97 Crown Vic starting problems....


KZero
03-04-2011, 09:29 AM
Hello all! Very nice forum y'all have here. Hopefully you guys and gals will be able to help me a bit.
Yesterday morning, my 97 CV wouldn't start for me. I drove from my place of work to the grocery store while on my way home. The motor was completely up to operating temp. I came out of the store about fifteen minutes later, and the motor wouldn't start. It turns over just fine, fast enough to build the oil pressure all the way up to normal, but it didn't want to actually start.
I would wait several minutes between each try, cranking for anywhere from five to fifteen seconds at each attempt. After about ten attempts, it caught, and I left. It ran just fine all the way home.
When I got home, I shut the motor off, and almost immediately tried to re-start it, and it started fine. I took the groceries in the house, took a shower, went back out, and it cranked over for about six or seven seconds before starting. (Normally, it only takes a second or so.)
That evening, it was time to go to work. Car has sat all day. Started just fine. Made two stops on the way to work, started just fine. I stopped worrying.
This morning. Car has sat all night and is cold (got down to about forty or so last night.) Didn't want to start. Took about three attempts, with lots of cranking, before starting.
Stopped at the store on the way home, car is hot. Added a bottle of injector cleaner, because I haven't in a while. Didn't want to start, but finally did after about six tries. When I got to the end of the driveway of the parking lot, and was waiting to pull out into traffic, it died on me. This is a new twist! It started right back up, and I pulled on out into traffic, and it ran fine all the way home, both with normal cruising and with me punching it.
Got home, shut down, immediate re-start, started just fine, did this about ten times. Started right up each time. Right now I am waiting for it to cool a bit and try it again.
The only other thing I have done since all this started is to clean the mass air sensor. Not sure it's related to this problem, but it's about that time anyway (I try to do it once a year.)

I'm not completely ignorant when it comes to auto mechanics, but there is a lot I don't know, and when it comes to electronics, wiring looms, etc. I'm almost completely helpless.:icon16: However, I will do my best to follow any advice y'all can give me about this problem. (My search of the site didn't turn up much, I tried.)
Thanks in advance, folks.

KZ

Blue)(Fusion
03-04-2011, 02:19 PM
Hi KZ, and welcome to the forums!

Did you clean the MAF sensor and then this started acting up? How did you clean the MAF sensor? Hopefully by just spraying it with some MAF cleaner (which does not leave residue behind) and no brush/touching, as this can damage the MAF wire.

Sounds to me like a fuel delivery issue. When was the last time you changed the fuel filter? I would look into the fuel pressure at the fuel rail when this acts up as I suspect a dying fuel pump.

KZero
03-04-2011, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the quick response, Blue)(Fusion.:)
I cleaned the MAF after the problem started, and I did it by carefully removing it and spraying it with electrical contact cleaner. This is something I normally do once a year or so (I've had the car since '07.)
I thought the same thing while I was sitting there cranking; either no fuel or no spark. The only thing that doesn't make sense to me (not that I'm all that smart) is if it isn't getting enough fuel to start, how is it getting enough fuel to run while on the road, especially at wide-open-throttle? I wish I had taken auto-mechanics in high-school!
I may look into changing the fuel filter. I'll dig into the shop manual here in a few minutes and see what it says about changing it, I've not done it on this car before.

Thanks again!

KZ

Blue)(Fusion
03-04-2011, 04:23 PM
The fuel pump may be working sometimes and not others. My friend with a 97 CVPI had a bad fuel pump. We drove around town, and it died as we turned into our destination parking lot and coasted to a stop. And was hard to start on occasion because of it not kicking on or providing enough pressure. Yet he still ran it at the drag strip with that fuel pump.

It could also be spark. Pull a spark plug and with the electrode against the block, see if there is spark and if there is fuel pooling in the cylinders.

Also note that if there is no spark and fuel is making it into the cylinders while trying to crank and pooling this is not good. It may be causing flooding making it even harder to start.

Scrapper
03-04-2011, 04:40 PM
The fuel pump may be working sometimes and not others. My friend with a 97 CVPI had a bad fuel pump. We drove around town, and it died as we turned into our destination parking lot and coasted to a stop. And was hard to start on occasion because of it not kicking on or providing enough pressure. Yet he still ran it at the drag strip with that fuel pump.

It could also be spark. Pull a spark plug and with the electrode against the block, see if there is spark and if there is fuel pooling in the cylinders.

Also note that if there is no spark and fuel is making it into the cylinders while trying to crank and pooling this is not good. It may be causing flooding making it even harder to start.

if it's over heating that tells me it might be a little out of time you may want to check cps sensor and as they say fuel filter and fuel pressure and of course your coil pack.

KZero
03-16-2011, 09:05 PM
Hey guys, sorry to be so long getting back to you, but the car just got fixed today.

After my last post, it did just fine for the entire week, and during a bunch of running around on Saturday. Started thinking maybe it was just some water in the gas. Then Sunday morning, it wouldn't start, again, and this time it was serious.
I pulled a couple of plugs, and they were as dry as a bone, not even the scent of gas. I could hear the pump running, though. Monday mid-day I called it quits and had it towed to the dealership (since I don't have a mechanic I can trust.)

SO, diagnosis? "Crankshaft sensor." By which I assume they mean the crankshaft position sensor. A seventy-two dollar part....and a heck of a lot more than that in labor costs.
I just picked it up this evening, and so far, it's doing fine, so we'll see.

Thanks everyone for your input.

KZ

Scrapper
03-17-2011, 09:51 AM
Hey guys, sorry to be so long getting back to you, but the car just got fixed today.

After my last post, it did just fine for the entire week, and during a bunch of running around on Saturday. Started thinking maybe it was just some water in the gas. Then Sunday morning, it wouldn't start, again, and this time it was serious.
I pulled a couple of plugs, and they were as dry as a bone, not even the scent of gas. I could hear the pump running, though. Monday mid-day I called it quits and had it towed to the dealership (since I don't have a mechanic I can trust.)

SO, diagnosis? "Crankshaft sensor." By which I assume they mean the crankshaft position sensor. A seventy-two dollar part....and a heck of a lot more than that in labor costs.
I just picked it up this evening, and so far, it's doing fine, so we'll see.

Thanks everyone for your input.

KZ

if you say fuel pumps running i would take gas filter off and see if it's getting to or threw it.

KZero
03-29-2011, 12:49 AM
if you say fuel pumps running i would take gas filter off and see if it's getting to or threw it.


Sorry if I wasn't being perfectly clear:
The car is fixed now, and running fine. The crankshaft position sensor was (apparently) getting flaky, and has been replaced by the dealership service department.

Thanks everyone for your time and your replies! :cheers:

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