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Ford Fiesta 1.25 16v - Stalling/idleing issues!




I've been having problems with my fiesta for a number of years, it began with the engine hunting when it was idleing. So I took it to a friends garage who specialises in petrol engines and tuning, and he disconnected a valve and replaced the Lambra sensor, it ran a little better, but the engine still hunted slightly. A year or so later it began having difficulty pulling away and it felt restricted, only to suddenly shoot off!! Also the hunting became so bad that it started to stall when idle because it was revving so low.

I again took it to a specialist tuner who ran about million diagnostic tests, charged us about £300 and said the car was cured... or not, it was no different so the car was returned to him and he sort of made it a little better. The hunting was still there but the car ran alot smoother.

Soo... that was approx two years ago, and the cars been running very well over the last year. At one point the hunting disapeared and it ran better than the day I bought it 6 years ago!! Untill last saturday!! The hunting had been recurring over the last month or two. And now when I brake and de-clutch it just stalls. All the time. I have to brake and rev alternatively to stop it from stalling.
I took it to a Garage on monday and they were sure it was shoddy wiring in the lambra sensor, so they fitted a new one. But the problem was still there, so I took it back yesterday. After a day looking at it and taking it apart they dont know what could be the problem, and today a specialist electrition has been called to look at it.
We are sure it is not a blockage anywhere, and its not the ECU. Diagnostics have shown the engine is running as sweet as a nut!! But its not!!

:lease: Any imput would be great!! I know its in the best hands with the garage, but just wondering if anyone on here had a wider knowledge of zetec engines???




Established Member
Checked simple things like plugs? Leads? Coils?


Yeh Plugs and leads have been changed. Just heard from the garage, apparently the electrition worked on it all day and when he left it was running perfectly. But apparently they started it up an hour later and its back to how it was!!

Grrrr so annoying!


Distinguished Member
Sounds like the engine is drawing in air somewhere, too much air = stall.



I have this exact same problem, all the symptoms are the same. Hunting idle, sometimes, but rarely stalls because of the low idle hunting. Randomly the acceloration cuts out at between 4000 and 5000 revs. I took it to garage, they had it for 2 weeks, charged me £240 overall, and they had people looking at it from a specialist electrical garage. They got one ecu error, so had to replace a speed sensor. My car is 1996 ford fiesta 1.25 16v.

They also had some back pressure problems, so replaced my rusting rear and middle exaust sections. I have noticed that it is a little better, I can go faster etc, but still annoying to drive, also i have to rev and warm the car up else it will stall if i move off, thats annoying.

I have also replaced the Idle sensor which I noticed no difference. The electrical garage said they have had a smilar problem on a ford galaxy before and they rebuilt the ecu. They want to send my ecu to get rebuilt. £200+ apparently!

Not doing that, I'm going to buy another ecu on ebay, I have a friend experienced in replacing ecus. Its been hard finding the info I need, but I gather for our type of car there are 4 ecus, uniquely identifiable by a 4 letter code on the device. One is "jeep", one is "slob", dont know the others. Anyway, I am about to look at mine and try to get another one. I will let you all know what my outcome is! £30 ecus are. but £600-ish for a new one.

The only issue is getting the ecu coded so the keys work the immobiliser, because the keys will be a different combination to the new ecu.

Cheers, Jon

p.s. your post was 5 months ago, have you fixed it since??


Prominent Member
When the revs at idle don't stay steady, usually dropping then rising up beyond normal tick over, again and again, as if it's 'hunting' for the right level...


Established Member
Do those cars have an EGR valve?


Standard Member
Same hunting problem with my 1.25 Zetec so this is what has been done and how the problem started - it may relate to some one elses problem so here it is. Changed plugs, leads, and coil. Had to revert to the local Ford garage for a diagnostic check. Seems that one of the connecting hoses ( don't know which yet ) had rotted and was letting air in. My problem started with a miss firing when it was damp and this was twelve months ago in the winter. No problem during the Spring & Summer and until early October - perhaps the air is colder - I was thinking dampness and spark arcing.

Symptons and process leading up to the need for a diagnostic were:

1. Miss firing and resultant backfiring

2. Next day would not start.

3. Bought new plugs and started OK - this is when I noticed the hunting. One of the plugs removed had a cracked core. For a few sconds at a time the car would run OK and the give the impression of getting too much fuel and running rich

4. Suspected that the leads may need replacing so did this - no change

5. Spoke to local Ford garage and their service dept suggested that it may be the coil - £180.00 to replace including diagnostic.

