Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: INTERMITTANT STARTING

asked by on

MY CAR RUNS GREAT FOR AWHILE THEN ON OCCASION IT TAKES A DAY OR TWO BEFORE IT WILL START AGAIN. REPLACED FUEL PUMP RELAY RECENTLY.

Your engine needs a few things to start and run: Compression, Fuel, Spark, Timing, and Voltage.

An intermittent no-start would lead me towards no spark or no fuel pressure. You need a fuel pressure gauge to check the fuel pressure when it does not start. You should see at least 35 PSI or more when starting. If the pressure drops after sitting or is lower than 35 PSI, then you likely need a fuel pump replacement. Fuel pump problems are common on this vehicle.

After verifying fuel pressure, checking the spark requires a spark tester to ensure that a spark is reaching the cylinders. This test is a little more difficult as removing the wires from the spark plugs on an older vehicle may cause them to break. Depending on the age of the ignition components (ignition coil, distributor cap, rotor, wires, plugs), they may need to be replaced.

Intermittent conditions are hard to find and require diagnosis when a problem occurs. There may be anything from an electrical issue to something basic as listed above. I listed the two common issues above. If you still need assistance, you should talk to a qualified mechanic. A certified mobile mechanic from YourMechanic can inspect your vehicle’s starting issues at your home or office.

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. INTERMITTANT STARTING

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: Fuel problem?? 1993 Chevrolet S10

Hi there - I'm thinking there are a couple of possibilities since you have identified what is clearly a ["running too rich"](https://www.yourmechanic.com/question/fuel-rich-smell-from-car situation. Leaking fuel injectors could cause this problem, high fuel pressure, or a faulty coolant temperature sensor signal...

Q: Stops accelerating while driving - 2002 Ford Crown Victoria

The problem is most likely in the fuel supply system of the vehicle. When the vehicle is running okay, turn the key on and off to see if you can hear the fuel pump in the tank. Now when the...

Q: Won't shift into 3rd gear and bogs down after 2005 Chevy Blazer

This sounds like you may have internal transmission issues on your 2005 Chevrolet Blazer. It could be caused by low transmission fluid, a faulty shift valve, or possibly burned clutches. Smell the transmission fluid. If it smells burnt, then you...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.