Q: My car has recently been taking about 5 minutes of cranking to start - do I need to replace the engine?

asked by on

Recently my car has been taking about 5 minutes to start. It doesn't always do this. Also, the code P0171 has came up saying "system too lean". My father has been trying to remove what he believes to be a sensor in the back of the engine directly under the freeze plug. He has given up trying to get the part out and thinks the engine needs to be removed for the part to come out. I can't afford to have the engine removed. I would just like a second opinion

My car has 199000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Before resorting to removing the engine, have a certified technician properly diagnose your hard starting condition. Hard starting or a long cranking situation can be caused by a number of things. The "system too lean" code can contribute to a hard starting issue and can be caused by a number or components. A large air/vacuum leak in the engine compartment can be caused by things like a loose/broken vacuum line, leaking intake manifold gasket, or even a loose/broken air intake boot.

Other things like fuel pressure can also cause a long cranking condition. The fuel system is designed to maintain pressure in the fuel system after the car is shut down so it will start quickly the next time. If a failed fuel pressure regulator does maintain pressure, or a failed/stuck fuel pump check valve allows the fuel to drain back to the fuel tank when the vehicle is parked, then it can take a while to re-pressurize the fuel system and start the vehicle.

It would be best to have a technician diagnose this condition before randomly replacing components that may not resolve the issue and once installed, you may not be able to return them for refund as most auto parts sources will not accept electronic components or parts that have been installed, for refund.

Was this answer helpful?
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. My car has recently been taking about 5 minutes of cranking to start - do I need to replace the engine?

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: My car makes a groaning sound whenever I turn left. What could be the cause?

Go through the following steps to find the cause of the issue with your car: Groaning sounds in your car can indicate that the power steering pump is failing. Check the power steering fluid and see if it smells...

Q: My front end shakes when I accelerate at low and high speeds 2003 Pontiac Grand Prixh

Hello - from your symptom description, you have a worn out or damaged Constant Velocity joints on one or both front axles. These worn joints allows excess "wobble" of the axle, especially when under power, creating the vibration you notice....

Q: Car shudders whenever I brake at a speed of 60-70 mph

The control arm bushings need to be checked. Worn out control arm bushings will change the toe setting at higher speeds, causing the front tires to fight one another. It will also cause a feathering wear to occur on the...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...