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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife's car is a 1997 Sable with the 3.0 OHV engine. When started in the morning, it idles very roughly. RPMs are 1,000- 1,100. There is a slight gas smell. After about a minute, RPMs will start to lower and the idle smooths out. They settle out at 700 - 800 RPM. Sometimes, it will be a little hard to start when hot. I have to put the gas pedal to the floor to start it. When stopped at a light, RPMs are steady at 700 - 800.

Here's what I have done so far:
1. Replaced the MAF. Testing showed skewd voltages, so I replaced it.
2. Replaced the IAC. Posts led me to think this was the problem.
3. Replaced the head gaskets and intake manifold gaskets. I saw white smoke and thought I had blown a head gasket. After replacement and when running, I have sprayed all the areas where a vacuum leak could be with starting fluid. No increase in engine RPMs, so it is tight. I have tested all the vacuum lines and found no leaks.
4. Vacuum tested the ERG. It holds 5" vacuum with no problem. I even thought I was getting a vacuum leak through the EGR pipe, so I blocked the EGR ot intake manifold hole and got the same idle problems.
5. Disconnected and plugged the vacuum line to the brake booster. No change in the rough idle.
6. Tested the resistance of the ECT sensor. Well within specs.
7. I have properly gapped OEM iridium plugs. I tested the coil pack primary and secondary resistance and the spark plug wires, all well within specs. I started the car in the dark and observed the wires. Nop arcs or sparks.
8. The fuel pump cycles on when the key is turned. I have not pressure tested the fuel system.
9. New fuel filter, PCV vale, air filter, spark plugs, engine oil and filter.
10. Replaced the EGR vacuum solenoid.

I have an OBD-II code reader. The only code I have had so far was P0171. I cleared it and it didn't return.

I am using the Haynes manual for Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable 1996 thru 2005 edition.

Ehat am I missing?

Thank you for your time and suggestions.

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