Hard start when cold

I have a Taurus wagon 3.8. It has about 200K on it.
In the past it started with a quick turn of the key.
Now when cold it takes longer to start. I find that if I turn the key over
for a second or two and then stop and then try again it starts fine. But if I just turn the key over first time cold it takes 5 or 6 seconds of hard cranking. Its almost like it has to have one try at it before it realy gets serious.
Can anyone piont me at what things I should check. Do you think a simple thing like changing the plugs would fix this? I dont think I have done this in years.
Thanks steve
[7willie]
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steve opined in

You havent done this in years.. or the plugs are years old?
Yes, new plugs might do the trick. With Electronic ignitions, sometimes this is the first indication of wear.
While we're on the "years", how long since you changed the fuel filter?
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I replaced the fuel filter oh probably 3-4 years ago. I suppose I could replace the plugs and see if that helps and then do the filter if that doesnt improve it.
Thanks.
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