Mustang has trouble starting when hot

Hi guys, hoping someone can shed up light on the problem I am having. I plan on bringing the car to a shop at some stage (when I have some spare cash).

The car is a 2002 Mustang GT with 69k miles.

It starts perfectly, every single time, when its cold.

If I try to start it after it has been sitting for a while (any time from say 15 mins to 2 hours), it may, and it may not start first time. Sometimes it takes two or three key turns to get it going. It acts like it tries to start (which I believe is called turning over).

I have only had the car three months so I cant produce a maintenance history haha. Here is what I had done to her though.

Changed fuel filter

Cleaned air filter

Oil change

Tranny fluid change

Cleaned the IAC thingy as per someones suggestion (didnt fix the starting problem, car idles great)

Replaced radiator cap as it wasnt maintaining pressure and so I was losing coolant.

The problem existed before all the changes above.

Thanks for any help :slight_smile:

I suggest you think about replacing the coolant temperature sensor. If the computer gets an incorrect signal from the temp sensor, it will not adjust the fuel/air mixture correctly to allow for a warm start.

It’s the antitheft module that kills the starter, probably now faulty and malfunctions when hot. Had a 99 V6 that did the same thing, some diagnostic misadventures at several dealers before one finally determined the problem.

Thanks for the reply guys. Someone else also mentioned the starter problem however that wasnt the problem in this case.

Took it to a shop to get my oil changed and asked them to take a look at it. Left the car with them for a day, to see if they could find anything wrong. Well naturally enough the car started up every single time for them. They did however recommend a fuel/air induction service. This is the one they do:

He said he couldnt guarantee it would work as he never did see the problem, but I asked him to do it anyway. The way he explained it (and he may have been full of s$%t), was that when the carbon builds up on the valves and cylinders, it “soaks” up fuel. When you shut the engine off, it will drip/seep into the cylinders causing a flooding condition if you try to start the car when hot. After it has cooled down this excess fuel has had a chance to exit the cylinders (dont ask me how), which is why it starts up first time when cold.

Anyway, the result is my car has had no trouble starting now, hot or cold and I couldnt be happier. Just thought i would post again in case anyone else was having the same trouble.

The flooded condition you were told about is a legitimate one if there is a leaking injector, fuel pressure regulator, etc.

That line about the gasoline saturated carbon deposits dribbling into the cylinders is a bit of a stretch though. :slight_smile:

This might be a productive line of inquiry. Does the 'stang have PATS? To answer this without looking at the owner manual, does it have a red light on the top of the dash that flashes slowly when the care is turned off? If there is a PATS problem the light will be flashing comparatively fast when trying to start it.