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1999 Mercury Sable Mystery Problem

My wife’s 99 Sable would not start yesterday after work. She drove it at break, but at 3:45 when she was trying to leave it would not start. The car had half a tank of gas and plenty of battery power. I could not hear the fuel pump prime when I turned the key. It was about 75-80? outside. We left it overnight, came back the next morning and checked the fuel pump shut-off switch (it was not tripped). I got in the front seat and the car started on the first try. Any ideas what might be causing it?

This problem was also discussed in another forum, but no resolution was given (http://act…

Does the starter turn the engine?

Yes. It cranks normally and sounds like it will start, except it doesn’t. At least not yesterday afternoon. This morning it fired right off.

To verify that the trouble is a fuel delivery problem you could carry some starter fluid with you and then spray a small amount into the intake when the trouble happens again. If the engine fires up then you know for sure that is the trouble. The first are to check for a fuel pump issue is the fuel pump relay. It may be intermittent.

I agree with Cougar. The fuel pump relay may be the problem. A failing fuel pump will also seize up intermittently as well.

Well, my mechanic found a pin hole in my fuel filter. Replaced that and the car has behaved since…until today. But it did restart after giving it a second.

I have a Sabel with the same issue. After short trip (and vehicle gets hot) then shutting down the vehicle it will not start. Thefuel pump does not pump at ignition activation. wait 2 hours and pump will operate and vehicle starts and run normal. Spraying starting fluid in air tube the vehicle starts until out of fumes. Have tried removing fuel pump relay and trying to cool off and reinstall - no change. wait 2 hours starts fine. Tried to get it to fail and this time running A/C and upto highway speed then stopped at traffic light then proceeding as 30 mph engine died after about 3 blocks. Would not restart until cooled off. Again no fuel pump noise at ignition activation until 2 hrs later. Then fuel pump operational at ignition activation and successful start up.

The relay is not the issue as I put in a new one. Also checked inertia switch in trunk, which was not tripped. Fuse is OK, too. Is there anything other than the fuel pump that could be at fault?

BTW, I checked fuel pressure at the schrader valve last time this happened. It was at zero. Car started normally the following day.