Q: My car takes forever to start

asked by on

My car takes much longer to start than when I first got it a few years ago. What's going on, and can I fix this issue?

The charging system consists of a battery, starter and alternator. The battery supplies power to the starter, turning the engine over. Once the engine is running, the alternator keeps the battery charged. A dying battery can be due to age or a failing alternator and/or starter. If your vehicle has a voltage gauge, turn the key once to turn on the dashboard. The gauge should read around 12 volts. When you start the vehicle, it should then read around 14 volts. If the gauge shows less than that, it’s a good indication your battery or alternator is failing. Now the fuel system consists of a pump, filter, injectors, and a regulator. The pump pushes the fuel from the tank through the fuel filter, capturing any debris that may clog the fuel injectors.

Next, the fuel injectors deliver the fuel into the engine. The regulator controls fuel pressure and without proper fuel pressure, it will be more difficult to start your car. A drop in pressure can be caused by a faulty regulator or a weak pump, or by a clogged filter or injectors. The ignition system provides a spark to ignite the fuel in the engine. Components in the ignition system can vary from one car to the next, but the components that they do share are spark plugs. Worn-out spark plugs will have a difficult time igniting the fuel in the engine, which will result in longer cranking time.

Overall, longer cranking is a sign of one or more parts starting to fail. It’s a good idea to have a mechanic determine why your car is hard to start and provide you with a proper solution to address your concern and keep your vehicle reliable.

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 takes forever to start

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: Car won't start - 2004 Jeep Liberty

Hello. If the fuel injector system leaked fuel into the engine it may have caused a fuel vapor lock of the engine. A mechanic could get the engine to turn again by removing spark plugs and checking the oil to...

Q: My car starts sometimes and other times it cranks over like normal but won't start.

First check on your vehicle service records to see if the maintenance is up to date. If you can smell fuel at the back of the car while the car will not start then you may have an issue with...

Q: After multiple replacement parts, car won't start - 1994 Acura Vigor

There may be an engine position sensor that has failed like a crankshaft position sensor or a cam position sensor inside the distributor. If the computer cannot tell where the engine is in its rotation or how fast its spinning,...

Related articles

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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.