Heard a scary story from my dad the other day. He's got a '96 Ford F150 (4.6L V8, auto) in great condition for the year -- less than 160k on it. Anyway, the truck is used strictly for hauling the boat in and out of the lake a few times a year and for taking garbage to the dump, getting a load of soil for the garden, or carrying lumber, etc. Real utility stuff.
The truck lives outside throught the winter when the boat and my mom's Sonata go in the garage and last week when the large snowfall happened, he went to move it so his neighbour could plow the driveway out.
Since it hadn't been running in a few days, he started it up and let it warm up for a few minutes (literally a few minutes) while he shovelled the sidewalk. By the time he got in to move it, the truck was warm.
He backed it down the driveway and noticed the throttle seemed to stick a bit -- nothing too noticable -- just something a little different. After he shifted into drive (to move up and beside the garage) he gave it a bit of gas to through the snow (25+ cm). The truck started moving forward as expected, but when he lifted his foot off the accelerator, the revs stayed up!
He tried braking (basically standing on the brake pedal), but with the momentum of the heavy truck, crappy old drum brakes in the rear and a fairly powerful engine, the truck overpowered the brakes easily. Due to a large snowbank, when he tried turning to avoid the garage he was headed toward, he started to slide quite a bit.
He had the presence of mind to quickly switch off the ignition and ram the transmission into park, but not before the passenger side bumper and fender grazed the corner of the garage.
When he went to start it up again, it was still sticking -- but the accel pedal itself moves as it should (so it's something with the throttle itself).
My dad's no "Barrie", but he has puttered around cars for decades and feels fairl comfortable doing so. He's quite happy using his Chilton or Haynes guides and making minor repairs -- but with this, there's nothing he can see that is causing the problem.
Does anyone have any ideas, or heard of chronic "Unintended Acceleration" problems with Fords?
This is a pretty scary situation that he'll ultimately have the dealer inspect, but if it's a common Ford problem, then he'd obviously like Ford to pay for the repairs. Can you imagine the lawsuit Ford would have on their hands if this had happened on the highway and people had been killed?