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Grand Marquis starting nightmare

I have a 1996 Grand Marquis. It has 56,000 original miles and has

developed a problem that 3 different mechanics cannot figure out. I bought

the car in August of 2006 and it ran great and looked like new. All was

well until the temperature dropped below 30 degrees. The car would start

then immediately stall, but on the second try would run great. This was

not a big problem, but did not want it to get worse so I took a garage and

they told me it needed new plugs and wires and to replace the air intake

control valve. Well the next day it was the same so I called the garage

and told them and they said they would check it out. They said that maybe

it was the wrong plugs so they put in the OEM recommended brand, but also

free of charge the replace the water temp sensor. That is when the fun

began. The next day it took me 10 minutes almost a dead battery and

finally starting fluid to get the car started. I have since had replace

the mass flow valve, fuel filter, another temp sensor, oxygen sensor, and

thermostat and nothing helps and paid out over $1,000 so far. Please let

me know what to do as if I can get it started and even to get it to stay

running for the distance of 2 blocks after that it runs great,. Now one of

the mechanics suggested a fuel pump and that will cost me over $400 and

not sure if it will help.

Comments

  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Has any of the shops hooked up the engine to a computer to see if they can retrieve trouble codes before they recommended replacing parts?? Did they keep the car overnight to try to start it during very cold weather in the morning??

    If they didn't, they should because they seem to be guessing. Otherwise, you will have to take it to a Mercury dealer service. Some shops are connected to on online database which, once the codes are obtained, it tells them where the problem is. I believe Auto Zone diagnoses engine problems that way.
  • The second place I took it to was a ford motors dealer and they had it 2 days and all they could come up with was bad fuel pump and mass flow valve and a funny thing is the 1st day they said the pump was fine and then the next day it wasn't. I had the mass flow valve replaced and no difference. The only codes that they could get was a misfire code and that is they replaced the plugs and wires. I am going to replace the fuel pump relay tomorrow as I can get one at NAPA for $11 and who know it may take care of the problem.
  • Is there anybody :) out there able to share with me how to overcome a cranking, however "NON-STARTING" :sick: 5.0, with only 77,620 miles? I've replaced the following:
    Plugs, Wires, Distributor, Relay to Distributor, Ignition Coil, Battery {twice}.
    This started two weeks ago. Some days it starts no problem; yesterday, today is a different story . . . .NOTHING. I ran the battery down then began all over again . . . NOTHIN'. I'm at my wits end and need someone to come along side and "PLEASE HELP". Your assistance is well appreciated. Thank You, walar2007.
  • browneybrowney Posts: 104
    I think these older GMs have a ballast resistor in the ignition system.
    If it does you should try replacing it.
  • beedubbeedub Posts: 1
    i agree with above and maybe it could be the fuel delivery to the car, fuel shutoff buttin could be stuck,hole in the fuel line,fuel line rusted
  • Same year same problem - solved the problem by using lower octane fuel - fixed it immediately - I could go into octane as a measure of combustibility and why the higher octane struggles in the lower temperature but I am not qualified. Try it - I believe it will work.
  • I recently purchased a 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis showing 55,337 mi and cked out as one owner 80 yr old lady who I bought it from. Immediately the odometer/trip quit working. Within a few more days smoke poured out from the dash and the speedometer quit working. I'd understood there was a recall on this but Ford tells me that is expired. They did fix the cruise control that was a recall. Didn't seem to understand smoke from the dash in connection with the speedometer no longer working. It did not quit working at the same time the odomerter & trip did but later following the smoke from the dash that smelled like a short or wires burning. This is a standard sort of dash indicators. Appreciate any feed back.
    Also, having read that these 96s have had a plastic intake manifold problem, please tell me how that is detected before I get this problem as well. I am an elderly myself and already dissappointed in my local Ford dealership. Have a couple of good mechanics who have been laid off but would like to know something of the problems myself before I even talk to one of them.
  • i have a 97 grand marquis 76K miles and a possessed electrical system! we got the car in aug 04 with 25K miles and within a year it developed this most unusual problem. what happens is the voltage spikes and drops - sometimes very rapidly - and the lights flicker in concert with the varying voltage. the problem developed slowly. it first started in the fall and would only do it occasionally, a day or 2 at most and then be ok for weeks. it would stop in the late spring, be fine all summer and start up again in the fall. i have tried many things to fix it (i'll list them later) but nothing has any permanence. it is now a daily occurance and the issue has escalated to the point where it now activates the red battery warning light which flashes in time with the oscillating voltmeter. the voltage spike is quite high - approaching 16 volts. in fact sometimes the red batt light issue an audible clicking.
    there's a list of what i've done in an attempt to fix the problem:
    replaced all fuses, circuit breakers and relays
    replaced the starter (thinking the soleniod could be the problem)
    replaced the alternator many times (on the 3rd one since april)
    added several ground straps
    added new wire directly from alternator to battery, removing the existing wire from alternator to starter (i have read the this wire is a fusable link)
    replaced sepentine belt ( this made the problem worse)
    replaced the battery twice ( just a few days ago - car great great for about 50 miles)
    opened and cleaned every connector i can find

