Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why does my engine turn over 5 - 6 times before starting?

asked by on

Hot or cold engine, it will RANDOMLY turn over 5 to 6 times before starting; mileage 260k, over the past 2 months gas mileage has dropped from 33 MPG to 29 MPG's. The hard to start symptoms began 2 days ago. Car has a new battery; Batt terminal ends are not corroded; I run ONLY quality fuel; air filter in decent shape; I added a bottle of Chevron Techron prior to adding gas fill up Saturday evening and Tuesday morning, the car spins over few times before starting; there is no change in loss of acceleration or rough idling

A: A number of things can cause this but it so...

A number of things can cause this but it sounds like the fuel pump check valve may be at fault. When you shut the car down, the check valve keeps pressure up in the fuel system. If it’s faulty or stuck, then when you shut the car down, fuel may be bleeding back to the tank via the return line.

The next time you start the car, turn the key to the ON position and wait a moment. You should hear the fuel pump priming the system but it should only run for a moment or two. Try turning the key off and on a couple of times prior to starting the car. If it starts right up after doing that, the check valve is at fault. Most will require replacing the fuel pump as it is internal. If you need help having this checked, a professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the hard start and let verify what should be done.

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!

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: The radio and lighter don't work

Hi there. This can be caused by a number of things. The most common being a battery that is failing. If the battery voltage is low then these systems will not work. If the battery is fine, then the electrical...

Q: Car doesn't start

If the car has been parked for many months, the gasoline in the fuel tank is bad and that alone will cause a no start condition. Gas has a relatively limited shelf life. In a scenario where the gas has...

Q: Van won't start and is squirting gas into carburetor

If the fuel pump runs, then the inertia switch is not tripped. It sounds like you are saying that it starts in cranking mode then dies when you let off the switch. This can be caused by a bad TFI...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
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.