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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6641
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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1996 explorer: makes loud howling at idle some time

Resolved Question:

1996 explorer makes loud howling at idle some time. speeding idle up a few times usualy makes it go away. sometimes it does it while driving. i hit the throtel a few times aND IT GOES AWAY.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.I will try my best to help you with your question.


Do a quick check for me.

Take the lid off the air filter housing like you are going to change the air filter and listen for the noise. You may have a sticking IAC (Idle Air Control) valve. This valve allows air to engine the throttle body and into the engine when at idle and your foot is off the gas pedal. If the noise can be heard in the air filter box, change the IAC valve and the noise should go away.


The IAC causes a noise that will sound like a howl or a cow moo when at idle. It is basically air whistling through the IAC causing the noise because the valve inside the valve is partially open and sticking.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I CAN NOT GET it to make that how like something is is very loud when it does. it does not do it that oftenl
Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.
Most of the time it is the IAC. But check it when it makes the noise. Do not replace the valve till it makes the noise. It will do it intermittently also.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
does it sound like something could fly apart very loud. also do i agreeto pay or can i wait to see if that takes care of the problem
Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.

Wait and see.

Is the noise a constant howl or does it go up and down?

Where you able to hear it with the hood open when it happens?


Lets make sure before you replace any parts. I am only going off your description. But when the noise happens. Open the hood and listen in the air filter box or, you can unplug the IAC valve and see if the noise goes away. Below is what your IAC valve will look like and where it is located.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
the noise does not go up and down. you can hear the noise in the suv and from far away it is loud. with the hood open it sounds like its coming from all over the motor. i could not pin point where it was coming from like a echo howl
Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.
It may be the IAC. You can remove it and clean it out with carburetor cleaner and then reinstall it. Then see if the noise comes back.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i can not trouble shoot it till it hapens again. i thank you and will agree after your next reply reply
Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.
Your welcome. You can come back to this page later if you need more help with the noise.
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