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Q: Hesitant starting

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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.

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.

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