    cleaning the connectors had the car run good for almost a week. a second cleaning had not effect
    i desperation i went to my local mechanic ( i worked for him many years ago). he had the car for a day, told me it was fixed (the stator wire connection) charged me 40 bucks. as soon as i drove away it acted up again. his opinion is to rebuild the alternator though him or "keep going to advance. sooner or later you will get a good one from them"

    i had advance check the alternator on the car. voltage high 15's - 75 amps, battery was good but low on charge(this prompted me to replace the battery a week ago)
    they replaced the alternator. made no difference in the problem.
    i called ford and even discussed the problem with a local ford dealer's service manager but they were of no help. they claim they have never heard of any cars with this problem. i just cannot bring myself to take this to the dealer.

    so, can ANYONE out there help me? i am at my wit's end and really dread the thought of turing this over to a dealer.
    thanks everyone
  • I had the same problem and no one could figure out what the problem was. The local Ford dealership wanted to charge me $70 to hook it up to check the computer but said it was probably the fuel pump or fuel pump sensor. My Mercury is a 1999 model with 74,000 miles on it. It is a one owner car and has received excellent service. My parents gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago when they bought a new car. They bought it new. Anyway the dealer was going to charge me an additional $300 for that. They told me all this without even looking at my car. I finally took it to an automotive shop that hooked it up and it wasn't the fuel pump. It was the computer. My car sounded like a car that was out of gas when I tried to start it. To see if this is your problem turn the key enough for the radio to come on, leave it on about 10-15 seconds then try to start the car. Mine would start that way after 2 tries. The mechanic said the computer is responsible for the fuel pump sensor and if it is not functioning no fuel will be released to the engine but it will release enough for the car to start if you do the key the way I said earlier. Also I had to take both keys to the mechanic when they replaced the computer because they have to be reprogrammed to the new computer. I hope this helps. My car runs like new again and I'm happy. I'm not an elderly woman but I love this car. I'm a woman that knows little about cars but I do know enough to look on the internet to get advice and when that fails I go to my dad. : ) I hope this helps.
  • What ended up being the problem with your car?

    I have a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis that has the same extact issue!
  • They ended up replacing the computer on my car and now it starts every time without hesitation. The other day it was 12 degrees here and it started right up. It cost about $500.00 for everything. I ended up taking it to a local mechanic who sent it to an electrical shop that was able to find the problem. It was the part of the computer that controls the fuel injectors. The funny part is there was a car from the local dealership there that had the same problem only the dealership couldn't figure it out. I'm betting the owner of that car paid a lot more than I did. Once the shop replaces the computer they have to reprogram it and your keys to your car. So, you can't just buy one and replace it yourself. The Ford place wanted to replace the fuel pump which was going to be around $700.00 and wouldn't have helped at all.
  • I also have a 1996 Grand M and have had both problems. The intyake manifold will be plastic whether it was replaced or not. The issue with this is there are no metal inserts molded into the plastic at the fastening screws and under pressure the plastic cracks. The replacement intakes have those metal inserts. When mine blew ( steam and water out the back of the car on the highway) I called Ford Motor and was told that it was not subject to recall, although at the time, it was under consideration. I seem to recall that they said that if the car had survived a certain amount of time (or mileage), which mine was past, they would not help. This was 10 yrs ago or so and it cost me $800. If you don't do work on your car, a mechanic should fairly quickly be able to get in there and tell you whether you have a replacement manifold. Rmoving one of the hold-down screws and looking into the hole should show a metal insert or not. Also, Ford may have a history on the car and be able to tell you.

    As for the speedometer, a few years ago I noticed that my needle was hesitating and then jumping up and around. Some time later, my odometer quit working, but my speedometer still works and no longer jumps. I took this as a sign that a gear inside the dash unit that drives the odometer had failed, temporarily interfering with the other gears. I have not had it fixed but I imagine that removal of the speedometer assembly and replacing the gear would be necessary. I don't know about the smoke situation but I also had a heater core failure that causes leakage of fluid inside the cab and produces a filmy smoke that gums up the windshield and stinks. Since I live in Florida, I just disconnected the heater hoses to the engine and plugged the connections on the motor. Hope this is of some help to you.
  • pegapuppegapup Posts: 1
    I have had the same type of issues with my 2002 Mercury GM. A friend and I have torn the dash board apart twice. We've traced all the wires from the battery to the ignition, well, all the electrical to everywhere. I can drive it and it will suddenly not start. It can happen after a long drive or a short drive.

    Also, the check engine light is constantly going on. That is my biggist issue here... as in the State of NJ, your car won't pass inspection if the check engine light is on - even if the car passes emissions. Last time I had to go pay to have the computer reset right before I take it to the inspection station.

    I love my car. It suits my needs and is in great condition, except for this fact. If I get the computer replaced, will it stop this whole crazy thing? If so, can anyone tell me about how much it costs to have the computer replaced? I've tried to find out - but can't seem to find the answer.

    Thanks!
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