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HDGene, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Lincoln
Satisfied Customers: 5501
Experience:  25 year ASE Master Technician & Advanced Drivability L1 Certified Ford Senior Master Technician
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Intermittent starting problem with my 1999 Navigator.

Customer Question

Customer: Intermittent starting problem with my 1999 Navigator.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: The engine turns over fine and typically I have left the vehicle and a little while later it starts up fine. This has happened about 3-4 times in the past two months.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Lincoln
Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

Hello the engine cranks and wont start unless you turn the key to on a few times to prime the fuel pump? Does the red theft lamp flash quickly when you turn the key to on?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know. I would have to look the next time.
Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

Ok but it cranks and cranks and wont start? If you cycle the key to on a few times will it start and run

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I take it the flashing red light will come on when the problem is present. It might be several days or a week, etc. before the problem presents itself again. What do you think it is?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Today I tried to start it about 3-4 times and then had to leave for a meeting. My wife went to the garage about 1/2 hr later and it started up.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The fuel pump itself should remain primed as it is in the bottom of the tank? It is not clear if the problem is electrical or fuel.
Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

The red Theft indicator will normally blink when the key is out of the ignition, it uses a security key to allow the vehicle to start.If it is reading the ignition key properly the Theft lamp will stay on steady for a few seconds and then go off, if not it will blink very fast indicating it cant read the key. The fuel pump doesnt constantly stay primed, after the vehicle sits awhile a check valve will open and dump the fuel system pressure. When you turn the key to on the fuel pump kicks on a few seconds and should fully pressurize the system. If the pump is weak the pressure will be low and cause a no start.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wouldn't the Lincoln dealer mechanic have checked this? There apparently is no pressure check on fuel in the computer.
So are you saying you think it is the fuel pump?
Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

Yes thats what it sounds like. You would have to hook up a fuel pressure gauge to test it or check for codes with a scan tool, it may or may not set a code for low fuel pressure if it has a fuel rail pressure sensor

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, if the key reading is a problem why would it allow the engine to crank? There has been no problem with the starter turning over the engine. I am going to garage to check out the key issue.
Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

The Pats System can disable the fuel pump/fuel injectors and allow the engine to crank but not start as part of its antitheft operation

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The theft light blinks and then I put in the key and the light goes solid red for a few seconds and then goes out. I tried both of our keys and the system worked as expected. Both times the engine started right up. I had read on some other sites where people had their fuel pump and filter replaced and the problem still would come back. It is intermittent and hence harder to find. I thought I had a hard fail today but as noted my wife went out and the vehicle started fine.
Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

Ok, have a diagnostic check for codes done.If there is any issues, there will be memory codes stored for the PATS system, and if it has issues with the fuel system it will have codes stored for the fuel rail pressure sensor or lean codes. If no codes are stored, it will have to be checked when the problem occurs. Fuel pumps are very common, only other issues would be a problem with a relay in the fuse panel in the right front kick panel, the fuel pump relay is part of the fuse panel and would set a code if it has a fault and replacing the fuse panel would be required.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I took the Navi in about 6 weeks ago and the dealership said there were no codes and they could not replicate the problem.
As noted I have found that both Navi and Expedition owners have had similar problems. Many have spent a lot of money with multiple visits to the dealerships.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I recall the fuel pump relay is in the right kick panel and that shuts off the pump in the event of a crash? I sold Lincolns in the 91-92 timeframe and in the Town Cars I believe that is where the reset was located?
Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

Understood, and that is the hardest part in diagnosing a concern.Being able to duplicate the concern. Im just giving you the most common types of concerns known. You are thinking of the fuel pump inertia switch which is in front of the fuse panel in the right front kick panel. If the inertia switch was popped, it would kill power to the fuel pump until you hit the button on it to reset it like a circuit breaker

Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

The fuel pump relay is intergrated into the fuse panel and is not serviced separately. The only other known issues there are the starter relay overheating and melting the fuse panel.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think at this point we have gone as far as we can for now. I appreciate your trying to figure this out. I think Lincoln may have a systemic problem that they should figure out.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I missed your comments about the relay overheating etc. Would that type of problem show up in the computer logs?
Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

No codes,, it would have a no crank issue if the starter relay overheated and melted in the fuse panel, it is removable and would show signs of melting on the relay an the fuse panel. Only other thing I can think of with an intermittent crank and no start issue would be a bad crankshaft position sensor, it typically doesnt store codes and its symptoms would be no rpm signal, no spark or injector pulse and the check engine light would not go out when cranking the engine. When you turn the key to on, the eec power relay turns on the check engine light and powers up the Powertrain Control Module, WHen you crank the engine and the PCM gets an rpm signal, the check engine light turns off as a way to check if the PCM is getting an rpm signal to fire the coils and injectors

Expert:  HDGene replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need more help with this concern?