Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My vehicle has a Starting/Sometimes running issue. What's wrong?

asked by on

When trying to start my car it takes about 5 full seconds. It is making almost a light screeching sound and pauses for a second then starts. It is not a clean start and sounds very rough on the vehicle. Also when I'm driving the vehicle, it is rough when coming to stops where the RPMs get low. I've had the engine light read by Auto Zone and one of the problems was something like the vacuum pump to the engine. It also came with a few others, but that one seemed most logical. What's wrong?

My car has 194000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. Check to see if the vacuum pump ...

Hi there. Check to see if the vacuum pump has seized up on the engine. If the pulley is not turning then the belt will make a screeching noise and put a huge load on the engine. The extra load will make the starter work harder to engage the engine and create pauses during the start cycle. If the pump is working and is not making any noise, then there could be an issue with the engine its self or there could be an issue with the flex plate. The flex plate could be cracked causing this symptom and noise. Remove the inspection cover to the transmission and watch the flex plate as the engine is cranking over. If it is wobbly, then the plate is cracked and needs replaced. If not, then there could be a starter issue. Make sure that the battery cables are tight on the starter. If the starter is not working properly and the cables are tight and everything else checks out to be in good condition, then the starter needs replaced. As for the computer having a code stored for the vacuum pump, then the pump seal may have blown. If that is the case, then the vacuum pump will need replaced. If you need further assistance with your hard start issue and vacuum pump replacement, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: passlock

Hello. This is a common issue on this vehicle. It may be caused by an ignition switch, but most of the time when you get the issues you are describing it is because of the body control module. I typically...

Q: Multiple Issues

The weak battery may be a result of a faulty alternator or voltage regulator. As you may know, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine runs by generating amperage and recharging the battery while the engine...

Q: Battery won't keep charge, car slow to start.

Its sounds like you could have a parasitic drain on your battery. You would need to have a technician trace where it is coming from. A common problem is with interior lighting in the car. There may be a shorted...

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...
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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.