Mercury Tracer Won’t Start – Fuel Pump Inercia Switch Problem

Reader Question
Hello Mr. Davis,First of all thank you for offering this service. It’s a blessing for those willing to get ‘their hands dirty’ but don’t know where to start.

My question is pretty simple (I think). Last night I
had the unfortunate experience of striking a deer
that was laying dead in the road. It was kind of like
hitting a larger speed bump with the right tires of
my vehicle (Mercury Tracer) at about 40 mph.

Instantly I lost power and a fuel light came on. I coasted to a safe place and tried to turn the car on again but it
would crank and crank with no turn over, except for
a couple times when it fired up for about a half a
second before dying. Are you familiar with this kind of damage? Do you have any recommendations?
Thank you,

Howdy Beau,

Sorry to hear about your run in with the deer, glad you are ok… could have really done some serious damage to you and your vehicle.

The first thing that comes to mind here is the fuel cut off switch (inertia switch) has activated and shut off power to the fuel pump. In an accident situation the inertia switch will shut off the fuel pump so there is no chance of a fire or explosion.

You did not say what year model you have, but in most cases there should be a reset switch on the right side (passenger) in the rear trunk area.

Sometimes the switch is hard to find, so look closely, there might only be a small access hole for your finger to push the switch.

I don’t have a diagram of it with me, but you might have one in your owner’s manual or your local Ford dealer might be able to print it out for you if you visit the parts department or call them.

Austin Davis

Reader Follow Up

Unbelievable! Truly, truly unbelievable. I looked in the trunk and it was right there, even labeled ‘fuel cutoff switch’. I pressed it down (I guess it pops up when activated) and the car started right up. Thank you so much, it’s so nice to have my car back without a huge repair hassle.

Hello again Beau

Not a problem, that will be $589.63 where should I send the bill?

Just jokin’ have a great weekend.


Austin Davis

Posted in: Won't Start Issues

3 Comments on "Mercury Tracer Won’t Start – Fuel Pump Inercia Switch Problem"

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  1. ron says:

    Switch is under the spare tire cover, left side.

  2. Richard says:

    Hi, i have a 1989 Mercury tracer that fires right up with a little starting fluid but wont run without it, im thinking its the inertia switch but i cant find it, where exactly did you find yours?

    • admin says:

      Doubt you have an inertia switch problem (probably located in the trunk or the glove box) but more likely a bad fuel pump or a fuel pump relay problem.

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