CHECK COIL LEAD FOR CONTINUITY The lead from the coil to the distributor has broken ,probably right at the coil end and the resultant arcing has gradually burned off the interior wire so that the spark to the distributor has to jump a longer and longer initial distance which then results in a hard start problem. Cut off the end boot, disassemble ,strip to expose new cable, BEND BACK ALONG CABLE; Dielectric,reassemble the connector and end boot.Its that easy! the rest below are unlikely solutions to a very simple problem. NO COST SOLUTIONAnswerit sounds like your fuel cut off switch is not working right this also happenend to my car the question is where to find that switch they are usaully located inthe trunk of the car if you pull back the carpeting above the wheel wells you can locate them it well have a nice button on it that says reset some when putting things in the truck or move stuff around this switch gets bumped they usually wont tell you this because they like to replace the parts and charge a couple hundred dollars but this switch can get gummed up and shut on and off when cold car runs fine then when hot runs sluggish to stopping then will not restart until car has sat for awhile i replaced this switch and have not had problem since 5yrs ago or leads to right direction AnswerIf your fuel cut off switch is not the problem, then you will need to first check your plugs for proper wear, and spark. You will also need to have a quiet environment, turn your ignition on and listen for the fuel pump. My 93 Topaz GS I-4 has this problem (fuel pump not kicking in when the ignition is turned on). You could also have a clogged fuel filter (located on the passenger side fender under the hood), if the filter is clogged, it will restrict the fuel flow. Once the engine is turned off, the debris will gather in the filter element preventing proper fuel flow. Once the car has sat for a while, the debris falls to the bottom of the filter allowing fuel to pass. If the above does not fix the problem, then you may have a bad ignition control module (located on the side of the distributor). $85-$100 will get you an ignition control module, About $100 will get you a fuel pump, about $10 will get you a fuel filter, and about $5 will get you spark plugs. AnswerBe sure to check if you are burning fluids, if so than that is the same problem my 94 topaz has, it gets severe hydrolock when it sits for more than a day without being driven, the (incompressible) fluids collect in the cylinder and have to be burned out before the car is ok. Of course it is difficult to start the car with these fluids in the cylinders. AnswerIt might also be your starter which might not be running at full speed. This happened in my 92 Topaz and in a friend of mine with a 93 Topaz. Likely, if you bought the car used, the starter was probably not replaced recently. After wear and tear, they start to slow down to the point where it does not spin fast enough to start the car. I believe this to be an electrical problem within the stock starters. If this is the case, when you turn the key...it starts when it feels like it and you will hear ONE click if it does not. After a while, it won't start at all. This problem is easily cured, just remove the starter(right under the oil filter in the front) and have it rebuilt at a local auto electrical repair shop. Depending on where you go, expect it to cost between $60-$100 for the rebuild. This is just a thought if it applies to you.
check your crank sensor
Check for fuel and spark.
If you mean will crank, but no fire, then check for spark and fuel. If you mean will not crank, then check the wiring and the starter.
alternator-,ac pump-,steering pump-,crank pully-, idler pulley-,water pump
passlock has been activated you have to turn the key to the on position for 10 minutes for the computer to reset but it may take up to thirty minutes or longer to crank sometimes.
next to the crank pulley
bad crank sensor
lower right front of the engine
1988 cougar will not crank over
Your Mercury Cougar might stall in reverse because of a problem with a bad crank sensor. This problem could also be due to the crank sensor wires which are damaged or not wired correctly.
possibly your crankshaft sensor or ignition control module
No spark? No fuel?