Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

1991 Mercury Tracer won't start but turns over

My 91 Tracer wont start. It turns over as if it wants to start but nothing happens. It almost sounds like the coil wire has been removed

Comments

  • edited November 2007
    Two things need to happen when you turn the key to the run position.

    The idiot lights on the dash should light up & you should hear the fuel pump prime for 2 seconds.

    Do they & does it??
  • edited November 2007
    That would tend to limit it to one of two things. No spark or no (or too much) fuel. They both sound the same.

    87 has a good question about the fuel pump. I suspect the idiot lights are coming on, but if they don't that also is a big sign.

    To check for spark, buy a new spark plug. Remove a spark plug wire (hold it by the socket not the wire when you pull it off. I believe some cars are not screwed on. Then hold the plug so the threads are tight against the engine block and have someone try to start the car. Watch for a nice blue spark. If not, then you have a spark problem. Oh yea, if you used your hand to hold the plug against the engine block, you really know there is spark. Use a well insulated tool to hold the plug. :-)
  • edited November 2007
    A couple of weeks ago I could hear my neighbor cranking & cranking his 84 Tempo.

    The battery finally went dead & I thought good & I would help him later when I was'nt busy with other things.

    Neighbors next trick was to back his other car out of the garage & jump the Tempo,

    Once again he was cranking & cranking.

    So I went over & mentioned that it was'nt going to start until we figured out what the problem was.

    Turned the key & no idiot lights.

    A quick test of the ignition switch showed that it was shot.

    15 bucks for a new switch & a couple minutes to install it. Problem solved.

    As Joseph said if the idiot lights come on & the pump runs, next step is to check for spark.
This discussion has been closed.