Question about 1987 Ford Crown Victoria

2 Answers

Engine dies on low idle

Hi. i drive an 87 ford crown victoria, v-8 302 5.0 L.
my shocks were going bad for about a week and before i got them fixed, my cars engine would die whenever i came to a stop, and attempted to accelerate from stop. about 5 minutes later it would start again, but i would have to keep moving or else it would surely die again. the shocks have since been fixed and wheels re-aligned so i dont have to hold my steering wheel to the left to stay going straight anymore, but the engine is still bogging down whenever i accelerate from a stop, thankfully i havent let it die since i brought it home from the shop.

the things ive noticed since this problem started, is that my heater is only putting out cold air, my lights go dim temporary, and there is fluid around the area of the antifreeze resevoir, but theres plenty antifreeze in the car. all the electrical system passed inspection at the shop, so ive ruled out that possibility being the battery and the alternator are newly replaced.

someone suggested to me that perhaps all i need to do is add fuel injector cleaner, and that could solve the entire problem. but i am leery of this solution as i dont see how that could fix my problems with the defrost putting out cold air when its selected to warm, unless somehow the fuel injector is connected with the electrical?

please help!!!

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  • hyperspherex Jan 25, 2009

    thank you! i think that may be the problem, cuz theres a hose that is kinda loose and has some fluid around it. will definitely look into this, as it may be a solution. thanks again :)

  • hyperspherex Jan 25, 2009

    thanks motor. yes the thermostat was changed at the beginning of last fall, so about 4-5 months ago. the coolant level was definitely going low pretty often, and as of now it remains at full, which i thought was kinda weird. the heat in the car has always been top notch, until just recently when things started acting up.

    as for the idle control valve, its an old car, and many parts on the engine are pretty dirty, so ill get in there today after the sun comes up and poke around. car starts and can run normal as long as its in park. seems to drop off after its put into gear, and when i push the accelerator. doesnt die as long as i hit the accelerator enough. by the way of that, the transmission was completely rebuilt only a couple years ago, and the car itself only has 125,000 miles on it for an 87, which right after i bought the car with 98,000 on it i had the transmission rebuilt. its mostly highway miles cuz i travel in it. does great on the highway, even with the problems im having now, it seems there are no problems when im going 40 to 65+ mph.

  • hyperspherex Jan 26, 2009

    grabbin a thermostat tomorrow. my coolant/antifreeze is just sitting in the reservoir, not even going into the radiator, so im gonna go get that and put some fuel injector cleaner in the tank tomorrow. ill update this after i update these tasks. thanks again, this has been very helpful



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First of all, lets go to the idle problem. This vehicle has an, idle air control valve, that adjusts idle to overcome your stalling etc when turning, AC on, cold starts, basically when any load is put on the engine, and that is what I see acting up on your vehicle. (about $55 for replacement at autozone) . It is located on the side of your throttle body near front of it. You may want to remove wire connector to it and clean contact on that to see if maybe that helps at all, before replacing it. Write down numbers off old valve or take with you for match up at parts store.
Now, your no-heat situation, before we get into that, can you answer questions for me. Have you recently changed thermostat, flushed coolant or for any reason drained the coolant from the engine, even partially? Did the coolant level get low at any time lately? If all answers no, then when was last time you had good heat? Have you, or can you, run engine with heater on, until you reach normal operating temperature, and feel heater hoses by where they go into firewall of car to heater core. They should feel relatively hot, and both should feel same temperature. In your case you may feel one cooler than the other. Check that & get back to us, with answers to all questions. Also if you have a temperature gauge in car, where is it reading ?

Posted on Jan 25, 2009

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jan 25, 2009

    While your cleaning & checking connections ( vacuum & electrical) check in heater hose for a flow control valve, that should have an electrical &/or vacuum connection on it too. That opens & closes to allow hot coolant to run through heater core, thus gives you heat.


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I would check for a vacuum leak.
There are small vacuum pipes under the hood around the engine compartment.
Listen for a hissing or sucking noise.
Also check to see if you have vacuum controlled shocks.(look for vacuum pipes).
good luck, let me know what happens

Posted on Jan 25, 2009


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