Car Takes Longer to Start – What Could Be The Reasons?

Cars can be slow to start in the winter. In cold weather, this is a common occurrence and there is nothing wrong with your vehicle.

If your car takes longer than a few seconds to start, you may have a problem. This article can help you understand why your car is taking longer to start.

Car Takes Longer to Start

Reasons For Car Taking Longer to Start

Old Fuel Filter

The problem may arise after the car has been sitting for a long time. Pressure can build up to supply fuel to the engine if an older fuel filter is used.

How to Fix It?

The fuel filter needs to be changed.

The fuel filters should be changed every 80,000 to 120,000 miles. You should add a fuel system cleaner to your next full tank of gas after changing a fuel filter.


It can cost anywhere from $6 to $110 for the fuel filters. It is a relatively straightforward process that most people can do themselves, and there are no specialized tools needed.

Weak Fuel Pump

Older fuel pumps can pump fuel, but it will take more time. The lack of fuel pressure was the reason for this.

When starting a car with a weak fuel pump, it usually takes several cranks or turns of the key.

How to Fix It?

To make sure the fuel pump is the problem, replace it before testing. If you want to do this, turn the key to the run position.

Leave the key in this position for 10 seconds, then turn it the other way. Before starting the engine, repeat this a few times.

Fuel lines are likely to lose pressure if this stops the problem.

If this happens after the car has sat for a long time, it may be an issue with the drain back valve not seated fully, causing the fuel lines to depressurize.

It is important to make sure that the problem is traced back to your fuel pump.


The cost to diagnose a fuel pump failure varies by shop. Most people should not try to fix it on their own. Depending on the car, the cost of the fuel pump is between $110 and $949.

You may need to drop the fuel tank to get to the fuel pump, which requires some specialized tools and a lot of strength.

Between $260 and $1200 is the total cost for a new mechanic.

Worn-Out Spark Plugs

Spark plugs wear down over time If they don’t change out, they won’t be able to spark the way they should. The engine may run poorly if the spark isn’t enough to start it.

How to Fix It?

It’s time to change your spark plugs. Depending on your model and the quality of the plugs, how often you replace them should be determined.

It is recommended that spark plugs be replaced every 100,000 miles.


The cost of a spark plug depends on the quality of the plugs and your car. It depends on the size of your engine and whether you need 6 or 8 plugs.

You will need a pulling tool if you replace the plugs yourself. The spark plug-pulling tool costs anywhere from $10 to $40.

You need a gap gauge to prepare for your new plugs. A gap gauge tool costs between $2 and $20.

Thicker Oil in the Winter

Oil can become thicker in the winter due to colder temperatures. It can be difficult for your engine to run because of the thicker oil.

How to Fix It?

There are ways to fix problems caused by thicker oil. Synthetic oil stays liquid in colder temperatures and does not freeze, so you can use it.

You can also use an engine block heating source. They help the car start easier, but they must be installed. Make sure that you use the correct oil weight when you fix it.

Different cars take different oil weights, and you can save your engine from damage by choosing the correct one.


It is cheap to install an engine block heater. You do not need specialized tools if you have hand tools.

Depending on the type of heating you want, the block heater will cost between $50 and $300.

Bad Battery

It can be difficult for batteries to work correctly in cold weather. The battery’s production of electrons is decreasing.

The starter doesn’t have as much energy to start with because the chemical reactions that occur inside the battery are slower.

The lack of power from your battery could cause the engine to crank slowly.

How to Fix It?

Before buying a new one, make sure the battery is working. After the car is sitting for 12 hours, you can use a multimeter to check the battery.

A bad battery will have a lower voltage. The battery is fully charged if it tests above 12.85 volts.


Replacing your battery can be done by yourself. You do not need a lot of tools to remove bolts.

Premium batteries can cost up to $200 and the average car battery costs between $50 and $120.

Gasoline Evaporation

In cold weather, gasoline doesn’t evaporate very quickly. It can become harder to burn when it expands.

It is a good thing for your gas mileage, but not a great thing for your engine. It is difficult to burn gasoline in the cold, so starting may be slower.

How to Fix It?

It’s easy to burn ether because it is easier to evaporate.

If you want to get your car going in the cold, you can buy ether starting fluid. If you spray the ether into your engine, it will start and burn gas quicker.


The cost of a can of ether starting fluid is low. The starting fluid is usually between $10 and $20. You can apply it on your own.

Ground Connections

Over time, the engine grounding strap can become loose. It can cause your engine to have trouble starting if it loosens due to some problem.

How to Fix It?

It is possible that you need to have the engine ground checked out by a professional. If you have the electrical tools to test the ground, you can figure out if the problem is there.

The ground strap should be removed with hand tools and replaced with a new strap.


Depending on the type of car you own, the cost of engine ground straps and cables can range from $3 to $30. Having it correctly diagnosed is the most expensive part of the repair.


Over time, the regulators failing, dirt getting into the unit, and bearings wearing out can cause the Alternator to go bad.

The only thing that will keep the car running after the alternator goes bad is the battery.

How to Fix It?

If you smell burning rubber when you try to start your car, it’s a good sign that the alternator is bad. There is a chance that the car will die after a jump-start if the alternator is bad.

To fix the problem, you will need to replace the alternator. It is not a simple repair, but it is not difficult.

The only problem with this step is that you have to remove the belt tensioner to access the alternator.


It can cost between $133 and $915 to purchase a new alternator for your car. Rebuilt is cheaper, but less reliable.

You should have hand tools on hand to release the tensioner belt if you need to replace an alternator.

Temperature Sensor

If the car is starting hot or cold, it’s because of the coolant temperature sensor. If the engine is warm when it starts, it uses fuel in different ways.

If the temperature sensor is malfunctioning, it could be using more fuel than is needed. The flooding can cause your engine to perform poorly and reduce fuel economy.

How to Fix It?

The temperature sensor has to be replaced. You can take the sensor out and put in a new one by taking the electrical connection out.

Many mechanics use a sealer to keep the sensor in place


It’s not an expensive part to have a temperature sensor. Most of the time, it will set you back between $25 and $90.

It’s an easy fix to replace the temperature sensor, but you may need to change the cooling system.

The cost for the procedure is usually between $100 and $200 and includes the necessary tools to drain the system.

Leaking Injector

One of the parts that give fuel to your engine is the fuel injection system. If they malfunction, they can cause the engine to fail or make it hard to start.

Fuel pools at the back of the intake valves when there is a leak in the injectors. Too much gas can be a bad thing for the engine as it can be too rich to start up.

How to Fix It?

Make sure it’s an injection that is leaking. If you smell gas under the hood you may have an issue with the engine. The injector needs to be replaced to fix the problem.

The fuel pooling in the engine can be stopped by letting the vehicle sit for a while. When this happens the engine will start. You need to replace the leaking injectors.

The fuel filter needs to be replaced as it is likely to be clogged. The leak may have been caused by this.

Car Takes Longer to Start


Replacing each injector costs between $73 and $500, and it is difficult. You need a lot of expensive tools to remove the engine manifolds. This is a difficult repair to do by a mechanic.


There are many reasons why your car isn’t starting immediately. Slow starting is common in cold weather, so it may not be something to worry about.

It is usually something small you can take care of on your own if it is a problem.

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