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Q: Why is my car having problems starting?

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My car just started having a problem over the last month. Sometimes whenever I put it in drive it will shutter and then lose its power, that caused my check engine light to come on. After a few minutes it will start and run fine, the light will go off after it sits overnight. That doesn't happen all the time. Only 4 times within the last month or so. Now the issue that started after my car set not driven for a week is that it will not start all the time. Once it starts it runs fine. It will start with a delay having to hold the key over for a while. Then if I kill it for an hour it needs about another hour then it will start and run fine.

My car has 81566 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hey there. This may be related to to a variety of things. When your Check Engine Light comes on, generally there are fault codes that are registered in the car’s computer which will indicate more specifically some of the possible causes.

A common sign of a bad ignition coil is something like you have described causing the car to have to sit to cool down for a bit before starting again. This usually is something that starts happening randomly and then progressively gets worse over time.

An ignition coil is really two separate coils of wire. They are known as the Primary (low voltage) coil and the Secondary (high voltage) coil. The primary coil is made up of several hundred windings of relatively thick wire (with thin insulation). The secondary coil consists of several thousand windings of a very thin wire. When the insulation on this wire begins to deteriorate or become brittle (which is common) due to temperature fluctuations, this can cause the coils to begin to short and not function properly. To have this taken care of, I recommend having a professional come to your location to pinpoint the cause of the starting issue and replace the ignition coil if necessary.

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