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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For about a year and a half, occasionally the car will turn over, start up and then die. On second try, it catches and runs just fine. This usually happens in the summer or when the car in in direct sunlight.

Recently (about a month), the problem has been happening in cold weather, too. Then tonight, I went to store and the engine would not catch. I don't think it's a battery issue, as the lights are bright, all electronic components are fine and fully powered (no dimness or flickering). I gave it six or seven turns (stupidly, out of panic), with no results. Let it rest a minute, tried one more time, and with a little pressure on the fuel pedal, it started right up. Drove it about ten miles to get a loaner car, ran fine, haven't tried starting since.

One thing that might help - I had a '96 Crown Vic 10 years ago that had a slight misfire issue caused by a cracked wire (according to mechanic). At about 40 mph, particularly on hills, it'd shudder a bit, the tach would flicker, but then it'd drive fine. Replaced wires and plugs myself and problem was solved. I di, once in a while, experience the same issue with my Saab on hills, at around 40 mph, which makes me think DIC based on what I've read.

I suspected the DIC when this first began, but my mechanics at the time said that was fine (I couldn't get the problem to replicate for them). Only code that has ever come up in the two years I've had the car is EVAP. For awhile, I was thinking maybe fuel injection or pump, but after reading some threads on here, I'm leaning towards CPS or DIC.

I love the car and would love to drive it another year or two (engine is clean and runs nice for a 20+ year car, but the rest is not something worth dumping hundreds into just to try one part at a time without an idea of what could be the problem).

Any and all input is welcome and much appreciated! Thank you all!
 

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Hi and welcome.
I'd start with spark plugs change. Use ONLY NGK spark plugs (Owner's manual will tell you which one).
Do you have original DIC?
Have you double checked/replaced vacuum lines?
 

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Not knowing how many miles, but effectively doing a full run thru of the major components will give you years of reliability and peace of mind, New DIC sem only ($300) new plugs regular last 12k ($16) platinum’s last 50k ($50) basically same cost you just need to check more often with the regular, and the CPS Bosch only. ($50) And you should be good to go. Your fuel pump will die between 110-140k so be aware.
 

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I would start with the CPS. Change it. If you're lucky, that's it. If not, it's good PM at this point as it will fail soon. If that doesn't do it, then move to the DIC.

Any idea how many miles are on the DIC? Have you looked at the date code?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi and welcome.
I'd start with spark plugs change. Use ONLY NGK spark plugs (Owner's manual will tell you which one).
Do you have original DIC?
Have you double checked/replaced vacuum lines?
I have replaced plugs, as per owner's manual. I do not know about the DIC - but I doubt it is original, as the vehicle had nearly 130,000 mi upon purchase (used, multiple owners). I thought about vacuum issues t first, but haven't followed up because while researching I saw nothing about vacuum from owners with similar issues. I could follow up on that, thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would start with the CPS. Change it. If you're lucky, that's it. If not, it's good PM at this point as it will fail soon. If that doesn't do it, then move to the DIC.

Any idea how many miles are on the DIC? Have you looked at the date code?
Thanks. Yeah, changing out the CPS seems like the first thing at this point, and then the DIC. I'd been expecting the DIC to go since buying the car, tbh, but have put it off after reading about issues related to DIC failure, which don't fit exactly any of the problems I've had. However, I know that doesn't mean this isn't the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not knowing how many miles, but effectively doing a full run thru of the major components will give you years of reliability and peace of mind, New DIC sem only ($300) new plugs regular last 12k ($16) platinum’s last 50k ($50) basically same cost you just need to check more often with the regular, and the CPS Bosch only. ($50) And you should be good to go. Your fuel pump will die between 110-140k so be aware.
Fuel pump/fuel filter were on my mind when the issue first began, but my mechanics at the time said nothing seemed wrong with the fuel system. Mechanics since closed down, sadly - I've been with them through several vehicles and they were the best I'd even dealt with. I'd trust them. BUT... something could certainly have happened since then. It is at 137,000 mi.

I have seen that the '02 models are most reliable, researched that before purchase. I love the car, love driving it, and mostly just want to keep it running for a while, despite everything else that's broken on it (hatch latch, window pulley, interior trim, holes in floor, etc.) Thanks.
 
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