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Q: My car won't consistently start?

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This has happened only once before about two weeks ago and eventually the car started. Today I started my car, drove it to the store and everything was fine. When I got back and tried to start it, the engine did not run. The lights, radio, air, etc. all turned on. There was a faint whirring noise, but no clicking or engine cranking or any other sounds. I tried to start it several times in park, neutral, with/without braking, etc. but nothing worked and eventually the brakes got really hard to press. I sat there for about 30-40 minutes trying to look up stuff online and I think (and this may not be it at all) it has something to do with my car not going fully into park. Eventually after the 30 minutes or so, I tried again (having done nothing) and the car started up perfectly fine. I drove home, turned everything off, and then tried once more (hoping it was a fluke) and the car did not start. What is going on with my car? Is there a simple fix or do I need to take it to the shop? Help??

My car has 186000 miles.
My car's transmission is unknown to me.

This may be a sign of a faulty ignition coil. Ignition coils are coated with a varnish-like insulation that becomes brittle over time after being stretched then contracted repeatedly The insulation develops small fractures that open when heated and close when cooled. When open, they allow shorting of coil windings and decrease or eliminate the coil’s ability to function. This type of temperature cycling happens because every time you shut the engine off, the fan stops running, the coolant stops flowing and the temperature under the hood rises. Every time you start the engine again the coolant flows, the fans turn on, and the temperature drops. When this heat dissipates and is absorbed under the hood, it is trapped causing this cycling effect. Components that contain heat sensitive materials include parts like coils, injectors, igniters, and some sensors. Any of these may be potentially subject to this same kind of heat problem which can be very difficult to trace. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle to properly diagnose your ignition system.

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