Ok I have a '99 Ford Contour, and it doesn't start consistently. I had a similar problem about a year ago, and replaced the incredibly old battery, and the starting issues subsided.
It's cold weather again, and this might be an issue, but I haven't been able to pinpoint the problem.
I replaced the spark plugs about two weeks ago, the tips had worn down terribly, probably had never been changed on the vehicle.
I'm not sure if timing belt would be an issue, given that when the car does turn over it runs fine, no problems. It will usually start after about 10 minutes of cranking for a few seconds to no avail, and it eventually starts. But then randomly it won't start. This is usually in the morning for the first start of the day. During the day or after I've driven somewhere and try to start it again, it starts fine.
Any thoughts would be a great help.
There could be a couple of issues related to the no start.
Check the fuel pressure in the morning when you first start the car. If there is no fuel pressure on start up and then it builds up after a few seconds of cranking the engine then the fuel pump or fuel pump relay circuit could be the problem. The fuel pump relay should give a two second prime when the key is turned on, then the fuel pressure should build up to the proper fuel pressure and should hold it. If it leaks down then it could be leaking fuel injectors or a bad check valve in the fuel pump.
The second issue could be a bad coolant temperature sensor. If the sensor is faulty it could be sensing a warm engine when it is actually cold. The sensor could be sending the computer a warm signal then computer sends a lean mixture when it really needs a rich mixture to start. This could be checked with a scanner. If you don't have a scanner then you can go to your local Auto Zone auto part store and they should scan the cars computer system for free. Check with them to be sure.
Keep us informed on your progress if you can.
I know this was an old post but Thanks as it helped me. I replaced the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor on my daughters 99 contour and it fixed what had been a very bad problem. I figured we were looking at another $500.00 or more repair bill and instead it cost $18.00 and I was able to fix it for her.Thanks again, Gary
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