Car run fine in the winter, but often won't start in the summer.

Tiny
DSCHAEFFER
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD THUNDERBIRD
  • 150,000 MILES
I've had the starter and fuel pump replaced. Also the main computer module has been replaced.
The non-start is always when the car has been sitting in the heat for a while, but it's not consistent.
The mechanics have given up.
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have the same problem?
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No
Monday, August 29th, 2011 AT 5:21 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
YOU have to test when the problem is ongoing. With intermittent issues, you have to test then, or you can't find anything. If it wouldn't act-up on the mechanics, they wouldn't be able to find anything.

When the problem occurs, if it cranks good but won't start, have a helper crank it, while you check for spark at the plugs. If you have spark everywhere, use a gage and check fuel pressure.
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Monday, August 29th, 2011 AT 5:32 PM
Tiny
DSCHAEFFER
  • MEMBER
Thanks, yes they've done those test too. The other strange thing is if I let it sit for 30 or 40 minutes after a non-start, often when I try again it will start at that time. Once, by the time the shop wrecker had arrived at my car. Then it started.
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Monday, August 29th, 2011 AT 6:36 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
With intermittent issues, you have to do testing, when problem is ongoing. To check for spark at the plugs, use a known good spark plug or spark tester, pull spark plug wire loose from plug, use tester in boot, ground metal part of tester to metal part of engine. Have helper crank while you look for spark. Unless you can tell me that spark and fuel pressure are good, when the problem is ongoing, I don't know which direction to turn. You yourself have to do the testing. Any applicable trouble codes?
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Monday, August 29th, 2011 AT 6:49 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Winter blend fuels can cause a problem in the summer. Change your fill-up location, see if it helps?
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Monday, August 29th, 2011 AT 6:54 PM
Tiny
DSCHAEFFER
  • MEMBER
No codes that make sense for the problem. I have instrament panel malfunction though. The milage and fuel gages don't work. Someone said that I could get a intrament panel cluster from a junk yard and have someone put it in. I might do that just to see if it makes a difference.
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Monday, August 29th, 2011 AT 6:54 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
If you have codes, what are they? Just curious?
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Monday, August 29th, 2011 AT 7:15 PM
Tiny
DSCHAEFFER
  • MEMBER
At one time I had a code for the fuel mixture not being right. The machanic checked the air pressure and it was fine. I'm not a car machanic so I'm limited in what I can check. Basically it came down to "The cars old, we don't want to keep taking your money."
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Monday, August 29th, 2011 AT 9:26 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
I told you how to check for spark at the plugs, it's easy. Some of the name brand autostores used to loan out a fuel pressure gage? It isn't hard to check fuel pressure. I can give you list of issues to check, but, you have to do the checking.
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Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 AT 3:41 PM

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