Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why does my car struggle to start every 4th to 5th time?

asked by on

Car struggles "chugs" to start about every 4th-5th start-up. When it chugs it sounds/feels like there's no compression, no power. I replaced the battery, it started perfect like 7 times in a row, then it started the same bad-cycling starts. It's like a computer glitch, because when it chugs, I turn if off, wait 30 seconds and re-start... it chugs some but not as bad and starts up (it's never not started). If I have a bad start-up, once I get it re-started, I usually drive home... park it overnight... next day, it fires right up with no issue.

So what do you think is the problem? Computer glitch, poor electrical contact, starter, solenoid, or something else? Thank you.

My car has 33000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: It sounds like your starting issues may be ...

It sounds like your starting issues may be linked to a problem with air metering or fuel delivery. A clogged or malfunctioning idle air control valve may show some of the same symptoms you are describing. The idle air control valve can be stuck in a cold start position which may work well if the car has been sitting a few hours, but as the engine warms up there must be a regulation in airflow. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out for a closer look at your hard start situation and offer a more personal 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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My car runs rough at idle, stalls at idle, surges, and idles at 40 miles an hour

A number of components or faults can cause your issues. A vacuum leak can cause your issues. Depending on the vehicle, components such as the mass airflow sensor, throttle position sensor, coolant temperature sensor, and a number of others can...

Q: Tires making noise and vibrating

It sounds like one of your wheels has come lose. I would check all the lug nuts and make sure none of them are loose. A licensed mechanic can come out and help you perform this and further inspect the...

Q: Acceleration issues, especially when the engine is cold - 2000 Toyota Echo

Hello. This is a used vehicle that I recently bought and I've noticed it has some accelerating issues. There seems to be a delay in increasing speed. The delay lasts for several seconds from the moment I put it in...

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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...