For some reason since ive had the car sometimes it starts instantly no issues.
Other times maybe 1 out of 5 it will sit there struggling like its nearly started yet applying slight pressure to the accelerator will make it start.
Theres no misfires, no loss of performance, was serviced in December. No management lights come on nor any trouble codes.
Mine is the same Alec. I have a 2006 LX Auto that sometimes fails to start properly. Sometimes it cuts out, others like it is struggling then apply the accelerator and it's fine. I have been trying to sort this out for 18 months and no joy. I have tried everything from diagnostics, cleaning the throttle body, used a high quality fuel/system/injector cleaner, using better petrol, fitting a new air filter. Alot of the Mk2's also have no fuel filter (it is part of the pump) so that can't be done easily. I sometimes give it an "Italian Tune Up" combined with a high quality fuel system cleaner which helps a bit but the problem has never fully gone away. What year/model do you have? I had a little improvement after I found out thet the spark plug well was full of water and windscreen wash. This was because the jets on the bonnet had no rubber seal and the geniuses at for design put the spark plugs directly underneath them - any screenwash and rain could get in there. Over time it had filled up with about 2 to 3 inches or more. I replaced the jet washers, then actually used the nozzle & tube from a water sprayer bottle (like you would use on plants and flowers) and pumped out as much as possible. Every couple of days I checked the wells and when they were finally dry I bought a spark plug cover and bolts from volvo (cost less than £25 total) and fitted (despite Ford telling me I would not be able to get anything to fit), and this helped a little in performance - it has kept the spark plugs dry anyway. There is no idle air control valve on the Mk 2's either so it's not that. I have come down to 1 of 2 conclusions - it is either the TMAP sensor, which gives the engine information on air inlet vacuum & temperature, or the EGR, where some of the exhaust gases are recirculated within the engine to help with emissions - therefore the air/fuel mix isn't quite right when you start the car (ignites quickly and causes pinking). Sometimes mine runs like you are driving a brand new faultless car and others it's not great at all. Sorry for all the infotmation but if I can help anyone go through less time, grief and money than i have then I will be very pleased.