Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car cranking longer than usual

asked by on

The Engine light is on. Also, the car does not idle consistently when in park, but idles okay while in gear. Right after filling up the gas tank, the car is taking longer than it should to start.

Cars have many sensors. These sensors are used to give the cars computer information about what is happening. The computer uses the information to determine what it needs to adjust to keep everything running as smooth as possible. When the computer doesn’t get feedback from a sensor, gets information that is very different than what the other sensors are telling it, or tries to adjust something in the car and cant, the infamous "check engine" light comes on and the computer just puts in a value in the place of the information to keep the car running as smooth as possible. This also means that a code is stored in the memory. The code tells the technician where to start looking for problems, not what the problem is. I suggest seeking the help of a qualified technician such as one from YourMechanic. The mechanic can extract the code, look up proper diagnostic information related why the Check Engine Light is on. Other information is sometimes stored like freeze frame data. This is like a short clip of what was happening with your car when the problem occurred. A properly trained mechanic should be able to interpret the data and use it to aid in the diagnosis.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Idling high

There are a couple of possible causes for a high idle. The most common is a Vacuum leak, which allows excess air into the intake causing the computer to read information improperly. Other causes are exhaust leaks, or various sensors...

Q: Cheap sports car

The Miata is a good choice. They are fun to drive, there are many clubs for them and performance upgrades are readily available. Their small size makes them easy to work on; they are quite simple. The Eclipse is...

Q: Code P0455

It sounds like you may have a leak in your evap system. Generally, this code indicates that a leak is present in the evaporative emissions system which is usually a result of a loose or missing gas cap or a...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...