Starting problems, possibly the spark plugs is my thinking.

Tiny
JOHNP42
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 MERCURY VILLAGER
  • 230,000 MILES
I have a villager, 1995, and the van just started giving me problems to start. It starts some times and not other times, therefore I don't think its the fuel pump, sometimes it so close to starting and does for a second then stalls, the question is: would this be because the spark plugs need to be changed or is this a bad power connection or something like that?
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Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 AT 1:13 AM

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Tiny
JOHNP42
  • MEMBER
I have also checked the tank and it is fine, I get gas at times and it starts, now sometimes it starts and runs fine, other times it seems to start and then stall right away, then I kill the battery, I have recharged and tested the battery and it has 12.78, I have moved the spark plug wires and looked at them and they seem reasonably OK, Tomorrow I am going to remove one or two spark plug wires and try to ground them to see if I get a blue spark or not, As I have read some other people had similar problems, keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrows test. If this is not the problem, Would you have any other suggestions?
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Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 AT 1:42 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
It will be faster and less expensive to get a mechanic involved. Your logic is not correct. Fuel pumps often fail intermittently and cause no-starts and hard starting but you've ruled that out. "I get gas at times and it starts" implies it's not getting gas at other times, but you didn't say that. A simple fuel pressure test when the no-start is occurring will tell if lack of fuel pressure is the cause.

There's no reason to suspect the battery or be looking at it if the engine cranks normally until you kill it.

All of the spark plugs will never fail at the same time and cause a no-start. As they gradually wear out one will cause a misfire first, followed by a second one days or weeks later, assuming you can stand to ignore the first misfire that long.

There's multiple ways spark plug wires can fail. Only two of them will give visual clues. Professionals diagnose the need to replace them. They don't pass judgement by looking at them. Also, a bad plug wire won't magically fix itself and work at times. If all six are bad the engine would never start. If only a few were bad you'd have a constant misfire and very low power.

As for some electrical connection, if it made a good connection at times and a bad connection at other times, why doesn't it cause stalling while you're driving? Engine and road vibration would make it more likely to act up after the engine is running.

Up to this point, with no diagnostic information or test results to go on, my guess is a bad fuel pump, but I would never recommend replacing it without performing pressure and voltage tests to verify everything else is working.
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Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 AT 7:51 AM
Tiny
JOHNP42
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Thanks Caradiodoc, I have an appointment tomorrow morning with my mechanic to change the fuel pump. Thanks again.
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Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 AT 7:58 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Remember, that's a guess at this point. Don't let them replace the fuel pump just on your request until they do some tests to verify it's causing a problem. It saddens me when people state what they want done, it doesn't solve the problem, then they're stuck paying for what they requested. I'd be just as happy to learn something less expensive was found to be causing the problem.
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Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 AT 11:24 PM

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