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1988 Town Car Starting Issues

Hello Bill,

I'm coming to you again for your help! I've recently purchased an '88 Town Car Cartier from a Gentleman in Ohio. I've owned two in the past, and this is certainly the nicest! As my subject states, I'm having a starting issue. I'll start by saying that this issue did not exist when I picked the car up, nor throughout the day in Ohio. It started literally as soon as I got the car back to Buffalo. It is cranking excessively before it finally fires.

Let's assume that there are no vacuum leaks. The car runs like a dream once it is running. It's not like I have to sit there for ten minutes trying to start it. It cranks for about 5 seconds, nothing. Then I try once more, and boom, it starts.

I usually don't start throwing parts at the car to try and fix a problem, but I know in the past, the IAC was the culprit, so I've replaced that. I also replace the Ignition coil as the High Voltage terminal was all corroded, and upon testing determined the secondary resistance was too high. I also went ahead and replaced the cap and rotor. They looked to be quite old.

Upon putting the car in park with the AC on one day, the engine started RPM searching, eventually stalling. I restarted it and turned the idle up just enough to stop that, and for four days straight, I had no starting issues. Yesterday, all of a sudden, it started again.

I don't know if it's a faulty fuel pressure regulator, fuel pump, or what.

Any ideas?

Thank you!



Hello Dan -

If I had recently purchased a car that was exhibiting those symptoms I would first consider the tune up history regarding high tension wiring and spark plugs. If you have no knowledge of any tune up history, the spark plugs for all you know could be worn out and have a gap way to wide to operate properly. This engine has an electronic management system and can only be diagnosed with electronic equipment by a good technician. Anything else is guessing. I would suggest starting with the spark plugs and wiring though in addition to a new fuel filter.