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Ford Crown Victoria Stalling

Q. Hi, I recently was given a 1988 Ford Crown Victoria, 5.0 liter, EFI, AOD, 87,000 miles. I was told it was in 'perfect condition', but it's not. (Okay, it was a gift.) It will stall when being shifted into reverse and also when being shifted back into park after being run for any length of time. (I call this the auto-shutoff feature.) Sometimes, when started, the idle will fluctuate wildly.

Ford Crown Victoria Stalling

I've also noticed that the idle, when it does idle, is around 500 rpm. I believe this is low but I am not sure if this is even relevant. Apparently, the previous owner (a relative) solved its stalling problem by giving the car 'gas' when shifting into reverse. This doesn't work for me. I read another post that you answered that sounded like a similar problem, and that it may be the TCC. Does this sound like it may be the same problem?

Thanks for your time,

A. This is not all that uncommon for this engine. Fixing it can usually be done by giving it a good tune up, throttle chamber cleaning and a Idle Air By-Pass Valve (IABV) cleaning. Then a timing and idle speed adjustment will finish the job.

Here's how you adjust the idle speed:

  • Disconnect The IABV solenoid connector.
  • Start engine and run at 1800 rpm for 30 seconds.
  • Place automatic transmission in DRIVE.
  • Adjust idle to 500 rpm.
  • Shut engine off and disconnect battery for five minutes then reconnect.
  • Reconnect The IABV solenoid connector.
  • Recheck idle speed.

Two cautions:

Do not clean "Black" plastic air by-pass valves.

Do not clean throttle bodies identified with a yellow/black "ATTENTION" label.

Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA

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