Q: Car idles rough, extremely weak and stalls when put into gear

asked by on September 08, 2016

My Escape will fire up relatively easy the first time. It'll idle a little rough. Once I put it in gear, the idle gets weaker, stutters and dies. It then refuses to start for a while. I was wondering where the issue may be.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Spark Plugs Replacement $96.63 - $627.86 Get a Quote
Idle Control Valve Replacement $146.15 - $920.51 Get a Quote
Car idle is rough Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

Hello. This can be caused by a number of things. I usually start by scanning the computer for codes. This will let me know if the computer is seeing any issues. If there are no codes then I take a look at the sensor readings to see if any of them are reading incorrectly. If nothing is found at that time I visually check the spark plugs to see if they need to be replaced. Worn out spark plugs or coil boots can cause this as well as a fuel system issue. I have also seen a lot of issues with the idle control valve and the intake manifold causing this. If you need to have this repaired, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose your rough idle firsthand for an accurate repair.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

I need help with the glove box removal.

Hi there. To remove the glove box there are two Torx screws just inside on the top of the glove box. On bottom under the base of glove box door (external) are two 8mm bolts. Once the screws and bolts...

How do I disable the Courtesy Wipe feature?

There is a feature that includes an extra wipe of the windshield wipers after every wash. This feature is called the Courtesy Wipe. To disable the Courtesy Wipe. Press the Setup button until you see the Courtesy Wipe feature....

Where could I find a TSB for my 2005 mustang GT regarding my Throttle body or Throttle Position Sensor?

I went through all the technical bulletins and recalls and did not find anything for reprogramming your computer or repairs to the TPS or throttle body. The ones that you are not finding may not be the right ones. I...

Jeep died while driving on freeway

Hi there. The engine dying could be caused from many different things. A proper diagnosis needs to be performed on the car where a technician can test the battery, fuel pressure, computer codes and many other things. I would recommend...

Truck running rough. Shaking while idling and seems to shake more when accelerating.

A faulty oxygen sensor can certainly cause an engine to run rough and cause a bit of shaking due to the imbalance in the air/fuel load. As you may know the [oxygen sensors]((https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/oxygen-sensor-replacement) which are part of your emissions system...

Ignition not turning.

This is a common problem with the Ford Focus. Most likely, the ignition cylinder is bad and requires replacement. A certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, will be able to repair this for you.

Car running funny

Hello - your symptoms suggest that the throttle position sensor has failed. This would not be unusual for a vehicle with your extended mileage. I would recommend having a Car Hesitates during Acceleration Inspection completed by a mobile, professional mechanic,...

Car cannot start, check engine light on

A vehicle that cranks but doesn't start indicates a problem with fuel delivery, ignition, or compression. A vehicle that doesn't crank at all indicates a problem with the starting/charging system or an internal engine mechanical problem. You said the Check...

Jerking reaction when accelerating

What you are describing sounds like a dirty or faulty mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the motor. This sensor relays vital information...

Related articles

How Does an Engine Idle High and Low?
A common problem that car owners experience is high or low engine idle. A damaged intake gasket, cold air intake, or PCV valve can cause idle issues.
2012 Ford Escape vs. 2012 Honda CR-V: Which One Should I Buy?
SUVs represent one out of every three vehicles sold in 2012, making them one of the most-purchased types of vehicles in the country during that time period. Compact SUVs are a sub-class that are slightly smaller and offer the most...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Ford Escape
CUVs CUVs (Crossover utility vehicles) are becoming more and more popular these days, as consumers are interested in saving money and buying more eco-friendly vehicles but they still have a lot of people and cargo to move around. CUVs like...