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Q: Starter makes a lot of noise before the motor finally starts

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Even though it is pretty much new and only has 32,000 miles on it, my 2011 Jeep Patriot has a really difficult time starting up in the morning. It can take like ten seconds to actually get the motor to turn over. Is this a normal thing for a little bigger vehicle in cold weather, or is this a starter/engine problem? I want to fix this issue early if it is serious.

I’m trying to determine if by “turn over”, you mean it won’t crank – which is literally turning over the engine; or if you mean it won’t fire up and start. From your describing that it takes about 10 seconds, I’m going to go on the premise that it cranks but won’t start during this time period. There are several things that can cause this that you will want to have inspected:

  1. Lack of fuel pressure
  2. Crankshaft position sensor
  3. Camshaft sensor

Keep in mind that if the symptom only happens for a short time, it may take longer to diagnose the problem. These components are not the only possible causes of your symptom, but they are probable causes. This can be inspected for being within their specified tolerances while cranking. Take it to YourMechanic and have them tested as a first step to pinpointing your starting issue.

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