'97 Merc Grand Marquis hard to start after sitting

I have a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis that has been having intermittent trouble starting. I’m a full-time student and work part-time, so the car often sits for 2-5 hours while I’m in class or at work. When I come back the car is difficult to start, turning over for 5-10+ seconds before it catches and actually starts. Any ideas on what might be wrong? When it sits for only a few minutes or when it sits overnight it starts right up. Help!!!

That sounds like a fuel pressure fault.

Next time you have this hard start, turn the key on and off a couple of times to prime the fuel system before you try to start the engine.

Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable posters here can embellish this somewhat.

Make sure the air filter is clean, and examine/replace the spark plugs. If not enough improvement, use a MAF spray cleaner, and a carb/throttle body cleaner on the iac (idle air control) valve, and the throttle plate and bore.

So far the car hasn’t left me stranded, so I can’t complain too much. Other than being annoying, is this going to cause any additional damage?

It won’t get better. Why not do something now, and see what the results are?

Between classes full time and work part time I’m left with no window to be carless, plus I’m in the market to get rid of the tank since with gas prices on the rise I can just about cover the payment and gas for an econobox with what I’m paying just at the pump for the Mercury.