2006 Ford Explorer - shuts off at low idle (slowing down, stopping) - Ford Forum - Enthusiast Forums for Ford Owners

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Old 01-25-2012, 09:57 PM
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Default 2006 Ford Explorer - shuts off at low idle (slowing down, stopping)


I have a pretty big problem with my '06 Explorer (4WD, 4.0 V8, XLT, 75,000 mi). It likes to shut itself down for no reason when slowing down or stopping.

Here are some details:

It does not shut down or have any problems when driving on highways.
Fuel filter was just replaced (problem has been before and after replacing the filter).
Only has this problem driving in town (25mph or so, going slower or stopping will cause it to shutdown).
It is very intermittent - it may be a month between problems, then act up for weeks on end, then be fine again.
When it shuts off, it is a "clean" shutoff - no rough or sputtering feel to it. It usually takes me a few seconds to even notice it is off.
Electric still works when shut off.
Engine normally sounds and idles fine. But I have started noticing that when it is about to act up, it usually idles 500RPM or so lower than normally when idling. It also sounds just a tad different, like it's trying to rev up but just can't.
It seems to happen most after getting washed in a car wash, with undercarriage wash. It's pretty much an every-time thing after washing.
It is cold here. Very cold. -10 F at night, 20's in the day.
I always warm car up for 10 minutes or so before driving. Doesn't seem to matter. I can drive it for hours and it will be fine, then get home and it starts acting up at stop signs.
It always starts back up fine (after stalling), but it may shut off again after just a few seconds, or it may be fine for the rest of the day.
It always starts up in the morning!
The "check engine" light turned on a week or so after the problem first occurred. About two weeks later, I was finally able to take it to a dealership. By the time I got it there, the light was off. The dealership said they could not bring up the error code since it wasn't currently showing up. They looked at it for a few hours and gave up, not finding any problems.
A few days later, the "check engine" light came on again, but only stayed on a few days before going off, and hasn't returned since.
While that light is on, it still runs fine (other than the intermittent stalling, of course).
We also live at a high elevation - 7,000 + feet. It only started happening this winter.

I'm wondering if there may be ice causing problems somewhere in the bottom of the vehicle? That's about all I can think of.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, before I go out and spend who knows how much money on things that don't fix the problem.

I also found this thread, which sounded very similar to what I am getting:

I didn't see a definitive fix there, so I'm asking here.

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Old 01-27-2012, 10:30 AM
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Whats the build date on the VC label in the door jamb?

There's a TSB for a calibration update for an intermittent 'idle drop' that affects some build dates. Usually after a hot soak. May not apply to your build or be your concern exactly, but seems to follow your symptoms. Not the only reason for a stall, and I'd think the dealer would have checked for a calibration if it were needed..

Capturing/retrieving any history or active code would be a help in a direction to go..
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:18 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply!

Now the check engine light comes on and stays on, and the wrench icon came on a few times and went off (wasn't blinking). It died several times today, just from in-town driving (20-25mph). No washes done lately, it's been extremely cold (highs in the 20s, lows around -10F)

My wife's friend had an error code checker. They just hooked it up and found error codes of 7E8:Engine and 7E9:A/T. I didn't see the codes, it was just relayed to me.
The build date is 10/05

Last edited by jpwy; 01-27-2012 at 08:35 PM. Reason: updating engine codes
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:49 PM
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After a quick internet search I found this instruction manual for a code reader (PDF):
that says you actually have to go into the 7E8:Engine & 7E9: A/T (they are menus), and then go to the "Read codes" option.

This manual is not the same manufacturer as what they had... they used some kind of "Gen Tech" reader, but I'm assuming it works the same since those codes don't look like valid codes.

Unfortunately, they are gone and probably won't bring the code reader back any time soon.
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