Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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.

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!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • I have a delay from ignition "on" to relays turning on and dash lights illuminating

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: I replaced my tensioner and drive belt and the tensioner still jumps when its in gear. What could be the problem?

Hello. You may need to approach this issue from two different angles. One of which is to figure out if the tensioner is mounted incorrectly. Make sure the retaining bolt or screws are dry and tight. If the pulley wiggles...

Q: Broke my alternator wire

You will need a heavy duty set of crimping pliers, a butt connector or terminal, and possibly a short section of wire. I would assume the wire is about 4 gauge in thickness. Take the broken piece to an automotive...

Q: No crank, No start even with a new battery.

Hi there. Check the wire from the neutral safety switch to the starter solenoid and see if there is a loose terminal or if there is a break in the wire. A loose wire or broken wire will cause a...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.