The last thing you want when running late to an appointment is to hear that familiar noise: your car is struggling to start. Many factors contribute to that scenario, from battery issues to fuel system or ignition malfunctions. Let’s dive into them so you won’t be blindsided.
Possible reasons for a delayed start
Below you will find a breakdown of possible reasons that are delaying your car from starting. From fuel systems to engine or battery issues, see all of them below:
Perhaps the most common reason: is a low battery charge. This is the culprit behind many people needing to call roadside assistance or a friend for rescuing. It can happen when you forget an inside light on, or headlights, or even when you use car functionalities for a long time without the engine running.
The battery might also present corrosion on its terminals or loose connections that will prevent the electricity flow, resulting in delayed starts. When replacing the battery is fundamental to ensure it’s connected properly — you won’t believe how many times a loose wire is the reason leaving drivers stranded.
Fuel system problems
It’s more than the quality of fuel you’re feeding your car — of course, stale fuel will affect the engine and damage it over time, but the other parts of the system matter just as much.
A well-calibrated fuel pump provides adequate fuel pressure to the engine, and a clean, new filter ensures no debris reaches and damages any parts. Both the filter and the pump must be serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions to perform correctly.
Ignition system and engine
The car’s ignition system is the mechanism responsible for starting the engine. Many parts work together: the switch, the ignition coil, a distributor (in older systems), spark plugs, and the battery.
When you press a button or turn a key, an electrical signal goes to the coil, amplifying the voltage and activating spark plugs. The plugs then create — you guessed it — a spark that ignites an air-fuel mixture in the engine’s cylinders, which begins the combustion process.
Of course, this is for fuel-powered vehicles. To know more about electric cars, check out this other article on our blog.
So many issues in this system can cause a start delay: worn-out spark plugs, coil malfunctioning, or even a faulty switch. Most complicated scenarios involve the engine, which can be overheating affecting parts, timing belt or chain issues, or even reduced compression because of worn pistons.
Why does the AC take so long to cool?
Okay, maybe we were wrong in the introduction: the worst thing that could happen to a driver in the Middle East is dealing with a malfunctioning AC system. When it’s 50 degrees outside, we all know it’s even more in the car.
For that never to be an issue, ensure your AC system doesn’t have any leaks, and that the refrigerant is at the correct level. Also keep an eye on the condenser, to ensure no dirt buildup or debris restricts airflow. It’s quite simple to replace the AC filter regularly and to ask your service shop to check all levels.
Of course, your patience is also key. In the scorching heat, the car will take a little longer to cool down. But it shouldn’t take too long.
Other possible problems to keep an eye out for
There are other problems that all drivers should be aware of to not be caught off guard. Keep an eye on:
- The car alternator: a failing one can lead to a discharged battery
- Overheating: the car cooling system must be working properly at all times
- Sensor malfunction: faulty sensors can affect performance, ensure these are also checked frequently
- Frequent maintenance and key parts replacement: follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding service and replace parts such as belts, filters, and fluids as recommended
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