Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Sometimes my car starts immediately and sometimes it takes between 5 and 10 tries.

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: Battery keeps getting drained while the car is off during the night

Hello there, thanks for writing in about your 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5. Batteries that drain overnight are not uncommon. This is called a parasitic drain and can have many different causes. The most likely are any aftermarket electrical accessories, such as...

Q: Ignition won't turn, steering wheel lock not engaged.

Hi, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to provide my insight. It is possible the ignition mechanism is broken inside the steering column. I suggest trying to turn over your car with a spare key, to see if the...

Q: I don't have a key for the trunk and I would like to put in a new lock.

Hello. Replacing the trunk lock cylinder and key requires removing the trim on the inside of the trunk lid to access the cylinder. Once the trim or carpet on the trunk lid is removed, you can access the trunk lock...

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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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...