2003 will nor rev to 3000 rpm in park or neutral

Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2003
Scenario : Weather's been somewhere between 33-63 degrees the past two weeks - startup procedure has been the same every morning before heading to work, turn key to on position but not starting to allow the fuel pump to prime up, put on my seat belt, then turn key the rest of the way. Engine springs to life within 1 second, and high-idles at 1500 for about 30 seconds before slowly settling in. Off we go.

I've had the car for 1400 miles so far ... averaging somewhere between 13 (3 tanks with 91 octane) and 14.4 mpg (with the first three tanks I had the car with using 87)... I'm learning to live with my new 1/3rd'ed fuel economy from my last car. :p

Here's where things get a little strange. This has now officially happened 3 times so far.

Scenario : In a little bit of a hurry, start engine, drop into reverse within 3 seconds before high-idle settles down, start moving backwards, and it feels like I'm running on 6 or 7 out of 8 cylinders. No CEL's, no warnings, no stalls, but bizarrely rough idle. Stop... put in park, try to bump the throttle a few times to maybe rev it out a hair ... no response in change of idle. I can literally put the pedal to the floor, and the idle will stay at 1100 or so and CRAWL up to about 1300 within 5-6 seconds before I think to myself "This is stupid, I should probably just leave things be..." or "...maybe this is Ford's idea of idiot-proofing people who want to goose the throttle."

In any event, if I key off after putting it back into Park, wait about 5 seconds, start up and let the engine settle the idle itself back to 1000 rpm before coming out of gear, everything is as if nothing ever happened - smooth as glass, throttle response *in gear* while driving is super-sensitive and the car will leap off like I released a line-lock and was ready to make a 1/4 mile run. Drivability is as perfect as I would expect, but the mpg's are still a little lower than what others seem to claim around here.

I've literally never experienced anything like that before. If I start up and let the warm-up idle procedure do its thing and be patient, then set off - everything's fine. If I start up and drop into reverse to get out of a parking spot or my driveway, idle's choppy as all get-out til I stop, place in park, key off, wait 5 seconds, start over and be patient with the warm-up interval. In *either* instance ... I can't goose the throttle in park to ramp up the revs while sitting still, the car refuses to rev like a 1000 - 3000rpm burp like you'd typically do on just about anything else.

Any ideas? Remember, no CEL's .. no errors whatsoever when it misbehaves. Do these ECU's have some sort of "Thou shalt not be an idiot" setting to keep us from doing something stupid? o_O
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Thunderbird Year
2002
I needed to reposition my 02 T Bird in the garage since I did not park it straight last weekend,
started up rpm went to about 1300, put in reverse everything smooth, rpm dropped down to about
600 rpm, put in neutral stepped on gas rpm went up with no issues. Can not duplicate wheat you
are experiencing.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Thunderbird Year
2002
Scenario : Weather's been somewhere between 33-63 degrees the past two weeks - startup procedure has been the same every morning before heading to work, turn key to on position but not starting to allow the fuel pump to prime up, put on my seat belt, then turn key the rest of the way. Engine springs to life within 1 second, and high-idles at 1500 for about 30 seconds before slowly settling in. Off we go.

I've had the car for 1400 miles so far ... averaging somewhere between 13 (3 tanks with 91 octane) and 14.4 mpg (with the first three tanks I had the car with using 87)... I'm learning to live with my new 1/3rd'ed fuel economy from my last car. :p

Here's where things get a little strange. This has now officially happened 3 times so far.

Scenario : In a little bit of a hurry, start engine, drop into reverse within 3 seconds before high-idle settles down, start moving backwards, and it feels like I'm running on 6 or 7 out of 8 cylinders. No CEL's, no warnings, no stalls, but bizarrely rough idle. Stop... put in park, try to bump the throttle a few times to maybe rev it out a hair ... no response in change of idle. I can literally put the pedal to the floor, and the idle will stay at 1100 or so and CRAWL up to about 1300 within 5-6 seconds before I think to myself "This is stupid, I should probably just leave things be..." or "...maybe this is Ford's idea of idiot-proofing people who want to goose the throttle."

