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Doc Hoy

Engine runs rough at idle, idles too low

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Two posts in one day after about a four month absence?! I need to get back to work. :o(

My 2012 TC idles a little rough and idle appears (to me) to be too low (Looks like about 700 rpm.)

I am thinking that a coil pack may have failed or may be failing. Not familiar enough with these to know if a sick coil pack will cause these symptoms. Truck has been running this way for about a month and has not gotten any worse.

Some questions:

1. Is there a simple adjustment on idle? If so can you describe the process?

2. Are there any coil modules on the market which should be avoided for reasons of quality, compatibility, performance or such?

3. Am I barking up the wrong tree as regards coils and idle problems? (I do understand that there are probably a hundred things that could cause a rough, low idle.)

 

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Do you have access to a scanner? The idle is set by the PCM.

Edited by G B L

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If you do not have access to a scanner, you might be able to get some data and codes through the hidden menu on the dashboard. I found out about this trick when I owned a Focus mk1, and since a gen 1 TC is based on a Focus, I guess it should work. I have not tried it yet on my gen 2 TC, as I only just now found the procedure. Visit http://mr-fix.info/ for starters. There are probably other places on the internet that could be useful with regards to the procedure , including Focus forums. You may also have to look for a full list of DTC codes.

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I would change spark plugs first. It may just be one missing cylinder causing all this. My bike got new plugs last autumn and in spring one (V2) cylinder failed to fire at all, sounded like a bag of rocks in a bucket.

These things break prematurely and luckily cost next to nothing. The only tricky part is getting the new one in without screwing up the thread.

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I'm no mechanic so take this with a grain of salt.  Check the cheapest things first like the air filter and fuel filter then move up to more expensive fixes.  Spark plugs are a common fix and depending upon how old and how many miles are on the vehicle, spark plug wires too should be considered.  If your battery was low and you jump started the engine, sometimes rough idling and sometimes rough driving will occur.  It is supposed to self correct over time.  If it does not then look to other solutions.  Some of the people here are born with a nose for this stuff and as they continue to contribute a most likely solution will resonate.  I have grown to respect and trust many contributors here.  :worship:

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Is it only the idle? Do you notice the issue at other times?  Is the AC on?

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Wow.....This generated a  lot of response. Thanks y'all.

From the top

To GBL: Don't have access to a scanner but I think it is about time I buy one and get used to reading it. Any recommendation on the right unit to get would be welcomed. Additionally, if the PCM is supposed to be controlling the idle and the truck is idling at 600 to 700 RPMs, I am thinking about a whole set of new possibilities (Which I anticipated when I first noticed and tried to think through the problem.)

To Dandy: Went to the website and it looks very interesting. Was a little concerned by the "Warning". When I have more time, Ill read more about it.

To MRTN: Thanks for the push. I was thinking about getting a coil set that includes the plugs. I am a tightwad so I would likely go for the cheapest ones I could find (About 45.00), unless I get some warning from y'all about ones to avoid.

To Loafer: I was thinking to look at other general maintenance types of things when I swapped out the coils and plugs. The truck has just over 200,000 miles on it. I bought it last year for 4200.00 and have been driving it trouble free (including driving by my employees) so this truck owes me nothing. Can't recall jumping this truck. I own two of these things and I had to swap out the battery in one of them but I am pretty sure it was the other truck. It runs smooth. I agree with your assessment of the caliber of the people who post here. Impressive.

To GBL: The problem is not obvious at anything above and idle and does not seem to be peculiar to AC on or off status. I will pay closer attention tomorrow when I drive it. (If I can get the darned thing to myself.)

 

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Keep us posted if it is only the idle and nothing else ,it shouldn't be much

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13 hours ago, Doc Hoy said:

To Dandy: Went to the website and it looks very interesting. Was a little concerned by the "Warning". When I have more time, Ill read more about it.

I originally found out about this hack from other sources that did not include any warnings. I tried it on my 02 focus several times, because I thought I was a cool trick, but I also used it to see if there was any DTC codes (I don't remember what the reason was), and I used it while driving to keep an eye on the engine temperature when I had overheating issues due to malfunctioning fans once, and a defective thermostat another time. As far as I know, this hack only allows you to read data, not to modify it.

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23 hours ago, Doc Hoy said:

 I was thinking about getting a coil set that includes the plugs. I am a tightwad so I would likely go for the cheapest ones I could find (About 45.00), unless I get some warning from y'all about ones to avoid.

 

 

 

Some cars and engines are funny about spark plugs.  Weird, I know.  But guys into Honda swear that NGK is the way to go. Whereas with the F-Series trucks and Econoline vans, no aftermarket spark plugs will work as well as Ford Motorcraft.......or so the enthusiast claim.  On my F-150, I defied the conventional wisdom of following fan-boys on an internet forum.  Amazon.com had a ridiculous price on E3 plugs ($0.88), and to me, they work.  I start the truck, and it runs.  But you hear horror stories all the time about how someone installed "Car & Driver" brand, or something else just as inexpensive that they found at a dollar store, and their car having nothing but misfires.

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I completely agree. I have been working on cars all my life and found the same applies - use the factory spark plugs. So - Motorcraft in Fords, AC in GM products, NGK or NipponDenso in Japanese brands, Bosch in german makes, and so on. They are relatively cheap and will always work right. I'll never put another set of Champion spark plugs in any vehicle I own.

Edited by zalienz

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It makes you wonder.  When you go to an auto parts store, you see on every wall, tons of product that is sold at a lower price when compared to OEM.  Why would anyone want less than OEM quality parts?  I can't imagine downgrading my brakes.......let me save $4, and installed brakes that don't stop as well.  My dad always taught me to upgrade, and never downgrade.  If you can get something that worked better, you do it.  It's worth every extra penny to have better brakes.  

 

Do you save a few dollars on dating, and have the ugly girlfriend?

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24 minutes ago, Fifty150 said:

Do you save a few dollars on dating, and have the ugly girlfriend?

But she's got a kind heart!

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You've met my ugly girlfriend?

 

 

 

 

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