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

asked by on August 02, 2016

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 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?
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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Car won't crank. I think its the timimg belt

Hey there. I'm a little confused by your issue. If your car's engine won't crank over, it typically is related to the starter motor or ignition system. A broken timing belt will prohibit the motor from spinning over, but you'll...

Starter / or battery ?

This is correct. If your car's starter was failing, it would not be able to be jump started since the power from being jump started is still eventually sent to the starter via jumper cables rather than your car's own...

My car has no power, won't start, and won't take jump start - 2006 Cadillac DTS

Hello. The more issues you have like sparking and excessive heat while trying to charge the battery, the more likely you are to damage it. Since it is brand new, do not attempt to jump start it again until you...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy for Highway Driving
Do Do you spend hours each week on the highway for work? Maybe you just live in a very rural area and have to drive for 30 or 45 minutes to get to the grocery store. Whatever the case, your...
2012 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2012 Nissan Frontier: Which One Should I Buy?
The smaller truck category includes those vehicles for men (and women!) who just want to scoot around town but who are opposed to driving a small car and just prefer a truck. These relatively fuel-efficient vehicles offer little in the...
Top 10 PZEV Cars for Eco-Friendly Drivers
Teddy Leung / Shutterstock.com The whole idea of a PZEV (that is, a partial zero-emissions vehicle), seems paradoxical. You’d think it’d have to either be zero-emissions or not in the category at all. But as contradictory as...