Is a rough idle normal? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 05-07-2016, 04:08 PM   #1
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Is a rough idle normal?

I picked up a stock 2013 Mustang GT recently. It ran great but was too quiet for me, so I put on a set of borla s exhausts (which sound great!).

Then to try to increase the noise a bit more I put in a drop-in K&N filter. It made it slightly louder but not in a good way. So I went back to the stock filter.

Unfortunately, now the car seems to stutter a bit at idle. I thought it might have been some excess oil from the K&N filter getting on the MAF sensor. So I cleaned that sensor and checked all the hoses to make sure everything was tight.

The issue is still there though. It runs fine... except at idle its steady steady steady... and then sputters a bit (but doesn't actually stall... although sometimes it seems close to stalling).

Is this normal? I asked the prior owner about this (he's a big mustang guy) and he said its normal for Fords. Has anybody else experienced this? Any ideas?

I should mention... this past year I owned/drove a different 2013 Mustang GT, and I don't recall having this issue at all. Although most of the time I was running a bama tune on it. As far as I remember it was always steady at idle.

Thanks,

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Old 05-07-2016, 05:42 PM   #2
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During any idle or just like cold start? After exhaust my cold starts are higher and loud(but I am muffler-less, resonator-less and offroad piped). Never can recall my idle dropping and wanting to stall. If it began after switching back to stock box go back over making sure everything is on good

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Old 05-07-2016, 06:35 PM   #3
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Mine actually does the same. I have JLT cai and a bama tune, thought maybe the tune was the issue but now I'm wondering if these just normally idle a like that?


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Old 05-07-2016, 06:59 PM   #4
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During any idle or just like cold start? After exhaust my cold starts are higher and loud(but I am muffler-less, resonator-less and offroad piped). Never can recall my idle dropping and wanting to stall. If it began after switching back to stock box go back over making sure everything is on good

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It's during any idle... I never removed the stock box. I just changed the filters.

I'll post a video of it tomorrow.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:01 PM   #5
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Mine actually does the same. I have JLT cai and a bama tune, thought maybe the tune was the issue but now I'm wondering if these just normally idle a like that?


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Hmm... Interesting... Did it act that way with the stock tune? Have you data logged your tune?
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Old 05-08-2016, 02:58 PM   #6
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I have 2x 2014's - Stumbling to the point of nearly stalling out isn't what I'd call normal.

I believe something isn't quite right with your air box/intake/filter element fitment. Idle RPMs will vary up/down - A Little - as the control unit is continuously hunting to lean the fuel trim. That's normal, but not to the point of stalling.

I'm not an expert, but that's the dog I would start the hunt with.
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Old 05-08-2016, 03:10 PM   #7
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I haven't data logged yet. I just recently moved back to Los Angeles and haven't had the chance to find a dyno out here. Any ideas on how much it would cost? Or any reputable shops out here for mustangs?


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Old 05-08-2016, 05:43 PM   #8
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Why would you need a dyno? Just log the tune on the street which is where you want to do it.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:08 PM   #9
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I guess finding a lonely stretch of road can't be too hard to find, although it is LA and traffic isn't exactly light out here lol
And just to clarify, I'm supposed to log in 4th gear..?


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Old 05-08-2016, 07:17 PM   #10
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I'd say start by looking for a post MAF air leak. The MAF is in the air box on these cars and any leaks in the intake tube or manifold beyond that will cause idling issues. If you can datalog, do it, bc if you see a lot of low rpm fuel correction, that's yer problem right there.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:47 PM   #11
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I just got a 2013 GT a few months ago and I noticed that if I don't drive it for a few days and its under 45 degrees when I start it, sometimes the idle seems to jump more than normal. It'll hover around 500 RPM then go up to maybe 700 or so and drop back to 500. It will go between these for awhile but never had it seem like it was going to stall.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:58 PM   #12
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I've got a 14 auto. It's pretty much smooth as glass...though an occasional low rpm miss on cold holes with 11:1 isn't a big surprise. Amazing what modern engine management can do.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:48 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I checked for possible leaks and found the noise tube was missing its clamp. But even after installing a new clamp on the noise tube the car still idles funny. I also tried cleaning the MAF sensor but that made no difference either.

