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needhelpbad 03-27-2013 04:07 PM

Sable won't start after winter of rest
Hope someone can help me. My '99 Mercury Sable has been sitting outside all winter. I was going to take it to the auto dealer to trade for a new car today, but the darn thing wont start. Fully charged battery, and the engine is cranking strong, but it won't start. Any thoughts?

joecaption 03-27-2013 04:10 PM

Remove air filter and give it a shot of starting fluid.

needhelpbad 03-27-2013 04:42 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. I think it's going to work. It's coming really close... sputters for a second and then stops. Unfortunately, I drained the battery trying too many times, so I'm going to charge it up again before trying some more. Thanks again.

Bondo 03-27-2013 06:27 PM

Ayuh,.... Is there any gas in it,..??

cjm94 03-27-2013 07:10 PM

The fuel pumps in those years are very common to go out after sitting for long periods.

needhelpbad 03-27-2013 07:33 PM

Well... it might be the fuel pump. When I spray the starting fuel in the air intake, it turns over just enough to burn that fuel, and then stops. I've added progressively more spray, and it runs a little longer but then dies again. Is there anyway to know for sure. I sure don't want to waste any money on this clunker before I trade it in.

needhelpbad 03-27-2013 07:35 PM

...and yes Bondo, there is gas in it. At least the fuel gauge reads 3/4 full.

Bigplanz 03-27-2013 07:39 PM

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First, check the fuel pump fuse to make sure it isn't blown. Then, if the fuse is good, do a fuel pressure test, or, if you go ghetto, disconnect the fuel line from the filter and turn it over. LOTS OF FUEL will come out if the pump is working. I don't recommend this, but saw it on a Dodge a guy was working on. It was very entertaining.

I think Autozone has an on-line repair manual for the sable, so check their web site on how to test the fuel pump.

cjm94 03-27-2013 07:41 PM

A fuel psi gauge is the best way. Have some one cycle the key while you listen at the fuel filler neck you should be able to hear it run. But that doesn't always mean its pumping enough fuel. You always want to test for power and ground at the pump before you replace it. Always possible for a corroded or rodent chewed wire.

cjm94 03-27-2013 07:43 PM

I have had luck pounding on the fuel tank and getting the pump to run if the brushes stuck over the winter. I would still replace it though it will leave you stranded

Bigplanz 03-27-2013 07:45 PM

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Could the gas have gone bad?

cjm94 03-27-2013 07:47 PM

Possible but not too likely just over the winter and once he got it fired it should still try to run somewhat on old gas

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