Car Hesitates To Start – 10 Potential Reasons

Written By: Terrence Hines
Category: Ignition

If your car hesitates to start, don’t worry, it’s a common problem that most car owners face at some point.

With some knowledge and experience, you can identify the root problem and take appropriate action! Thus, you need this article to stay informed so you can tackle the problem.

Car Hesitates To Start – 10 Reasons

Car hesitation to start can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re in a rush and trying to get from point A to point B.

Thankfully, there are often common causes for cars hesitating that can be fixed easily.

It may have something to do with your spark plugs or fuel pump. Additionally, it might just be an issue with the battery.

Are you feeling stressed out about car problems yet can’t figure out the root cause?

Well, this is for you. Here are some of the most common car problems that cause cars to hesitate to start.

1. Low Battery Or The Battery Is Dead:

Nothing puts a damper on your day, like realizing your car battery is dead and needs to be replaced.

At first, you may not consider it highly concerning if your car starts to act up and eventually ceases to run properly.

Don’t let a minor inconvenience have catastrophic consequences – respond to the warning signs immediately and prevent yourself from buying an entirely new battery.

Car Hesitates To Start - 10 Reasons

Don’t wait until it’s too late and your wallet takes the hit!

Car batteries aren’t too expensive, so make sure you’re investing in one powerful enough to last and keep you running down the road safely.

Taking this precautionary measure could save you time and money in the long run, not to mention avoid the frustration of being stuck with no way out.

2. Dirty Or Corroded Battery Terminals:

Car trouble can be a real headache, and one of the lesser-known culprits might be dirty or corroded battery terminals.

Does the car hesitate to start? It could be due to the build-up of dirt, dust, rust, and other gunk on the metal components of your vehicle’s terminal links.

Avoid risking further harm to any car part by taking matters into your own hands.

Using solutions such as baking soda or white vinegar, you should suspect a problem related to the battery.

Additionally, incorporate a battery terminal cleaner to completely rid the posts of dirt and grime.

This straightforward yet powerful maintenance technique keeps your car running at its peak performance! With it, you can enjoy optimal results for years to come.

3. There’s A Problem With The Fuel Pump:

If your car hesitates to start, it could be a problem with the fuel pump.

This little vital piece of machinery helps move fuel from the tank to your car’s engine, allowing you to get the most out of each gas tank.

Car hesitation can often be caused by a faulty fuel pump and could be a preventative measure in avoiding more serious problems further down the line.

There's A Problem With The Fuel Pump

If you suspect there’s something wrong with your fuel pump, it’s best to have it taken care of sooner than later – communicate with your mechanic as soon as you can.

With regular maintenance, you can keep any issues at bay and continue enjoying an optimal driving experience for years to come.

4. Faulty Spark Plugs Or Wires:

If you’ve been having trouble starting your car lately, it could be caused by faulty spark plugs or wires. A car’s hesitation to start is a tell-tale sign that it’s time to replace the spark plugs.

Faulty spark plugs can make a dramatic difference in your car’s performance, so it’s important not to overlook the issue.

Performing a spark plug replacement may be inexpensive and simple, depending on the engine configuration of your car.

Nevertheless, speaking with an auto mechanic is wise if you are unfamiliar with that type of work.

Making sure your spark plugs are working properly will keep your car running in top form and save you time and money on costly repairs down the road.

5. Dirty Or Clogged Fuel Filter:

If your car hesitates to start or you are experiencing a decrease in overall performance, it might be time to replace your fuel filter.

Over time, fuel filters can become clogged and filled with dirt, affecting fuel flow to the engine.

To ensure top-notch performance from your car, regularly switch in a fresh fuel filter.

To ensure your vehicle’s long-term health, take the time to read through the owner’s manual and keep up with its maintenance recommendations.

Car Hesitates To Start

Staying ahead of when it should be replaced will help you avoid costly repairs.

These simple precautions will ensure better engine performance, gas mileage, and smoother acceleration.

6. The Air Filter Is Dirty:

Car trouble can often be linked to a dirty air filter– so if your car hesitates to start or is simply not starting at all, it could be time to give the air filter a look.

To ensure your vehicle is always running at its peak performance and maintains a long lifespan, it’s wise to replace parts every 10,000-15,000 miles driven or once or twice annually.

By doing this small maintenance step now, you can save yourself from dealing with more significant car troubles down the line!

To guarantee optimal performance, make sure to completely clean the filter with hot soapy water and let it air dry before re-installing.

By investing only a minimal amount of money and time, you can extend the lifespan of your car by leaps and bounds!

7. Too Much Moisture In The Fuel System:

Having too much moisture in your car’s fuel system can be a real hassle. Not only can it cause the check engine light to come on, but it can also lead to more serious problems.

One of the most common issues caused by excessive moisture is that your car may hesitate to start or fail to start altogether.

To prevent these troubles, routinely replace the fuel filter and consistently monitor your engine oil level to ensure it is within the manufacturer’s guidelines.

With these protocols, all contaminants and moisture will be removed from your fuel system, allowing you to drive with a sense of assurance each time.

8. Defective Ignition Coil:

Experiencing a car that hesitates to start? You may be dealing with a defective ignition coil.

This unpleasant inconvenience is rather common, and the fix can be simple if you know how to identify the problem.

The ignition coil is a crucial component of your vehicle, transforming the battery’s weak electrical current into an immensely strong one to power the spark plugs.

Field tests can help pinpoint whether it is an ignition coil issue or not, so you’ll know exactly what needs to be done next.

So while having a problem with your car’s ignition coil isn’t ideal, thankfully, it can usually be solved quickly if you have all of the right tools and know-how at hand!

9. Faulty Alternator:

Car troubles can be really annoying, especially when it’s something as small and seemingly simple as a faulty alternator.

It can be incredibly frustrating when your car stubbornly refuses to start in the morning.

This is a clear indication that something’s wrong with your vehicle and requires immediate attention from an automotive professional.

The fault in question here might just be the alternator responsible for supplying power to your vehicle’s electrical systems while it runs.

Faulty Alternator

A failing alternator won’t operate at its fullest capacity, so you might see some intermittent light problems, and the engine won’t run smoothly either.

Don’t put off getting this fixed – take your car to a specialist mechanic as soon as possible before further damage is done.

10. Water In The Gas Tank:

Experiencing car troubles can be incredibly irritating, and one of the most frequent problems is a vehicle that won’t start.

Before it’s time to call the shop, make sure you check that there isn’t any water in the gas tank.

Water can easily get mixed in with gasoline and cause your car not to run properly or even become damaged if left unchecked.

However, this problem can be easily fixed by draining the gas tank entirely and refilling it with fresh gasoline.

Doing this regularly will keep your vehicle running smoothly and prevent future problems from arising due to excess water entering the tank during refueling.


Car troubles can be particularly distressing, especially when your attempt to start the car is met with nothing but hesitation and the continuous turning over of the engine.

As one might expect, the root cause of such an issue will most likely require a mechanic’s expertise.

When your car takes more than a few seconds to start, there is likely an issue at hand.

While some solutions may be as simple as tightening loose connections or replacing the battery, other issues, such as worn fuel injectors and corroded spark plugs, require professional attention.

Therefore, it’s important to take your vehicle to a certified mechanic who will be able to diagnose the real issue and provide you with a reliable conclusion.

Terrence Hines

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