- Car Care & Maintenance
1991-94 Mercury Capri Tips and Advice
Owning the rare 1991-94 Mercury Capri (only 66000 made) is like any car you are not familiar with, there are "nuances" about it that make it stand out. Early on in the owners manual, the book addresses what happens if your car is bumped and then it will not start, or worse, you are in an accident. If the owner is not aware of this, one could easily spend hundreds of dollars troubleshooting only to find a very simple solution.
The Capri has a safety feature that automatically turns off the fuel pump whenever the car is in an accident or bumped (fender bender). The impact does not have to be great for it to turn off. The feature is sensitive to bad potholes, parking lot bumps even if there is no damage to the car. In many cases (as the book denotes) you may not even be aware of such an issue, yet the car will not start. The easy fix is simply to manually turn on the pump again by pressing the red button located on the left side of the trunk under the mat and floor board (to the left of the spare tire).
Imagine, not knowing this. Being stranded after a bump in the parking lot, calling towing, having a mechanic tell you that it might be the fuel pump, the fuel relay, the fuel filter, which would mean a lot of $$$ being spent. The mechanic would not know about this button, so all this money and time would be spent for absolutely no reason! All the reasons cited would be valid as to why the car is not starting-it is not getting gas!
In the XR2 turbo model, there is a small Boost gauge. When the car idles, driven at a constant speed or slowing down, this will always read 0. Only when accelerating will the needle rise to indicate the amount of boost the turbo is giving. If the needle is in the red area, it is overboost and may damage the engine. The needle should never remain there longer that a second, if it does, the turbo needs to be looked at. When overboost is reached, the car will cutoff the fuel to it until the condition has ended and restart when it has. A buzzer also sounds.
The headlights are pop-up. If they fail to pop-up, behind each one there is rubber boot that is removed to expose the manual knob to raise and lower them.
The Capri likes a specific oil, a 5w30, energy saving. Do not use oil that is marked SF only, never use non-detergent oil, never use oils labeled: SA, SB, SC, SD, SE, SF UNLESS they are listed with SG.
To check the manual transaxle oil, remove the speedometer cable and gear from the transaxle case. Wipe clean and reinsert. The level should be the Low and Full positions.
In the Capri, the Main Fuse Panel is not under the dash but next to the battery. However, there is also an interior fuse panel on the left side of the steering wheel.
Because the car is fuel injected, when starting the car, do not pump the gas at all, simply turn on the ignition and it should start.
When the battery is disconnected, the car must idle for a few minutes to recall its former idle settings. Also, if the Capri needs a jump because of a dead battery, hookup is the same BUT do not connect the end of the second cable to the negative terminal of the battery to be jumped (it is in the Capri) but to the car metal frame or engine lift bracket. BTW, the positive line in the Capri is towards the front of the car, if you are unable to determine this.