Driveability problems are often some that the most complicated problems come diagnose, however an erratic idle or frequent stalling on the F-150 is regularly a faulty idle air control valve. A fast cleaning or instead of of the IAC valve can generally solve this problem at an inexpensive price.

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This article applies to the Ford F-150 (1997-2003).

The idle air regulate (IAC) valve is supplied in plenty of electronic fuel-injected engines to maintain suitable engine idle. This electronically regulated valve functions to vary the lot of wait entering the engine while the throttle body is closed to stabilize the idle. Over time and mileage, that is common for carbon buildup to collect in the IAC valve and also cause erratic operation. Similarly, the electronics that operate the valve can go bad, therefore causing the valve to stick opened up or closed. Symptom of a faulty or malfunctioning IAC valve include hard starting, stormy or erratic idle, engine stalling, and engine stumbling during take-off. Fortunately, the IAC valve on many Ford F-150 models are quickly accessed and can it is in cleaned or replaced totally in a matter of minutes. This article will overview the removal, cleaning, and replacement that the idle air regulate valve ~ above 1997 to 2003 Ford F-150 models.


Materials NeededMetric wrench and socket set1/4" or 3/8" drive ratchetCarburetor cleanerGasket coffee or razor bladeToothbrush or similar

Step 1 – remove throttle human body cover

Whenever working on your car or truck, particularly with electric components, the is typically a good idea come disconnect the battery.

Disconnect the battery cable from the negative (black) battery terminal. Route the cable far from the terminal to protect against accidental contact while working.Remove the throttle body cover, i beg your pardon is commonly held in place by three little bolts, if her truck has one.
Figure 1. Disconnect negative battery cable.
Figure 2. Remove throttle human body cover because that IAC valve access.

Step 2 – eliminate IAC valve

Locate the IAC valve enclosed on or close to the accelerator body.Disconnect the electric plug indigenous the IAC valve. (On the 5.4L Triton engines, that is simpler to eliminate the valve itself prior to disconnecting the electric plug.)Remove the (2) 8mm bolts securing the IAC valve in place. Be sure to collect the washers and gasket throughout removal.
Figure 3. IAC valve location on 5.4L engine.
Figure 4. IAC valve location on 4.6L engine.
Figure 5. 4.6 liter engine IAC valve electric harness plug.
Figure 6. Bolts securing IAC valve to accelerator body.

Step 3 – Clean IAC valve

In part cases, the IAC valve can be cleaned through carburetor cleaner to eliminate carbon buildup and restore functionality. Through the valve removed from the engine, soak the within or the valve with carb cleaner until it is free of gunk and also buildup. A little toothbrush or comparable tool deserve to be supplied to scrub away any stubborn grit. Enable the valve to dry prior to reinstalling.

Figure 7. Spray carburetor cleaner right into the IAC valve to rinse away any buildup.
Figure 8. Dirty valve (left) vs clean valve (right).

Step 4 – Reinstall IAC valve

Whether installation the old valve or swapping in a brand-new unit, clean the throttle body mating surface ar of every old gasket material.Position the valve in place with a new gasket and install the 8mm bolts and also washers. Torque the bolts to roughly 7.5 ft/lbs.Reconnect the electrical harness come the IAC valve.Reconnect the negative battery cable and also install throttle body covering (if applicable).

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Pro Tip

It is very recommended that the IAC valve gasket it is in replaced, as an old gasket the does not effectively seal will permit un-metered air right into the engine and impact the idle.