve exposed to the exhaust. There is a decal under the hood of your vehicle called a VECI label - and shows the location of your EGR valve. Typically, it is underneath or near the air cleaner cover on top of the engine. It will have either a vacuum line or electrical connection used to control it. An easy way to test the EGR valve is to use your finger to gently operate the valvue from underneath while the car is idling and in park (with the emergency brake on) When you actuate the valve with your finger, the engine should immediately slow down or even stall - indicating that the EGR is functioning normally. If there is no change, either the EGR valve needs or be cleaned or replaced, or the passageway which routes exhaust gas to the EGR valve has become ubstructed. It's relatively simple to remove and clean the EGR valve in most cars, and replacements range from $20-$100 if required. When the EGR valve is removed, you should be able to inspect the passageway, and determine if there is an obvious obstruction. While it's preferable to remove and clean the passageway by removing the intake manifold in most cases, you may be able to use a flexible cable (such as a coiled bicycle cable) in a drill as a means to loosen internal obstructions without removing the manifold. If you attempt this, be careful not to damage the inside of the manifold, and use a shop vac to remove any material you loosen - you don't want it finding it's way into the intake manifold. FInally, your vehicle has an onboard diagnotics connector that can be read with an OBDII scanner. The engine management system will report most common problems, including malfunctioning sensors (especially O2) that can also produce the rough idle condition you are describing. Good luck, and let me know if this solves your problem.

-Rick
Rick Washburn, Auto Diagnostics Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3
Experience: Experience diagnose, troubleshoot, repair foreign/domestic autos
Rick Washburn and 6 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
 WOW!, You deserve that $5

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