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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'95 Mercury Sable, Hard Starting Problems

Q: I have a perplexing problem with my ‘95 Mercury Sable. I don't remember the exact beginning of the problem, but it seems to have coincided with the installation of a new fuel pump. The roar had been going on for a long time, and I thought it was the tail pipe and muffler. The muffler shop said it’s probably the fuel pump. It was. My mechanic replaced it with a new screen and filter. Since that time, I’ve experienced a difficult start; it turns over but won't start. My mechanic says it sounds like a "faulty fuel pump relay switch". Is that a possibility? Also since the fuel pump was replaced, the"check engine" light is coming on. It comes on for a minute or two, but never very long. I know all the fluids, etc. are okay because I keep a watch on things under the hood. My mechanic said there are many, many things that could cause that engine light to come on... one of the first that came to his mind was the computer not setting up the fuel pump after it was replaced. He suggested that I unfasten the NEG wire from the battery, and reattach it... just to see if the computer would then recognize the new fuel pump. It doesn't seem to have done it....Barbara

A: When installing new hardware on a personal PC it is necessary to reboot (restart) the computer. This allows the system to say hi, recognizing the new hardware so they can get along. As for rebooting the computer on your Mercury so it can recognize the new hardware (fuel pump), well let’s put it this way. I’m still having trouble staying in my chair. The computer in your vehicle can only assume there is a fuel pump, it really has no clue about the fuel pump. All the computer does is activate a fuel pump relay. It is the relay that powers the fuel pump. As for the Check Engine light, just ask the computer. If the light’s coming on there’s a reason or a least a diagnostic trouble code that may have some relationship to the starting problem that you are having. As for the many things under the hood that could cause a problem, the first one to replace is the one who said "See if the computer would recognize the fuel pump".

 
     
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