My daughters 99 Cougar has started not starting. It’s an intermittent problem so, the machanic can’t find it. Most days it starts fine but on others no go. On those days it has a very strong and normal cranking sound but won’t go the little extra and start. It’s a new battery.
You need to figure out if it’s a fuel or ignition issue.
If you don’t have it, get a can of starting fluid. The next time the engine doesn’t start, remove the cover for the air filter and give a shot of the starting fluid up towards the engine and try starting the engine. If the engine starts and then stalls it’s a fuel issue. If there’s no life from the engine, it’s an ignition issue.
And, to check for spark, you could get an inductive spark tester which you clip on a spark plug wire. When you crank the engine, you should see the spark plug test light flash about once every two seconds (depending on cranking speed).
This option sounds less scary and likely to blow me up. Do I clip it on every wire? Just on the wire? I can do plumbing but cars are bigger and meaner than sinks.
I did however figure out, when it won’t start, if the key is turned on, not to crank, and then off, then on again a couple times then turned all the way one, it starts right up.
That makes it sound like it’s got one or more fuel injectors that are leaking. When you cycle the key on and off you are filling and pressurizing the fuel lines. the bad injectors need to be cleaned or replaced