I have a 2004 Freestar with 240000 kilometers on it. I have had problem with the engine surging at about 1100 rpm or high idle. No check engine code is logged, I put it on a Ford computer and there were no results. After I cleaned the MAFS and IAC valve the vehicle ran good for a week or two. I found a loose wire on the IAC valve and fixed that, the engine ran well again for a while but then the IAC Valve would start cycling when the engine was hot. I thought I had it so I changed the IAC valve. Started the car, idles perfectly and revs up but as soon as I put it in gear the IAC valve starts to cycle much worse than the old one so the valve itself is working fine and I don't think that is the problem.

Does anyone know which sensors are feeding the computer so that it is sending a message to the IAC to make it cycle like that?

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    it's based purely on engine RPM and ECT. does the car misfire? do you have access to a scantool to check fuel trims? Id suspect a vacuum leak or misfire.
    – Ben
    Apr 13, 2016 at 21:01
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    @Ben - Didn't the Freestar have the issue with the bolts holding the lower plenum onto the block wearing out and causing a vacuum leak? I don't remember if it is the Freestar or the Windstar which had this issue. There is a fix kit for it. Apr 13, 2016 at 21:21
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    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 It was the Windstar with the 3.8 IIRC The rubber material on the bolts is what went bad.
    – Ben
    Apr 13, 2016 at 21:36
  • @Ben - That sounds right. Apr 13, 2016 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


From my research on surging idle..A possible solution-TPS(Throttle Position Sensor) connector. I read on a diagnostic webpage that this guy disconnected and then reconnected it and the problem was solved for 3 weeks. In theory it makes sense when the ECM loses the input from the TPS sensor it falls back on a default setting until the TPS is reacquired. Maybe the ECM takes data from other sensors. If I were to speculate that the throttle position sensor is a variable resistor with a speck of dirt on the resistive element that would cause a lack of signal intermittently.

  • This "fix" seems highly vehicle-specific. Do you have the link to the page?
    – Zaid
    Apr 28, 2016 at 6:08
  • Zaid-I read it tonight and can't seem to find it -sorry
    – Old_Fossil
    Apr 28, 2016 at 6:26
  • This is a common fault, and yes, a TPS is exactly that: a variable resistor. The centre rotating part can become floppy, and/or contaminated.
    – Bevan
    Jun 14, 2016 at 20:10

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