Ford Taurus won't start until it sits for a while

I have a 2001 Ford Taurus SEL that runs perfectly fine — most of the time. About once every month or so, I’ll be driving around, running errands or whatever, and I’ll get into the car and it won’t start. It wants to turn over but sputters like it’s just getting little bursts of fuel. No warning lights or check engine light come on, I’ve tried jump starting, resetting the emergency fuel shutoff, swapping relays, it’s been to the shop multiple times — they just end up cleaning the fuel filter — I’ve tried everything I can think of. The kicker is, if I let the car sit for an hour or two, it will start right back up like nothing ever happened. Any thoughts?

Next time hold the gas pedal to the floor while you turn the key. If that gets it to fire up then you need to have the fuel pressure regulator & fuel injectors checked for leaking.

If that doesn’t work then someone needs to put a fuel pressure gauge on it, test the pump, shut down hot & then watch what happens to the pressure both as it sits & upon restart. There you’re looking for a bad check valve in the fuel pump.

To me this sounds like typical symptoms of an ignition component being heat sensitive. When you shut a hot engine off, the air stops flowing by it and the coolant stops circulating. The heat internal to the engine (cylinders get above 2000F) is no longer being dissipated by the cooling system, and it propogates out through the water jacket and the block, dissipating as radiant heat under the hood. Underhood temperatures rise. Running constant stop & go errands it can get hot under there.

There are components like the coil (pack), the igniter, and even things like the crank position sensor, that can become heat sensitive and fail when hot. Once the car cools down, they then function again.

Start by picking up a spare sparkplug or a spark tester and determining of you have loss of spark at those times.

We have had a number of Fords of that vintage, and even our 03 that replacement of the fuel pump turned out to be the solution. Have it verified before putting money into parts if you can. Ours was verified by stopping at the dealer every time we drove by, and when it failed to start that was the diagnosis and solution.

Ok i was having the same issue. Have a friend help you. Get in the fuse box under steering column and find the red and white wire. Wiggle it while your friend tries starting your car. Should start up. Replace the spade on that wire and your good to go.

Mine is a 99 and it just start doing it but it’s like when it cools down it will start up. Plus I have had to put antifreeze in it for over a year or two and the antifreeze is still in the same spot. So after a hour or two I can start it up.