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Q: Very fast idle when in park- -when in gear vehicle goes 30-40 MPH on its own. on 2004 Ford Escape

My problem is a very fast idle when in park and when in drive the vehicle goes 30-40 mph on its own. Also, the emission system warning light is on. I know nothing about a diagnostic code or where u find one. Man---when I looked under the hood I thought "Boy R U in trouble", this doesn't look anything like an engine I remember!
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I own a 2008 Ford Escape and was chasing my tail. Scanner pointed at Air Intake Control Motor (Sometimes referred to also as Idle Air Control Valve) which is a simple fix but part is pricy. I went to scrap yard and installed another AIC Motor and all symtoms still persisted. Idling high in park, accelerating to 35 miles per hour without touching the gas. RMP's would jump to 4000 RPM's in park and Neutral. Turns out that my cruise control line was seized up and a simple disconnection solved the problem. Repairing the Cruise will be costly but I can live without

Just putting this out on this discussion board so that maybe even one person doesn't have to go through the frustration I did.
The only thing you can really do without test equipment is look for any loose or disconnected hoses. Vacuum leaks can cause this, as the previous answer stated. Also check the air tube from the air cleaner to the intake. Make sure it is secure and not cracked or damaged. Beyond that, you will need to have the codes retrieved to get more clues. Good luck.

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DaveJHM----Could you please tell me if the idle speed control sensor on a 04 Escape V6 goes by a different name (is called something else) and where it is located in the engine compartment. I could not find any parts listing for a idle speed control sensor . Thank you very much for your earlier advice. I am sure you can tell that I am not real familar with all the bells and whistles on newer cars, my younger days were spend on Chevys, Mercs, & an old Studebakers.
It is called the Idle Air Control Valve, which is a small cylindrical motor with a wire connector that mounts in the area of the intake manifold. It has a wiring connector that provides power to it.

I can appreciate your point of view with the newer vehicles compared to the older ones. With the newer ones, don't forget, you can easily start throwing money away without a proper diagnosis. It never feels good necessarily to pay for a diagnosis labor fee, but in the end, the expertise and test equipment required for todays specialized systems is almost entirely necessary.

My bigger concern is that your check engine warning light is telling you something is wrong - more or different than the idle air control valve. I would lean towards a vacuum leak causing lean fuel trim codes, perhaps from the intake manifold or somewhere of that nature. This vacuum leak can affect your idle speed too. IAC valves do not typically do not trigger check engine lights when they bind...which is typically the cause of their failure. Continued luck with your repair attempts!
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