Mustang with a random issue with not starting

Dear Click and Clack –

Okay long time listener of show. Love it.

My issue
1998 Ford Mustang
Inherited from my father. To many memories, so I took it over to maintain.
Mileage approx. 120K

When I first got it was fine. After I started to run it a bit more than my father.
Started to see that it would not start from time to time.
First discovery was the cable into the “new” alternator was not secure. So I snapped that fully in place.
Saw improvement.

Then it did it again… would not start.
Thought it was the old battery – replaced that.

Then sometime later it did it again.
I had lights, radio, power to windows etc… would not start.
Called a tow truck. Both the tow-guy and myself felt it could be the starter.
The tow driver tried to bypass starter … but did not want to get underneath to try.

As he was hooking car up to truck he jumped into car tried one more time …and the car started right up. (cannot remember if it was in neutral)

I drove to the garage. the mechanic had all day … started fine for several try’s. Eventually they got to replicate the non-start. Told me my Starter was bad and replaced.

Now I have been driving with no issue for about the last 30 days. And yesterday the symptoms returned.
Full power to car …but would not start.

I was at work when this most recent incident occurred. Got out slammed door went back inside to use restroom and clam down. (waiting for my wife to p/u)

When I came-back I tried once more … and it started. I drove home.

Is my “new” starter …bad? or do I have another issue??

Please advise…

Thank you very much
Kevin R

I had a similar situation, it ended up being a bad cable.

Thank you for the reply. Can I ask …what type of bad cable?

The cable had a failure in the insulation, and was swollen at the point due to corrosion of the cable. The real diagnosis can only be performed in failure mode. If it does it after a few errands, I would look at the fuel pump. You did not clarify but if it is cranking well and does not start, fuel pump and or filter.

Does your car have a security system? Sometimes those can go bad intermittently, and can produce this symptom. That can be difficult to diagnose, as security systems by their very nature have hidden design features in them. Otherwise they’d be easy to bypass. The other simple thing would be the neutral safety switch could be defective. Sometimes a car will start with a defective NSF if you jiggle the handle to slightly reposition the selector lever, around either the P or the N position, while turning the key to “start”.