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I have a 2002 Taurus SEW with the 3.0 Vulcan engine with 110K. This happens when coming to, say, a stop sign, and the engine will shudder briefly and then die. It will start immediately and it may be days before this happens again. Or it might be that evening. It seems to happen when the car is started when cold, driven on the highway. Sometimes it will die at the stop 4 miles form home or may wait until she gets to town, about eleven miles.

A similar problem with shuddering idle and dying--although accompanied by a squealing noise--was the cam shaft synchronizer (89K). A later problem with a shudder at idle resulted in the garage cleaning the air/fuel induction system, includes throttle body, idle air bypass valve, intake plenum, injectors and intake valves and updating the computer. Problem was taken care of. At first no codes were showing on the diagnostic and they only put the computer back on AFTER the air/fuel cleaning and the car started shaking at idle when I went to leave the dealer. They put the machine back on and the only code showing was that there was a computer update.

Now the garage tells me that unless they can duplicate the problem regularly, they probably won't be able to find the problem. They want me to leave the vehicle several days so they can take it out and drive it at intervals hoping the engine dies while the diagnostic laptop computer is attached to the vehicle.

I am tempted to wait until the problem occurs consistently, but my 16 year old daughter is driving it and she panics when it decides to die at a busy intersection and cars start honking at her.

ANY thoughts on this?
 

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Well most would say the IAC is slow or sticking. And this would be the first course of action.

But over the years I have just reset the throttle stop, if you have one, to just make contact then a 1/4 turn further in. Disconnect the battery so the car relearns idle when next started. This completely cured the problem.
 
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