Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Gary asks: I was doing 59 MPH , Cruise on, AC on and my 1987 Mercury Cougar just died. Pulled over and did the natural thing and tried restarting. Crank Crank Crank and stopped. One more time; this time the starter, well, you know started slowing. I’m done. Called AMAC. Twenty minutes later, tow on the way. Gave it a try after relief in the nearby woods and it fired up. Tow truck arrived and was very understanding but asked if I wanted to tow anyway to avoid it happening again on way home. Told him I like to take chances and decided to take it home. I am so fried with car repairs this year especially after the carburetor fiasco with my Mark V.Made it home absolutely no problem. I am thinking fuel pump. What are your thoughts. V6 Very clean car with 116,000 miles. I may have this gentleman mess with the Mark V next year. I’ll let you know. Thanks and a very Merry Christmas, Eric!
My reply: It’s hard to diagnose from the keyboard, but a fuel pump (and/or fuel filter) problem is certainly likely, especially if the pump/filter are original to the car. Also, given the circumstances. Electric fuel pumps tend to work fine – until they don’t. Then the car’s engine just dies – or won’t start.
The main thing here is to have the car properly diagnosed by a competent mechanic. You want to avoid the parts puller – who will charge you for each part he pulls and replaces, even if they didn’t need to be pulled and replaced.
Also: If this happens again, be kinder to your starter (and battery). If the car doesn’t start after a couple of tries, leave it be. Running the starter hard will shorten its life – as well as the life of the battery.
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