Your car won’t actually take “forever” to start, but we feel your pain.
Anyone familiar with the feeling of frustration, annoyance, and aggravation from a vehicle that won’t start when you need it to won’t accuse you of exaggeration if you accuse your car of taking “forever” to start. The point is a car that won’t start in time is probably worse than a dog that refuses to respond when you call its name.
If your car won’t start in time, a number of issues might be causing that. The list includes starter problems, fuel system problems, faulty alternator, a falling or dead battery, or defective connection cables. The thing is it can be difficult to determine if you’re dealing with a battery or alternator problem, which is why we’re so grateful for our certified auto mechanics.
So, Why Is My Car Taking Longer to Start?
Several issues can be to blame for your car taking longer to start, including:
- Fuel pump issues
- Bad battery
- Starter health
- Or even weather conditions
The trick, however, is figuring out which of these issues you’re dealing with. Now, let’s troubleshoot the possible issues on our list.
Fuel Pump/Fuel System Problems
Fuel system troubles can affect a vehicle’s performance in many ways, including the car not starting when you crank it. For instance, a clogged fuel filter obstructs the normal passage of gas into the engine leading to fuel pump failure and dirty injectors. The result of such problems in a vehicle’s fuel system can include rough idling, power depreciation, and eventually the vehicle’s inability to start.
Failing or Dead Battery
A dying or dead battery is the most common reason for a car taking “forever” to start. You can determine your battery’s health with the help of a battery tester. Also, weather conditions and using the vehicle’s electronic components with the engine off can drain the battery.
Your vehicle can still experience difficulty starting even with electronic components like lights, radio, and other accessories. That’s because these electronic components don’t require as much power as the starter to work. If your battery is weak, consider jumpstarting it with jumper cables. If jumping fails to do the trick, you might need the services of a qualified automobile technician to check out the starter system’s terminals, cables, and electrical connections.
It’s generally safe to jumpstart your car as long as flames and sparks don’t come too close to a battery lacking proper ventilation. Because vapors from car batteries are highly flammable, sparks from jumper cables can cause fires or even an explosion due to sulfuric acid leaking out the vents as vapors.
Faulty Electrical System
A problem in your car’s electrical system may be causing it to take “forever” to start. In this case, it’s common to usually experience this problem in the morning. A qualified automobile technician can diagnose where there is a drain on the electrical system.
Computer or Sensor Issue
If your car’s computer is malfunctioning, it can affect the timing of the spark plugs, leading to the car taking longer to start. A qualified automobile technician can help you make sure your car’s computer or sensor is working correctly. The auto mechanic can also examine the spark plugs and ignition coils.
You will know your car might be having starter issues if the feedback you get when turning on the ignition includes loud clicking, grinding sound, whirring noise, or buzzing noise. The buzzing noise explains a failure of the motor to actuate even with the flow of electricity to the starter.
Weather conditions can contribute to your car taking longer to start. The reason for this is that cool temperatures can thicken engine oil. When this happens, your engine will work harder to pump oil as the fuel injectors take longer to supply sufficient fuel to the engine for combustion. A parking garage would be an obvious solution to this issue, or you can make peace with giving your car a little more time to get going each day.
On a Final Note
If you notice that your car is taking longer and longer to start, you should narrow down the possible issues to problems in the fuel pump system, bad battery, starter problems, or weather conditions. Hopefully, it won’t be the end of the world, and your car won’t take forever to start.