View Full Version : Hard starting problems

01-25-2003, 09:37 PM
This problem just started to happen on my 90 SC
Every now and then, the car is very difficult to start. It cranks and cranks but just won't "ignite". I have to hold the gas pedal to the floor and then it will ignite, but then quickly die. After a few tries with the pedal to the floor, it kicks over, with a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust (my guess is from the extra gas). The car then runs completely fine another 10 times or so until it does it again.

01-25-2003, 11:20 PM
I read your other post and think you have an intake air leak.
I would check the intake and IC connections for leaks with propane or carb cleaner. When mine were loose, it would not even start until I tighten them up. While the engine is idling, spray some at each connection after the MAF, around the SC top & spanner nut as well as top & bottom of the IC. If you notice the idle smooth out when you spray a connection, then thats the one. Remember, most of this stuff is aluminum and will crack if you over tighten them. You want to have balanced pressure on both sides of each connection. good luck

01-26-2003, 02:04 AM
Hey Mitch.. long time no see.. glad you're back. :)

but yeah.. some ideas.

#1... DON"T press down the gas pedal anymore to start the car KAY? This is why when it does finally get going, its belching unburnt fuel :eek: Let the EEC do its job, as this is what its paid to do.
#2. If when cranking, it doesn't want to kick in, turn key completely off; wait for a 5 seconds; retry again.
#3. Hold key to the start position completely while cranking. Don't let go until you're sure its determined not to start. Then see step 2.

If none of this works, then we need to pull codes.. My guess is this is the early signs of a DIS failure or a cam sensor getting ready to go. Also, look to see if ,when this is happening, the upshift arrow on the tach is on or not. If it comes on, the EEC is telling you that it isn't receiving a signal from the crank sensor.

Hope this helps.

01-26-2003, 02:22 PM
Hi Rick
Glad to see you're still out there helping everyone.:)
1. Believe it or not, thats what ford says to do in the manual. Ford says to try it as a last resort.
2. Tried it; still doesn't start.
It might have something to do with cold weather. It was cold here in SoFla. When it warmed up the next day, she started right up..

BTW, you guys always talk about code readers. Where do I get one for a reasonable price?

How hard is it to replace one of those sensors?

01-26-2003, 02:54 PM
Just about any parts house has code readers. Or, you can do the paperclip thing:


Hows that upshift light? While cranking the engine, does the tach meedle move? Is there any time you've ever had a dead tach with the engine running, or had the car just cut out on you?

Try this just for fun.. Key off. Wife in driver's seat.. open gas cap, turn key on... listen for the fuel pump running. If that's OK, turn the key off.. Open the hood, find the shrader valve on the fuel rail and push it in slightly.. fuel should squirt out.

Since this seems to be happening to you on a cold weather day, that usually points to a loose connection somewhere. Try unplugging the DIS, coil pack, cam sensor and plugging them back in again. Be careful with the connectors as they're rather brittle by now. Also, grab parts of the wiring harness and wiggle around. Pop the cap off the power box behind the battery and reseat any fuses or relays which seem to have anything to do with the EEC or fuel. Things such as the brakes, and memory don't matter. Do the same thing with the fuses under the dash.
Open the trunk, pull back the carpet on the driver side and unplug/replug everything you see.
None of this may fix the problem, but intermittent problems are the hardest things to fix, and only about 1/4 of the time can you get a code which indicates the acutal problem.

01-27-2003, 03:28 AM
I did the gas tests and they all were ok. Also, I have an automatic tranny so I don't have the upshift light. See, I'm thinking maybe cold weather because my car didn't do this at all Spring- Summer- Fall, while it was warm out.
Also, great tip on the mustang site about the makeshift code reader.:)

01-27-2003, 05:52 AM
You should still have the upshift light I think. My 93 is an auto and has it. Holding down the gas is a bad idea, It tends to saturate the cylinders and exhaust with unburnt fuel. Mine once did the exact same thing and lo and behold it was a loose IC collar nut. If you don't have one, spend the money and get a spanner wrench, it is a worthwhile investment.

01-27-2003, 07:36 AM
Do you think it may be a weak fuel pump???I know you are getting fuel, but will it support an idle...I remember when my fuel pump went out it sounded similar to your problem...If you have no lights this is what I would suspect first...

A good handheld code scanner is AutoX-Ray, I got one and it has been pretty nice...I had a few problems with it and a 1-800 support call and I am back in business in a few minutes...Pretty good support and product...150bux was the price at Schucks or something...

If you decide you need a spanner wrench for your Blower TOP collar, I bought a spanner kit from Harbor Freight that has been great...And it cost me 12bux for three spanner wrenches...Not bad @ all...

Can hardly wait to see what fixes your car Mitch...Good luck...


11-05-2005, 06:33 PM
My 89 sc will do the same thing only sometimes it will start to cut out on the road. She'll start to buck like a mule and then sundenly smooth back out. I turned the key off once while it was doing this and coasted to the side of the road. It then took forever to get her to start. I never pushed the gas and still got a ton of raw fuel out the back. Mine is an auto and the upshift light comes on while cranking at times, also before it shifts into OD when running hard.