Starting Problem

For the first time yesterday my 2001 Mercury would not start. I tried several times and it seemed to be “flooded” but after sitting for about 30 minutes it started and ran fine. Is this a one time deal or is it the start of a greater problem that I need to have fixed.

That’s not much information to go on. My guess (from experience with 1999 and 2000 Grand Marquis) is that your idle air bypass valve (aka IAC) is getting stuck. The next time this happens, hold the gas pedal half way down and see if it starts okay. If it does, then you should probably replace the IAC (about $80). It can be cleaned instead, but my experience was that it would stick again after six months or so. The replacement part is designed so that it shouldn’t ever stick.
Also, when the valve sticks, you can tap (not hit) it with a hammer and unstick it for a short period of time.