In any event, if I key off after putting it back into Park, wait about 5 seconds, start up and let the engine settle the idle itself back to 1000 rpm before coming out of gear, everything is as if nothing ever happened - smooth as glass, throttle response *in gear* while driving is super-sensitive and the car will leap off like I released a line-lock and was ready to make a 1/4 mile run. Drivability is as perfect as I would expect, but the mpg's are still a little lower than what others seem to claim around here.

I've literally never experienced anything like that before. If I start up and let the warm-up idle procedure do its thing and be patient, then set off - everything's fine. If I start up and drop into reverse to get out of a parking spot or my driveway, idle's choppy as all get-out til I stop, place in park, key off, wait 5 seconds, start over and be patient with the warm-up interval. In *either* instance ... I can't goose the throttle in park to ramp up the revs while sitting still, the car refuses to rev like a 1000 - 3000rpm burp like you'd typically do on just about anything else.

Any ideas? Remember, no CEL's .. no errors whatsoever when it misbehaves. Do these ECU's have some sort of "Thou shalt not be an idiot" setting to keep us from doing something stupid? o_O
Mine does this also, put it in drive leaps off the line, put it in park rev it and it falls apart.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Thunderbird Year
2004
My car will not rev in park which I thought odd but figured it was a built in feature for some reason.

I do have to say your fuel mileage is horrible unless you are driving like teenager on steroids. With normal driving (summer only) I get 21-24 mpg routinely on premium in suburban driving.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Thunderbird Year
none
Regarding the rough idle at start. It would be good to know more about your car. How old is the battery? Is it taking a charge or is there possibly a charging problem like the alternator not immediately charging after the initial crank.
When you cold start the car is the AC button on or the Auto selected or is everything off. I wondering about what load is on the cold engine at immediate start.

Here is something to try as odd as it may seem. Disconnect the battery positive side & leave it for 30 minutes. This will allow for all the control modules to loose their stored voltage as well as those modules that memorize the driver's habits. Since you have only had the car a short time, 1400 miles, it is possible the car is behaving to you as it did for the previous owner's driving habits. When you re-connect the battery you will have to restore the window drop feature which is easily done by closing both doors bring the windows up to their max closed position & hold the up button for 2-5 seconds. Then bring the window to max down & hold the button again for 2-5 sec. The window drop feature is now reset. You may also have to re-set your entertainment channels & the time of the day.

More importantly the car now has forgotten the learned driving habits of the previous owner and will now drive at the factory pre-set functions in the Powertrain Control Module and as you drive the car these pre-sets will begin to change to your driving habits. I think you will see a change in your gas mph as well as a complete change in the behavior of the car.

Another thing you may want to do is take the car to any major parts house like AutoZone and briefly tell them of your symptoms and request that they will read the the car's diagnostic codes. They do this as a free service in hopes of selling you pieces & parts that you may need to correct whatever is wrong. Bring those codes back here to the site & gives us what they are. I'm certain someone here can begin to help.
 
Joined
May 17, 2016
Thunderbird Year
2004
Have you replaced the fuel filter?? Seems simplistic but if that baby is clogged or has never been changed it could be restricting the fuel to the engine. Its cheap enough to try. I believe its located inside the drivers side front wheel well or you can bring it somewhere to have it replaced.
 

Sierra977

Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2013
Thunderbird Year
2004
IIRC there is a "reset" procedure that deletes vehicle-learned driving parameters. Did it when I first got my car and it seemed to help a small amount. We overrode the feature when the car was dyno tuned with SCT X4.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
Scenario : Weather's been somewhere between 33-63 degrees the past two weeks - startup procedure has been the same every morning before heading to work, turn key to on position but not starting to allow the fuel pump to prime up, put on my seat belt, then turn key the rest of the way. Engine springs to life within 1 second, and high-idles at 1500 for about 30 seconds before slowly settling in. Off we go.

I've had the car for 1400 miles so far ... averaging somewhere between 13 (3 tanks with 91 octane) and 14.4 mpg (with the first three tanks I had the car with using 87)... I'm learning to live with my new 1/3rd'ed fuel economy from my last car. :p

Here's where things get a little strange. This has now officially happened 3 times so far.

