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.

Ignition Switch Replacement $163.14 - $835.29 Get a Quote
Car is not starting Inspection $79.99 - $99.99 Get a Quote

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $65/hr

What others are asking

Hey! My 2011 chevy Malibu just randomly shut off on my while I was driving last night and now as soon as I start it , it immediate

This may be related to many different possibilities, some of which may be related to a lack of spark and some of which may be related to a fuel delivery problem or a combination of both. For example, if the...

Car cut off, and will turn over but not fire.

This is a common sign of a lack of fuel supply to the intake manifold. This is usually caused by several things such as faulty fuel injectors, low fuel pressure (regulator) or not enough air supply. I would suggest having...

Car in gear, but not moving

Hello. If you have a 4x4, it may be in neutral. Check to see how long it has been since you serviced the transmission filter and fluid. Then, ensure that your transmission fluid is full. At this point, the next...

Car stalling

Hi. Its very possible that partial blocking of the fuel system may be the cause of the fuel injectors not having an atomized spray pattern, which is the foundation of your vehicle's sputtering problem. The Fuel pressure and volume need...

Power seat will move forward but not back, how can I fix this?

Hi there. It sounds like the adjuster motor is failing, seat track is binding, or the switch has failed. Check for power and ground to the motor while using the switch; if they are available upon command, then the motor...

Hit deer; car damaged

It seems like there has been extensive damage that has taken much of the safety away from this vehicle. I would recommend consulting the services of a collision center. The twisted metal and broken parts will cause wear on the...

Driver's side window fell off track

It sounds like your window regulator has broken. The window regulator is composed of cables and pulleys that raise and lower the window. Oftentimes, the pulleys are made of plastic, and will break. This will cause the window to drop...

Digital speedometer screen is blank on 2016 Colorado. How do I get it back?

Check the condition of the car battery and see if the voltage and amperage are weak. A weak battery will cause multiple electrical issues including turning of the Instrument Panel Cluster gel pads. If the battery is new or in...

What do you think could be wrong?

Hello. If the vehicle overheated to the point where steam started to escape, you are better off replacing the engine altogether. Once the cooling system is filled with water, it can be pressure tested to see if there are still...

Related articles

How Can Moisture Get Into an Ignition System?
All All ignition systems use electricity to crank and run the engine. This is true whether you have a conventional, electronic, or distributor-less ignition system. Water is the enemy of electricity and if it intrudes into the ignition system, it...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Automatic Shutdown Relay
Common signs include the car starting but stalling immediately, the Check Engine Light turning on, and the engine not cranking when turning the key.
How Does a Starter Motor Work?
When you turn the key in your car’s ignition, the engine turns over and then cranks. However, getting it to crank...