Fiat Marea ELX Weekend Getting hard to start

Has anyone any ideas please. The car is a 1.8 Litre petrol and although the engine turns over quite heathily, occasionally it can be very hard to get it to "fire".
Once running there is no misfire or anything abnormal and the engine runs perfectly. In fact most times the thing will start at the first turn of the key.
The problem can occur at anytime and engine temperature does not affect the fault.
The car has just been serviced also.
Is this a common problem? Can anyone suggest a reason/ cure?
HN
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On 9-Dec-2006, snipped-for-privacy@clara.net wrote:

You don't say the age. Did have a case where a flexible fuel ink between the tank pipe and the engine side pipe was perished and porous. Overnight there was fuel drainback towards the tank, and on cranking it was pulling mostly air. Eventually, if the battery wasn't flattened first, it got enough fuel to start. Rest of the day it was fine. Come morning crank for ages. Just one possibility, took a while to find this one as the flexible link was well hidden.
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On Sat, 9 Dec 2006 20:30:40 GMT, ato snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Now that sounds evil! I can imagine the problems trying to sort that one.
My car is about eight years old, it has done 82 thousand.
BTW the car is used infrequently as I only use it for fishing trips, holidays and the odd trek out, so it can stand sometimes for weeks without being used. Even after standing, usually the first turn of the key gets it going.
HN
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On 10-Dec-2006, snipped-for-privacy@clara.net wrote:

The reason for the flexible link is obvious, the engine moves slightly on it's mounts, so a solid fuel line would be continuously flexing and eventually fracture, plus engines come as a separate assy to the body, so a flexible link is necessary and convenient. That is until the tube perishes from age and flexing, then first of all it gets porous, that's when the starting trouble starts, the fuel tanl being lower than the fuel pump and metering system, fuel drains back. May not be your problem but it's worth checking. I first thought ignition, plenty of sparks, must be fuel, moved on to it's the fuel pump diaphragm, found it wasn't that, having wasted a couple of hours, eventually nailed this 3 inch bit of flexible pipe hidden behind other pipes and wiring looms. Bingo that's fixed it.
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