Driveability worries are regularly some of the most daunting problems to diagnose, but an erratic idle or frequent stalling ~ above the F-150 is regularly a faulty idle air control valve. A quick cleaning or replacement of the IAC valve can generally solve this trouble at an cheap price.

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

The idle air control (IAC) valve is used in plenty of electronic fuel-injected engines come maintain suitable engine idle. This electronically controlled valve functions to vary the lot of air entering the engine if the throttle body is closed come stabilize the idle. End time and also mileage, it is usual for carbon buildup to collection in the IAC valve and also cause erratic operation. Similarly, the electronic devices that operate the valve deserve to go bad, therefore causing the valve come stick opened up or closed. Symptom of a faulty or malfunctioning IAC valve incorporate hard starting, turbulent or erratic idle, engine stalling, and engine stumbling during take-off. Fortunately, the IAC valve on most Ford F-150 models are conveniently accessed and can it is in cleaned or replaced completely in a matter of minutes. This post will overview the removal, cleaning, and replacement of the idle air regulate valve ~ above 1997 come 2003 Ford F-150 models.


Materials NeededMetric wrench and also socket set1/4" or 3/8" journey ratchetCarburetor cleanerGasket scraper or razor bladeToothbrush or similar

Step 1 – eliminate throttle body cover

Whenever working on your car or truck, specifically with electrical components, that is typically a great idea come disconnect the battery.

Disconnect the battery cable from the an unfavorable (black) battery terminal. Path the cable away from the terminal to stop accidental call while working.Remove the accelerator body cover, i m sorry is generally held in ar by three little bolts, if your truck has actually 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 fastened on or near the accelerator body.Disconnect the electrical plug indigenous the IAC valve. (On the 5.4L Triton engines, that is easier to eliminate the valve itself before disconnecting the electric plug.)Remove the (2) 8mm bolts securing the IAC valve in place. Be sure to collect the washers and also gasket during removal.
Figure 3. IAC valve ar on 5.4L engine.
Figure 4. IAC valve place on 4.6L engine.
Figure 5. 4.6 liter motor IAC valve electrical harness plug.
Figure 6. Bolts securing IAC valve to accelerator body.

Step 3 – Clean IAC valve

In part cases, the IAC valve have the right to be cleaned through carburetor cleaner to remove carbon buildup and restore functionality. Through the valve gotten rid of from the engine, soak the inside or the valve through carb cleaner until it is cost-free of gunk and also buildup. A little toothbrush or comparable tool can be used to scrub away any kind of stubborn grit. Allow the valve to dry before reinstalling.

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

Step 4 – Reinstall IAC valve

Whether installing the old valve or swapping in a brand-new unit, clean the accelerator body mating surface ar of every old gasket material.Position the valve in location with a brand-new gasket and install the 8mm bolts and washers. Talk the bolts to around 7.5 ft/lbs.Reconnect the electrical harness come the IAC valve.Reconnect the an adverse battery cable and install throttle body cover (if applicable).

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Pro Tip

It is very recommended the the IAC valve gasket be replaced, together an old gasket the does not properly seal will enable un-metered air into the engine and affect the idle.