Q: Randomly doesn't start

asked by on

In the past few months, my car has intermittently not started. It seems the trend is that after driving for at least 20 minutes, it can't be started for around 3-4 hours. There is also an issue where the headlights dim when turning the steering wheel if that is related. The mechanics at the dealership have not been able to reproduce the problem despite starting it many times.

My car has 72000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, What you are describing sounds like an ignition coil pack that may be failing. Ignition coils are prone to this type of erratic functioning when they are beginning to fail due to the temperature fluctuations under the hood which ultimately cause them to shut down causing the car to only run after cooling down for 30-40 minutes. 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 process will repeat itself continuously until the coil ultimately fails completely and must be replaced. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your ignition system.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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. Randomly doesn't 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: Only thing I need help figuring out is upstream and downstream on a Lincoln MKS 2011 engine: V6 (3.7L). I believe the passenger si

When you hear the meaning upstream or downstream this references to before and after the catalyst. The bank 1 sensor 1 and the bank 2 sensor 1 are upstream and nearest the exhaust manifolds or in the manifold. The bank...

Q: What are the right plugs and how do i know what I can tweak on the type of plug I use.

Try using the factory plugs first and use them until you get all the modifications done. Then keep checking the plugs every month to see how they are burning to see if you need a hotter plug or a colder...

Q: 2013 chevy impala battery save mode and won't allow the car to pass 40 mph

Hi There, This can be caused by a loose battery cable which is often times the problem. Try checking to be sure they are connected properly. Also, there is a sensor that has 3 small wires running to it that...

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...
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...
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...