Q: Car won't always start right away, after fueling up.

asked by on January 15, 2017

It started happening recent that when I would fuel up at the pump my car had a difficult time starting up. I would have to keep the key turned for about 3-5 second till the car started. One of the most recent times, my car was almost empty when I fueled up. When I tried to turn the car on, it didn't want to start after several tries (it made the sound like it wanted to turn on) I stop. I was afraid of damaging the engine. I was stuck at the gas station for about 20 minutes. I started to look up reasons as to what the problem might be. I found that it might be that when adding cold fuel to the tank it might mess with the hot fuel pump it cause this problem. So after the 20 minutes I tried again. It turned on with some trouble but it turned on. This only happened when I fuel up, never when I turn the car on every other time. Any help is greatly appreciated, please and thank you.

My car has 147000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The purge valve on the engine is not supposed to flow fuel tank vapors from the carbon canister when the vehicle is off or at idle. When refueling the vehicle a lot of fumes are generated in the tank and normally get put into the carbon canister until you get into a cruise condition where the purge valve opens to use the fumes. If the purge valve leak past the valve the fumes will fill the intake and engine causing no or hard start. Test and replace purge valve.

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