Q: I have a delay from ignition "on" to relays turning on and dash lights illuminating

asked by on April 10, 2016

I went to start my car one morning a few days ago and it cranked right up, but instantly died. I tried again and got the same result. After some experimentation, when it died, with the key still the "on" position, the CEL, seat belt light, brake light, etc all came on about 2 seconds later AFTER the engine had died. I simultaneously heard the fuel pump prime, turned the key, and the car started right up and ran perfectly. Since then, I've been starting it like a diesel, turning it 2 clicks, waiting for the relay to click and the lights to come on, and then starting it. It's been working perfectly. This delay is largest in the morning with a cold engine. My concern is that I don't know if eventually the main relay won't trip at all and it'll die for good and be stuck somewhere. So my question is: Do I need to get the wiring (between the ignition switch and main power relay???) repaired, or can I just live with it and keep doing what I'm doing (it doesn't bother me at all)

My car has 201700 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your car may have an intermittent problem with the ignition power relay not making contact or the ignition switch electrical connections are not making good contact.

A technical bulletin says to hold the throttle part way open on these vehicles with a hard or no start sometimes. This is if the vehicle is flooding out by a leaking injection system or injector. The mechanic can test for this. If an injector leaks then it can be hard to start and you may have to crank it for a long time to start. It may start and stall a couple times before it stays running.

I recommend having a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come and check the vehicle for you to see if it is an electrical issue or a component like the fuel pump is going bad. They will be able to diagnose your car’s starting issue and recommend an appropriate repair.

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