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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys. My 2004 Limited is taking longer and longer to start. In July/August, it would start instanly, almost before I finished turning the key. Now it's taking a few seconds when it's been parked for a few hours, then starting like it's an inconvenience... Even when I park then start it up a few minutes later, it still cranks for a second or two, and just sounds different when starting. Ideas? Here are some specs/ideas

Recent work/stats
~73k miles
Battery is fine
I have an aftermarket stereo system w/sub (nothing too crazy amp wise)
Just had one of the O2 sensors replaced recently
Temperature outside isn't an issue. I park in a heated garage at night, and have the same issue in the morning as after parking outside in 9*F weather.

Thoughts
Could this have anything to do with Valvoline messing up an Oil Change? The guys thought they added oil, and hadnt... so had me start the car with no oil for a few minutes. I was pissed.

Ideas?
 

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Try this.

Turn the key to the run position and listen for the fuel pump to hum for a few seconds. When the pump hums and stops, turn the key to the off position.

Repeat this procedure two more times to a total of three primes.

Now on the fourth key on, turn the key to the start position and see if she fires up.

Please report back with your findings and we'll discuss the situation further, hopefully with an easy fix.
 

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Two or three months before my Escapes Idle Air Controller failed it started having similar issues. Since having it changed, I haven't had the problem. I'm not 100% sure are related. Could be just a coincidence but I have noticed no starting issues since the change. Cleaning it might be worth a try...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tried turning the key and letting the fuel pump go for a few seconds, then off. That seemed to work decently, it didn't make an odd noise, but still took ~1 second to start. Not sure if the change to the winter gas blends had an effect, or if it's because gas out in Wisconsin is different than gas in Massachusetts. We'll see how it does later, it's about 7* out and she'll be parked for 11 hours.
 

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micmar07 said:
Someone told me i should step on the gas a little bit while i turn it off, any truth to that??
I guess the logic there is that the engine will flood with fuel, which will make it easier for the car to get started later on. I'd advise against this, as it may just end up pouring all that raw gas down your exhaust.
 

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Grandmascar is presenting the same symptom regardless of it being freezing cold or warm according to the initial post.
RobtRoma hinted at the IAC and myself is leaning towards that indication.Cleaning, though, the IAC in the pre-2005 Escapes does not help much.They still keep behaving the same as before, so changing the IAC seems to be the only way to get rid of all those arrhythmias of the engine operation.
 

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SUVord said:
Cleaning, though, the IAC in the pre-2005 Escapes does not help much. They still keep behaving the same as before.
Hmmm... I never heard that before. Is this knowledge passed on through personal experience?

SUVord said:
changing the IAC seems to be the only way to get rid of all those arrhythmias of the engine operation.
It's easy enough to change yourself. Right on top of the motor, two bolts and 2 electrical connector. When mine failed I saw the part at AutoZone for under $50...
 

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Mine did this back in the summer. Took a few more turns for it to catch and run. Turned out to be the battery voltage was dropping due to a failing cell. Since they started to use computers to control everything the state the battery is in will determine how well things function.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I read up on the IAC, but it seems like that would affect the idle too. i'm not sure if I'm noticing issues with that, but pretty sure it's fine. I also am intrigued by the battery issue, but I had it checked and it's supposedly fine. I believe the voltage was a relatively constant 11.8v
 

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My idle was fine until the day the IAC failed...
 

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Below 12v for a battery is iffy. You're just a shade below that. Can't say that's what's causing the longer time for starting.

Here in Canada, I don't like to see batteries go below 12v, especially during the winter. :frozen:
 

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Four_Eyes said:
Below 12v for a battery is iffy. You're just a shade below that. Can't say that's what's causing the longer time for starting.

Here in Canada, I don't like to see batteries go below 12v, especially during the winter. :frozen:
A fully charged battery should be closer to 12.6 or 12.7 volts. A battery right at 12 volts is almost 75% discharged, according to popular industry diagrams.
 

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I've seen a battery hovering around 12v and still start a 3.8L V6. 9 times out of 10, it would start the engine no problem. It was the odd time, I'd hear the engine take a few extra cranks. Engine ran smoothly.

It's still cranking the OPs engine at 11.8v, but for how much longer. Winter is coming. (Heck, it's here in Toronto already :frozen: ). If it were me, I'd seriously consider replacing that battery, or at the very least, have it charged and see if the voltage holds up. If it's more than 5 years old, it gets replaced. Having said that, the last Ford OEM battery I replaced was 9 years old..... :whistle:
 

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If the battery is already five years old and hovers around the 11.8V it is definitely time to change it.Spare your alternator!!!
As for the IAC it takes a lot of carefull watching to realize that it has started to go to Australia.
Example.When you come to a stop light and the car is stopped put it immediately at neutral.You may realize that the revs hover around the 1000 mark a few seconds before dropping down to their normal 650-700 revs.That is a sign.
 

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Mine did teh same thing. When I bought the escape it did this and I thought it was just normal. Left xm radio chargeing by mistake and battery went did. Had it tested and baterry was not 100%. Got new battery and now totally different. Cranks super fast. Glad batterey went dead I tought it was starting going out
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'll look into a new battery then. Mine is only 2-3 years old and under warranty, but I'm tempted to try to cram the biggest battery in that I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I also have a feeling that my stereo is wreaking havoc on the battery. I'm just going to grab myself an early xmas gift...

An optoma yellow top!

I've heard great things about them, and I decided when I got the car that this would be my next battery
 

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You know you can go to Advance Auto adn have your Alternator checked. This will check what your stereo is pulling. When I had my battery changed I had them check it and they can tell you what your car is pulling.
 
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