The issue doesn't come up all the time, but its definitely disconcerning when I'm stopped at a light and it sounds like it might stall.

Here's a video:
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:14 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I checked for possible leaks and found the noise tube was missing its clamp. But even after installing a new clamp on the noise tube the car still idles funny. I also tried cleaning the MAF sensor but that made no difference either.

The issue doesn't come up all the time, but its definitely disconcerning when I'm stopped at a light and it sounds like it might stall.

Here's a video:
That's what mine sounds like, too.

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Old 05-13-2016, 03:46 PM   #15
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That's what mine sounds like, too.

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Ok then maybe its not an issue then (or we're both having the same issue...ha)... I had another 2013 Mustang GT with the same mods this past year and I could have sworn it was completely smooth and consistent at idle.

Thanks
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:58 PM   #16
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I have not notice any issues like you are having with my 14. Thinking it may be something around your Air box since you were not having any issues before you replace the Air Filter.
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:02 PM   #17
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I have not notice any issues like you are having with my 14. Thinking it may be something around your Air box since you were not having any issues before you replace the Air Filter.
I went back to the old air filter and the problem is still there. But you're right... maybe something got knocked out of alignment.
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:06 PM   #18
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Take a look at where the hose connect to the TB may have come loose there.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:08 PM   #19
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Haven't messed with mine at all, started it today and it's holding steady at 900 rpm. Its 60-65°

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Old 05-13-2016, 08:03 PM   #20
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I had a problem with extremely rough cold starts.. it would stumble.. almost die... shake the car... quite concerning to say the least... It all started after I cleaned my filter and reapplied oil. I was very careful with the amount of oil I applied but apparently it was still too much.

I tried a couple things.. fuel cleaner... etc... I do notice that my car does not like the "top tier" fuels like Shell VPower, etc.

Long story short it turned out to be oil on the MAF sensor.

Are you sure you cleaned it good?
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Old 05-14-2016, 03:26 AM   #21
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Long story short it turned out to be oil on the MAF sensor.

Are you sure you cleaned it good?
I checked mine again later yesterday and it was holding steady at 700 RPM. I'll try cleaning my MAF sensor and see if that will stabilize it and make it more consistent. Mine has not threatened to stall, but the bumping between 500-700 RPM that it sometimes does isn't the nicest soundtrack...

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Old 05-14-2016, 09:09 AM   #22
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BTW, anytime anyone tells you something is, "normal for Fords" they don't know wtf they are talking about. Idling characteristics aren't a brand phenomenon, they are a function of the engine and likely the individual condition of the engine in question.

This engine does seem a little less smooth than most. I needed to raise my idle rpm by 50 on my tuned 2014 to avoid a tiny shake under decel, when the rpms dipped as the car came to a stop at a light.

Do you have tech package? You can pull codes with that if you do. Just press the radio buttons 3 and 6 simultaneously for a bit and follow the prompts to show DTCs. I think you still have a little vacuum leak in the intake or airbox.
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:16 AM   #23
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Do you have tech package? You can pull codes with that if you do. Just press the radio buttons 3 and 6 simultaneously for a bit and follow the prompts to show DTCs.
WHAT!?!!? I didn't know that.. I'm going to try it out!
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:41 AM   #24
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Could the ECM have compensated for the K&N filter? Maybe give it some time to relearn with the stick filter?


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Old 05-14-2016, 09:52 AM   #25
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Nothing to compensate for. The K&N doesn't materially change the airflow demands of the engine nor is the MAF cross section altered.

Yep, tech has little Easter eggs like this...cool, huh? There are others too, like the 3.73 with friction plate diff seem to get the GT500 carbon LSD plates. I confirmed that when i opened my old 2012 cars rear end.
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:12 AM   #26
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I'll be darned.. it works.

