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My car is having trouble starting. Not every time I start the car, but it’s happening almost daily now. The only way I can describe it is an extended cranking time. It was about 3 solid seconds of cranking/turning over, but today it cranked for closer to 5 seconds. When it finally started, it sounded like it barely had enough juice to start. Then it ran fine. I replaced my battery, thinking that would solve the problem (auto parts store said my battery was bad), but it’s happened almost daily since I changed the battery. It’s definitely getting worse. It is not super cold here (50’s at night, 60’s during the day). It does not happen when the car sits for an extended period of time, but seems to happen when the car has sat for 1-3 hours. I had the auto parts store check the battery, starter and alternator and he said my starter failed the check at first, but then it said passed after a couple seconds (my car did not take longer to crank than normal when he was checking it). It has not failed to start yet, but I feel like that’s coming soon.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessica Howe, Automotive Expert & Coach at AskPatty.com

Hello, 

Thank you for writing in. Great question. I want to bring attention to your starter. The starter testers at most automotive parts stores do not "load test" the starter motor. The tester simply provides an electrical current to the starter to see if it will spin freely when prompted. However, when the starter is on your car, it physically has to push the flywheel or flexplate, which takes a lot of power and is considered to be a heavy load. It is common for the starter testers to give you a false positive because they do not actually test to see how strong the starter is. Due to the fact your starter almost didn't pass that test, its rather safe to assume that your starter is about to fail. Good luck!


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