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Old 04-21-2012, 02:27   #1 (permalink)
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Have some Sable issues...

So I finally want to address an issue on my 1989 Mercury Sable 3.8L V6 that has been going on for a while now and has just been ignored.
When going to start the vehicle it will sometimes start right up, but most of the time it will just crank and not start... (holding the key will result in the cranking stopping after maybe 2 seconds) And then letting go of the key and trying to start it again right away usually works.

I haven't been worried about this problem because the car usually starts right up on that second attempt. But yesterday afternoon I was waiting for my wife to get off work and was idling in park listening to the radio for about 7 minutes when the car started running rough (like it was out of gas) and then it died... I tried to start it up and nothing but that 2 seconds of cranking... tried 3 more times and then decided to leave it until she got out to the car. By that time 4 minutes had passed maybe and I tried to start it up again and it worked.

So far I have tested the battery even under load, its good. The Starter, alternator, starter solenoid and voltage regulator have all recently been replaced. Grounds and terminal connections are good and tight.

There always seems to be some hesitation to the start of the car, even if it starts on the first try. Please any help on this would be great!
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:41   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

When were the plugs last checked / replaced ?
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:33   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

For it to stop cranking sounds like a connection problem somewhere. Have you checked the battery voltage when it's happening?
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:39   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.S.LOGAN View Post
When were the plugs last checked / replaced ?
Those were changed about 6 months ago

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Originally Posted by Bert View Post
For it to stop cranking sounds like a connection problem somewhere. Have you checked the battery voltage when it's happening?
yeah I have, it is at 12.9 normal hook up, car off. When trying to start the car it goes to 11.8 and once the car is started its around 14.0 ...I actually couldn't get it to happen when I decided to test voltage... but there was still that hesitation when I was testing it. I will try more to get it to replicate while I test and see whats going on with that.

I am thinking it could be a connection as well, but not sure where... I even suspect the ignition lock cylinder at this time...
I hope to figure this out soon.

I also want to add that this car for commuter for my wife to work which is 10 miles both ways about 5 days a week. And also it had a fuel system cleaner treatment a couple months ago, just because.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:04   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

Could be a " lazy" starter dragging the battery down .
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Old 04-21-2012, 14:07   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

hmm, I hope really hope it isn't the starter I replaced that about 8 months ago or so.
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Old 04-21-2012, 14:22   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

It was just a thought on the starter . Possibly stopping on a bad bit now and then . Could check the draw on it when starting or bench test it to eliminate that .But many other possible causes , like you suggest , ignition switch could be the cause . Intermittent faults can be a nightmare at times to solve .
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:20   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

The starter is working, or the engine would not crank over. Description is of the ignition or fuel injectors just quitting. I'd check the relays for both, and check for ignition and 'noid' operation when it cranks but won't start. Did I miss something in my reading?
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:47   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

Well, now I am actually leaning towards the starter because last night it crapped out completely. I was working and my wife said she had no power in the car at all. she turned the key and nothing at all happened. When I got home and checked it out. I tested the battery that was at a healthy 12.4 and had her try to start it... she said its weird that now her interior lights and stuff worked (they had not when she was trying earlier). So when she tried to start the car, it was only doing the solenoid click no starter noise.. just the one click and then nothing.

Tested the battery when she was trying to start it and it was 12.1

So its hard to say on the lights because I wasn't there to make sure the battery was working good. But from what I'm able to see with it now I'm thinking possibly the starter.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:16   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Have some Sable issues...

check ignition switch. They are famous for burning up.
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