However, I currently have a light and it didn't list a DTC. Any ideas?

I'm fairly certain it's a warning about my cats again. Last time I had the code pulled that's what it was. Also, the light will clear itself after driving awhile.
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:23 PM   #27
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There are some dtcs that don't show, only Ford IDS can see them.

What do you mean a code for cats? Are you running high flows or have you turned off the o2s or what?
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:07 PM   #28
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What do you mean a code for cats? Are you running high flows or have you turned off the o2s or what?
High flows.

I tightened all my exhaust clamps and drove a couple miles and the light turned off.

The bolt on the clamp on the passenger side for the x-pipe seems to loosen itself over time just enough to throw a code.
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:20 PM   #29
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Ahhh, I see....
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:47 PM   #30
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Well I tried cleaning the MAF sensor and throttle body again today with no effect. Whatever the issue is it seems to be getting worse.

It seems like its always bad at idle now... so I'm going to call the dealer tomorrow to setup an appointment.

I feel like I have terrible luck with these cars. My last GT was in the shop twice in less than a year of ownership (one of those times on a flatbed), and this new one is going into the shop after less than a month of owning it (same as my last car). Surprisingly, my 2014 V6 (the only one I bought new) I drove for over a year before moving into GT's had zero issues the whole time I owned it. Maybe there's a lesson there... with Ford's I should buy new, or don't bother.

Thanks anyways for the help guys... I'll let you know how things work out.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:49 PM   #31
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My 14 GT with auto idles a little rough sometimes in park. The only mods I have is GT500 mufflers and resonator delete. It doesn't seem to miss or anything at higher speeds or have the CEL on, so I don't worry about it.

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Old 05-18-2016, 05:31 PM   #32
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Update... you guys will enjoy this. After two days at the dealer and several hours with a senior master mechanic they weren't able to solve whatever is causing the rough idle...ha.

After consulting with Ford, they changed the MAF sensor and that made no difference. They reflashed the stock tune and that didn't help either.

The final recommendation, was that I should take the car over to the local mustang shop and have it tuned. That made me laugh, as I never would have expected a dealer to suggest I get my car tuned.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:34 PM   #33
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You need to find a new dealer. I promise that recommendation wasn't from ford. Just a stumped service department who doesn't know what else to tell you.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:53 PM   #34
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Hey Ed,

I have dealt with a few poor idle issues myself. Took awhile to get caught up on this thread. I see you have over 50k miles. I see you covered most of the Air parts and i think you ran some fuel cleaner?

The other thing i would do is clean out the engine with some good ol' sea foam and then swap the spark plugs.

I had an ugly idle issue on my old 2011 Mustang and swapping the plugs did the trick.

If the previous owner or anyone ran a bunch of fuel additives and such, this could foul up the plugs. I would at a minimum - check them. All 8.


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---------- Post added at 05:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:53 PM ----------

If that doesn't work, i would start checking o2 sensors.


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Old 05-25-2016, 10:21 PM   #35
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Hey Ed,

I have dealt with a few poor idle issues myself. Took awhile to get caught up on this thread. I see you have over 50k miles. I see you covered most of the Air parts and i think you ran some fuel cleaner?

The other thing i would do is clean out the engine with some good ol' sea foam and then swap the spark plugs.

I had an ugly idle issue on my old 2011 Mustang and swapping the plugs did the trick.

If the previous owner or anyone ran a bunch of fuel additives and such, this could foul up the plugs. I would at a minimum - check them. All 8.


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---------- Post added at 05:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:53 PM ----------

If that doesn't work, i would start checking o2 sensors.


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The great idle mystery has finally been solved. I took the car to Kevin at film flam tuning in Richmond and he figured it out right away. It turns out when I swapped the air filter I didn't reinstall it correctly so there was a slight gap and that caused the idle issue.. Talk about a dumb mistake.
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