Q: Car hesitates to start, and check engine light on

asked by on November 21, 2017

So yesterday when I went to turn my car on, I had to hold the key turning for a couple seconds because it was hesitating to start. I drove to work fine this morning, car running smooth, no issues, but when I left work the car did the similar thing. I had to hold the key for the car to start, and the check engine light went on. It hesitates to start while turning the key, the similar feeling to a bad battery. But I have no idea what it could be.

My car has 77000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the check engine light is on, that will possibly lead to an important clue as to what is going on. Typically, there will be stored OBD-II trouble code(s) when the check engine light comes on and those codes can be downloaded by the mechanic. Diagnostics can proceed on the basis of those codes. The codes are NOT the diagnostic itself but rather the codes will provide clues as to which vehicle components must be actually tested. To obtain a check engine light diagnostic, and a specific evaluation of the starting difficulty that you are writing in about, please request service via YourMechanic’s hard starting diagnostic service page. The responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. To give you some initial ideas, although there are many causes of hard starting illustrative causes include a faulty engine coolant temperature switch (sensor), malfunctioning idle air control (IAC) valve, vacuum and EGR leaks, inadequate fuel delivery or pressure (clogged fuel filter, injectors), and contaminated or old gasoline. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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