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The Mk3 1.8 and 2.0 Duratec engines can be very difficult to restart when you...
- Start from cold,
- Stop pretty soon afterwards (e.g. reverse out of the garage) and then
- Try to start again
The solution is that when you stop the car in this situation, you press the accelerator half way down as you're turning the ignition off.
The problem is that normal exhaust gases from EGR in the inlet manifold cause dilution and resulting poor combustion on start up.
Pressing the throttle immediately after key off draws in a lot of air into the engine, thus flushing the inlet manifold of exhaust gas.