How to Fix an Idle Air Control Problem in a 2001 Ford Windstar


The idle air control valve on the 2001 Ford Windstar can be found on the top of the upper intake manifold next to the throttle body. It is one of the few idle air control valves that cannot be cleaned but must be replaced when it stops working. The idle air adjusts the idle speed in fuel-injected vehicles, including the Ford Windstar. The power control module (PCM) sends a duty signal to the idle air to tell it how much to open to allow air to bypass the throttle plate so the vehicle can maintain idle speed.

Things You'll Need

  • Set of sockets
  • Unplug the wiring harness connector on the idle air control valve.

  • Remove the two bolts that hold the idle air control valve onto the intake manifold with the appropriate socket. Pull the idle air control valve off the manifold.

  • Install the new idle air control valve onto the manifold then tighten the bolts firmly. Plug in the wiring harness connector.

Tips & Warnings

  • Components such as the air compressor take horsepower; and when the engine comes to an idle, it needs to idle higher to keep from stalling. Allowing more air into the engine, while at an idle, forces the idle to rise, thus keeping the vehicle from stalling.
  • Though you should always test the idle air control valve before "guessing" what is wrong and replacing it, a good indication that it is bad is that the vehicle stalls when you come to a stop at a light or when you slow down to turn a corner, especially if the air conditioning is on. The idle could also become erratic--the Windstar might alternately idle high and low.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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