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Hard starting

(2002 Ford Explorer)
in Virginia Beach, VA on April 23, 2011
The car starts well when first turned on in the day. After it warms up, it takes four or five seconds longer holding the starter, what is wrong?
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Popular Answer
on April 24, 2011
I would recommend a good fuel pressure test - including checking for bleed down (meaning the fuel pressure may peak, but won't stay steady). Checking fuel volume is helpful too. You could have other issues with the powertrain control - yes - but I would start there.
on June 02, 2011
Hi Dave, it ends up that the fuel pressure was the correct answer to my hard starting. However, when I heard the price to repair it with a new fuel sending unit of some 1100 dollars I questioned if this is the same kind that sits in the tank and the tank has to be taken out. Since the car still starts, I figured I could get the other problems solved and not necessarily this one.
on June 03, 2011
$1,100 sounds a little high, to be sure.

A fuel sending unit and pump assembly from Ford costs probably $350 or less. Labor to drop the tank and replace the assembly should be probably...$400. This should total south of $800. Still a bunch of cash, but not quite as much...

Beware that a weak fuel pump causing you trouble now can deteriorate and be the kind of thing that just quits while driving one day. Not to be an alarmist, just be forewarned. Thanks for doubling back and letting us know.
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