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Old 11-26-2011, 07:52   #1 (permalink)
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'97 Grand Marquis Cold Start

I have the above described car that has not been starting on the first cycle of the key like it has for the last 4 years...I can start it after 2 or 3 tries of the starter but I would like to address this because it is my wife's daily driver and she is nervous about being stranded...Let me point out that when the engine warms up, it starts like a dream...What do you folks think could be the problem?? The solution?? Thanks for reading...
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:32   #2 (permalink)
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Re: '97 Grand Marquis Cold Start

See what the fuel pressure does when you turn the key on and then when you crank it. You could also turn the key to run 3 times from off before you crank it to see if that makes a difference. Autozone will pull codes for free to see if anything shows up.
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Old 11-27-2011, 19:17   #3 (permalink)
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Re: '97 Grand Marquis Cold Start

Bert had a good point with keying the car into the on position a few times. If this works and the car starts fine, then it could point to a fuel-related issue such as a fuel pressure regulator that is faulty. I would also suggest cleaning your idle air control valve. If it sticks, that can also cause a starting issue. You should be able to locate the IAC easily on your car. It should be on the intake manifold. It has two bolts securing it and an electrical connector. Sometimes you can take it off and soak it in carb cleaner and let it sit and see if that helps. The "pintle" inside is what you are trying to free up, if that is the issue.
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Old 11-27-2011, 19:26   #4 (permalink)
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Re: '97 Grand Marquis Cold Start

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Old 11-28-2011, 07:58   #5 (permalink)
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Re: '97 Grand Marquis Cold Start

Your problems seem to be related to fuel pressure. Fuel related problems can often be traced to a dirty fuel tank. In tank debris can cause the primary fuel filter sock to become clogged. Additionally, initial cold start problems can also be caused by a leaking check valve. Check for pressure on your fuel rail after the car sits overnight. If the fuel pressure is low or non existent, then your check valve is probably leaking.

I had a bunch of fuel related problems similar to yours on a used '01 that was owned by an elderly lady living at the beach. In eight years, the car had only been driven 46,000 miles at low speeds, mostly around Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach (top speed anywhere on Balboa is around 40 max). Although the car looked new and had been parked in a heated garage, the tank was full of "gunk" and the fuel filter sock was clogged. I don't know if the beach weather had anything to do with it, or what the lady put in the tank, but I replaced the fuel pump, in line filter (you do change your filter regularly, don't you?), and steam cleaned the tank. I've had no further problems for the last three years or approx 40,000 miles. A fuel gauge is a good diagnostic tool to have for these problems.
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