Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Hesitant starting

asked by on

When we want to start the car with the start button, the brakes only want to depress slightly and the car acts like the battery is dead. Thank you for your help....

My car has 40000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in to us. If ...

Hi there, thanks for writing in to us.

If the dash lights turn on when you press the start button, but the vehicle doesn’t start, it sounds like you have a failed brake pedal switch. This switch informs the vehicle control modules whether or not the brake pedal is depressed, which is required before the car will start. If the brake switch has failed, it will not send a signal to the control modules, and the vehicle will not start. Next time this happens, try pumping the brake pedal to see if it changes anything.

If nothing at all lights up when you push the start button, the vehicle could have a weak or dead battery. If you jumpstart the vehicle and it starts, then you know the battery was dead, and will likely need to be replaced. There is also a chance that the key battery is dead, and is not being detected by the vehicle. Usually when this happens the dash will have a message saying "no key found." If this is the case, you may need to have the key battery replaced.

The best thing you can do now is to have a qualified technician, such as one available from YourMechanic, come to you and accurately diagnose your no start condition.

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: Knocking sound

Hello. This is a safety mechanism that will not allow you to shift without having your foot on the brake. This is a pin down in the console attached to the shift lever that doesn't allow the shifter to be...

Q: ALTERNATOR ISSUE?

The voltage put out by the alternator is typically in the range of 14.2 V to 14.5 V as measured right across the battery posts. If the charging voltage is outside that range, then there is a problem with the...

Q: Air conditioning not cooling

A number of different things could be causing this issue. The most common cause is that the system is low on refrigerant. This would have been caused by a leak in the system. The first step would be to turn...

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...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...