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Ive got a 99 sable with the 3.0 OHV Vulcan with a bit of an issue. It started about a month ago and doesnt happen all the time. The RPM tends to drop to about 500 rpm or lower in drive at lights and sometimes bounce up then back down. Also, the tach jumps up at times and sticks for a second at times. A while back the check engine light came on and got the code pulled. It was the EGR valve. The light eventually went out but could it be that? The real odd thing is that when the rpms on the tach freak out the engine doesnt seem to change. It doesnt lope or stall or surge at all, it runs smooth as silk. Any ideas or input?
 

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Next time idle acts up, with car in park and the e-brake on, tap on the iac (idle air control) with the handle end of a screwdriver and see if it straightens up. If it does, remove iac and clean with throttle body spray cleaner or replace. Might check pcv hose for leaks. Probably need a new dpfe sensor for egr code. Get borg-warner dpfe sensor from advance auto or oreilly. Part# egr155.
 

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I've had this issue myself with my 2000 Taurus. What needs to happen is the EGR valve needs to be removed and the carbon in the passages need to be cleaned out. The reason this happens is because carbon breaks loose and props the EGR valve open. When this happens you get a rough or low idle in gear. The valve may also be sticking. If that's the case then EGR valve replacement and passage cleaning are in order. If it were any other the other item suggested above, the EGR code would not be present. Hope this helps!
 

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If you want to test egr valve, remove vac. hose at idle and replace with a piece of scrap hose and suck on sampling hose opening egr flow to uim (manifold). Engine should stumble or die signalling egr valve is functioning properly because there should be no egr flow at idle or wot (wide open throttle).
 
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