How do you correctly start the engine?
If you’re an experienced driver, chances are good that you don’t put a lot of thought into cranking the engine. You slide into the driver’s seat, insert the key, turn it and prepare to drive. However, there are some specific steps involved with starting the engine correctly. Here’s what you need to know:
Pull up on the parking brake (it should be engaged).
Make sure all accessories are off (radio, fan/heater/air conditioner).
Make sure the car is in park, and your foot is on the brake pedal. If you have a stick shift, press the clutch pedal all the way down.
Turn the key to the III position on the ignition.
If it takes longer than 15 seconds to crank the car, stop. Turn the key back to 0 and wait 10 seconds before trying to crank the engine again.
Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.