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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 35624
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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I have a 2003 thunderbird it sat months battery went dead

Customer Question

i have a 2003 thunderbird it sat for 14 months battery went dead and replaced it i started it and went to limp mode took it to a dealer they said bad throttlebody and wasnt sure that was it or not cost. 900.00 I cant see replacing the whole throttlebody?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for your question

Your Thunderbird has an electronic throttle body and one very common thing that can cause it to fail after having the battery go dead can be caused by sludge build up in the throttle body and once the battery die the computer will loose the closed throttle values and cause it to go into linp mode. Before you consider replacing the Throttle body, try disconnecting the negative battery cable and then take some carb cleaner and a soft cloth and give the throttle body and throttle plate a good cleaning. After doing so, reconnect the cable and start the engine and allow it to idle for 15 to 20 minutes to let the computer re-learn the closed throttle values. In most cases if the throttle body has not failed this will usually correct the problem your having. Give it a try and post back if you have more questions and or need more help.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry Ron i had a family death and couldn't do anything yet but i will rate asap
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Sure thing , Im here if you need me.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ron sorry for taking so long anyway I did what you said and it ran 20 minuates and it shut down on its own, then i restarted and it ran about 5 minuates and shut down again on its own and it was in limp mode. any suggestions? I did clean throttle body real good and new air filter the filter was really dirty.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

When it went into limp mode where you able to scan the computer and see what the fault code and or codes where that should have set?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no i was not. first time it showed throttle body
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Can you get it scanned and lets see what the fault code and or codes are that are setting. Most auto part stores will do this for you at no charge.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, when i cleaned throttle body and disconnected battery then let run 20 mins it shut off and when i did restart it was out of limp mode til it shut down again then the limp light came back on
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry to keep bugging you with this but thanks
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

If you can get me the fault codes I can help you determine the cause.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thanks again
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Post back when you have them and we can work from there.