Q: Sometimes my car starts immediately and sometimes it takes between 5 and 10 tries.

asked by on October 18, 2016

My 2000 Chevy Lumina will sometimes start immediately but in the last couple of days it sometimes takes up to 5 to 10 turns of the key to get it started. My mechanic told me he thinks I have an ignition switch problem and to take my car to a locksmith for repair. Do you think this is the source of the problem?

My car has 210 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your mechanic’s diagnosis and explanation could well be correct. This is classic symptom behavior of a failing ignition switch. The contacts become "burned" over time and over lots of "start" cycles. The repair is to replace the ignition switch.

If you hear a "click" under the hood when you have an unsuccessful "start" sequence, the problem is more likely the starter solenoid, a heavy-duty relay on the starter itself that takes a small current from the ignition switch and turns on a much heavier current directly to the starter. If this is the case, the starter should be replaced (the solenoid is part of the starter assembly).

I would recommend having a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, perform an inspection to determine why your car is not starting and suggest the necessary repairs.

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