Scenario : In a little bit of a hurry, start engine, drop into reverse within 3 seconds before high-idle settles down, start moving backwards, and it feels like I'm running on 6 or 7 out of 8 cylinders. No CEL's, no warnings, no stalls, but bizarrely rough idle. Stop... put in park, try to bump the throttle a few times to maybe rev it out a hair ... no response in change of idle. I can literally put the pedal to the floor, and the idle will stay at 1100 or so and CRAWL up to about 1300 within 5-6 seconds before I think to myself "This is stupid, I should probably just leave things be..." or "...maybe this is Ford's idea of idiot-proofing people who want to goose the throttle."

In any event, if I key off after putting it back into Park, wait about 5 seconds, start up and let the engine settle the idle itself back to 1000 rpm before coming out of gear, everything is as if nothing ever happened - smooth as glass, throttle response *in gear* while driving is super-sensitive and the car will leap off like I released a line-lock and was ready to make a 1/4 mile run. Drivability is as perfect as I would expect, but the mpg's are still a little lower than what others seem to claim around here.

I've literally never experienced anything like that before. If I start up and let the warm-up idle procedure do its thing and be patient, then set off - everything's fine. If I start up and drop into reverse to get out of a parking spot or my driveway, idle's choppy as all get-out til I stop, place in park, key off, wait 5 seconds, start over and be patient with the warm-up interval. In *either* instance ... I can't goose the throttle in park to ramp up the revs while sitting still, the car refuses to rev like a 1000 - 3000rpm burp like you'd typically do on just about anything else.

Any ideas? Remember, no CEL's .. no errors whatsoever when it misbehaves. Do these ECU's have some sort of "Thou shalt not be an idiot" setting to keep us from doing something stupid? o_O

what did you do? did you replace the fuel filter? my '03 is doing the same thing.....starts...pedal to floor...nothing. In gear...a rocket, although it does miss a little....more reason to think fuel filter.......
 

Quickdraw

2004 Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2002
Bsedwebt,
Your 2003 is behaving exactly like it is supposed to. All 2002-2005 T-Birds were designed to only rev up to 3K while in Park or Neutral.

The REV limiter also restricts RPM to 3,000 in Reverse as well as Park and Neutral.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
Bsedwebt,
Your 2003 is behaving exactly like it is supposed to. All 2002-2005 T-Birds were designed to only rev up to 3K while in Park or Neutral.

Really??? I understand limiting the rev to 3k rpm....but it does not go up at all......pedal to the floor, nothing....stays at about 1200......but, once place in gear....wow it's literally a rocket.

This is normal ?!?!?!
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
Update.....
I changed the fuel filter, fuel line, and second vapor (?) line as well in the driver's front wheel well. Made an even bigger difference in the rocket take off in gear, but did nothing about revving higher than 1200 in neutral or park.
We're the original owners of the car and had thought the filter had been changed at least once over the years......not.
I was very surprised to find the factory intalled filter nearly 16 years later.
The car has always been serviced at the dealer.
Same dealer that wanted nearly $1500 to fix a module I took out, sent away for reprogramming for $200.
Should have known.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Thunderbird Year
none
That's because the car is behaving as it should. There is a built in ram control in the power train control module that prevent the the Revs to exceed 3K
 
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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
There are several warnings in the Owner;s Manual about running the car at "high idle" with the concern being overheating.
The idle rev limiter is prob partially designed to prevent owners from encounterinig this...
1641732305126.png 1641732305126.png
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
But it does not reach 3000 RPMs in neutral, only 1500 or maybe 200 RPMs and then very slow to get to that level
You can learn a lot on the forums by reading what has already been posted. Someone already answered your question above. You will likely need an SCT Tuner if you want to change the Rev limiter.


Post in thread 'Thou shalt not goose the throttle in Park? '03 Throttle oddity?' https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...le-in-park-03-throttle-oddity.6996/post-43054

Post in thread 'Thou shalt not goose the throttle in Park? '03 Throttle oddity?' https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...le-in-park-03-throttle-oddity.6996/post-46031

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