Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car doesn't turn over right away sometimes

asked by on

When I go to start my car sometimes the Engine doesnt turn Over for approximately 4-5 seconds. I was wanting to know if I could get a hypothesis on what could be wrong.

My car has 104462 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A slight delay by the starter like this is often a bad high current connection somewhere along the power path from the battery to the starter. It literally can take a second or three for battery power to overcome corrosion, or a poor physical connection. A confirmation of this diagnosis would be - when the starter does kick off, does it sound like it’s turning the engine over slower than it should be? If so, this confirms the problem. A bad high current connection can be where the battery connects to the cables, the battery cable connections to both the engine ground and the starter respectively, poor ground connectivity between the engine and the chassis, burned contacts in the starter solenoid, and worn brushes in the starter motor itself. It is possible also that the ignition "start" trigger path, which runs through the ignition switch (possible burned contacts), and triggers the starter solenoid, may also have poor connectivity along the way. I would recommend having an Car Will Not Start Inspection completed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose this problem, get an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Key not working

Hi there. This problem is caused by a lack of mobility in your ignition cylinder. The bumps on your key depress a series of channels in the cylinder in the correct combination in order for it to release it's locking...

Q: my car won't start....has power in the on position but when I turn it to start it loses power

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle may be having one of many issues. When you are in a situation like this, you want to start with the basics first. Make sure your battery is good, and have it...

Q: Car won't start when warmed up

Your issue could be caused by one of the following conditions: The engine is loosing spark to the spark plugs due to a faulty ignition coil or faulty igniter. A faulty fuel pump is not pumping fuel. ...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...