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.

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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. My vehicle has a Starting/Sometimes running issue. What's wrong?

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: 1991 s10 cranks but no start

Hello, thank you for writing in. You may want to start by making sure your air intake and throttle body are all clean and working well. Then, perform a compression test to make sure the engine itself is not your...

Q: Vacuum hose unhooked brake - 1990 Dodge D150

Hello. The vacuum hose from the brake booster goes into a tube on the intake. This tube is going to be about the same diameter as the hose and may need a clamp to secure it properly. The small vacuum...

Q: Dashboard vibrating when engagge into 'D' drive mode also when slowing down to stop at a red light

The vibrations you are feeling may be your brakes. If the brakes are struggling to keep the car stopped, you may feel the vibrations inside of the cab, and specifically at the brake pedal. Check your brake pads or rotors...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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.