6. Got a coil from a recycling yard ( used to be scrap yard ) - same hunting.

7. Car OK after new connecting hose



Dealer report said : Found Vacuum pipe that fixes into inlet manifold and PCV valve had perished and leakingh. New hose assembly fitted (£7.86 ) Misfire now gone All OK


Standard Member

I have a problem like this as well. The car is often haunting when still. It is also keeping high rpm after putting to neutral when driving fast. For example, if I am driving around 70 mph and put to neutral, the rpm won't go below 4000 for a very long time. At that speed it will most likely wobble and loose the power periodically.
I went to service twice in one month and both times they found nothing. Yet, between those three weeks the engine lost 2l of oil.
Last time when I went to service, I printed out the posts of this blog so that they can check everything. And again, they did not find anything.
I have a good friend who used to work at Ford and told me that the haunting is to do with engine calibration and the software update will solve everything. I called Ford authorized service and over the phone they told me that the software update most likely will not solve anything.
Well, I am now thinking, should I go to ford for diagnostics if most likely they will not find anything anyway?
Are there any solutions?


Standard Member
Well the idle valve was, in fact, cleaned. So yes, the car perhaps is not haunting but the high rpm is the problem when putting to neutral from fifth gear (or any other). ... And there is a loss of power. Although it is periodical, it lately happens much more often.


Established Member
Same problem with my 1.25 16v Si. Had everything cleaned in the engine and that fixed it for a while but is back again though not as bad (it used to cut out every time you used the clutch after a long journey!) You can hear a hissing under the bonnet when the engine is running but I don't know if that's air or the belts?


Standard Member
my 1.25 16v zetec has one or two issues but the main one is, when im driving down the road after about 3000rpm it starts to kangaroo but it feels like there isn't enough spark to egnite the petrol if anyone knows what i meen please let me know iv shed blood sweat and tears over this but giving up yet lol cheers iv changed the throttle position sensor but that has done out and when i hold throttle to 2500 rpm a few seconds later the revs drop and when i put my foot to the floor in neutral there are little gaps when the revs are getting higher can anyon help i tryd taking the fuel line off and cleaning it but hasnt workd iv tryed spark plugs iv tryd ht leads but nothing
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Standard Member
ive got a 06 fiesta 1.4zetec that was abad starter when cold.my car was idleing andutting out so i took it to my local ford garage in ayr.they said it was a throttle sensor.since then its been good as new.


Standard Member
I have a 1996 Ford Fiesta and ever since a bought it a month ago it has had a ticking over problem. It seems to hover around 1000 revs.
Recently it has become more violent and at a set of traffic lights it stalled while stationary.
Earlier today it felt like it was trying to rev up and went up as far as 1500 revs while stationary.

My friend had a similar problem with his old Audi and he was told it was the spark plugs or the coils and it was neither.

Anyone got any idea what it is, and any idea of a ball park figure for how much it might cost?


Standard Member
Hi. I know that this is an old topic but i thought i would add my comments. Most of the problems on this subject would appear to be caused by an air leak on the pcv hoses found on the inlet manifold and connecting via a T-peice to the pcv valve in the block. Check these hoses and if found to be split, just bridge or plug the manifold takeoffs and test drive. If this solves the fault, just order new hoses and fit when available. You should be able to drive the car until they arrive.


Distinguished Member
Its most probably been mentioned but first thing to check is the idle control valve, very common problem on fords.


Standard Member
Sorry to drag an old post back from the grave.

I am just about to take my Zetec engine apart again (Fiesta Zetec 1.4 2006) and change the coil pack, once again.

Obviously I will run the engine, in idle, and check each connector whilst watching/listening for subtle/obvious changes.

This has, however, never led me to a 'Spark Plug'/'Cabling' issue, however on replacing the Coil pack I always get at least another Year out of the car before it starts to judder/hunt in idle.

Should there be anything else I should look for, as I can almost diary when the car is next 'due' to die on me (yes I ignored it the first time, thinking another day would be fine, and died completly on a slip road.)

Many thanks in advance, and sorry again for bringing this from the grave!

Best Regards,

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Standard Member
Hi i have 00 1.25 fiesta and idling around 2000rpm all the time changed the spark plugs, leads, coil pack
cleaned the idle control valve nothing seemed to work, was looking at the throttle position sensor when i disconnected it one of the wires just broke and was all corroded inside after fixing it the car idled great.

Hope this helps someone.


Distinguished Member
whats the interval on Plugs and Leads on the 1.25 ?

my Wifes Fiesta (70k miles now) is 11 years old and still on the originals ! (gulp) - hope they are not stuck in the block now.

starts very easily though !


Standard Member
Says here on the warranty and service guide that

spark plugs to be renewed every 40K don't see anything about the plug leads though.
Check/adjust valve clearances every 10years or 100k.
Fuel filter every 60k
Cam belt every 10 years or 100k

and that's about it for zetec se engines.


Distinguished Member
righty o - a few things due then ! :) should get the cambelt done - thing is the car is worth hardly anything at all - maybe worth just risking it


Standard Member
Hi I know you had this problem a while ago now, but just wondered if you ever got it sorted, as I am having the exact same problems with my Ford Fiesta Style 1.25, and the Ford dealer that I had it from are adamant they have fixed it, but I am still getting the problem. Thnx Helen


Novice Member
The answer to all your fiesta problems is most likely the air flow master cylinder ,had the same thing twice now on 2 fiestas ,change that and I bet it runs perfect .

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