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Can't crank after filling up

I fill up on gas and crank my car to leave and it seems as if the starter gets stuck the first time and won’t crank, It takes about 3 times to crank my car. The weird part is-- this ONLY happens after filling up.

Is it possible that the only time you shut down the hot car and then restart after a couple of minutes is when you fill up the gas tank? I don’t think that the fill up is related.
Drive to the gas station. Stop at a pump, get out and wait for the same amount of time that it takes to fill it up, and then get back in and try to start it.

This is a good example of what someone writing up repair orders and mechanics face. The customer is certain that the no-crank condition and the act of putting gas into the car are related, but we know as Tardis pointed out the problem is simply related to stopping the engine, and the act of putting gas in is not related too the no-crank condition. Service Writers and mechanics are constantly having to decide what information from the customer to dismiss and what is of value.

I tried that last night-- pulled in, turned the car off, and sat for 10 mins or so. Had no problems cranking up at all.

Ten minutes seems too long for a fill up. Maybe you should time yourself the next time you do fill up.

What happens, exactly when you turn the key to “start”?? Absolutely nothing or does the engine turn over but refuses to start…

It does turn over but actually sticks for a sec and doesnt crank. Do this about 3 times and then it cranks.

My mistake. I assumed that “crank” as in the starter turns the crankshaft was being used correctly. I think you mean that the engine won’t start.
I still don’t understand what you mean by "sticks."
Do you mean that the starter slows down and barely turns the crankshaft over, or do you just mean that the engine sputters while starting?

sayruh26 is just telling what happens. Could be the starter is going bad in such a way that when it gets hot it loses its ability to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. Perhaps the field coils are partially shorted to themselves, unless this starter uses permanent magnets. I think he needs a new starter.

It would be a great help if basic terminology was defined on this site somewhere. This CRANKING vs STARTING confusion is at the top of a long list of terms that confuse and delay understanding the problem or explaining diagnosis and recommending solutions.

Please note; If you remove the spark plug from your lawn mower’s engine and pull the rope till dark it won’t START, but you will be CRANKING it.

Honestly guys and gals- I am on here for advice because I am not a car expert and I know that I can get some assistance here. I apologize if my terminology is off but I’m simply stating the problem the best I can.

I turn the key, the engine actually tries to turn over—sticks ( as in if I held the key turned) and then never starts/cranks.

What happens when you turn the key? A, B, or C?

A.) No noise whatsoever.
B.) I hear one little “click” sound and nothing else.
C.) The starter cranks the engine, it sounds like it want to start but it just won’t fire up and run.

C. Like I said, it turns over and acts like I held the key turned.

Okay, you probably have a problem with the evaporative emissions system. Until you get it fixed, you may have better luck starting it if you hold the gas pedal all the way down to put the engine into clear flood mode.

Thank you for clarifying that the engine does crank. Everyone was confused by the “can’t crank” description.

sayruh26…did you ever figure out what was wrong? My car is doing the same thing and the dealership thinks we are crazy. After about 3 times of pumping the gas pedal it will crank and it only happens after filling up. What gives. What kind of car to you have?

My suggestion is to have the fuel pump checked.

The next time you fill up with gas try just holding the pedal to the floor while you crank it. Then ease up if it starts. If that always works then it is likely that your engine is getting flooded (the pedal to the floor is a flood clearing procedure), and that would probably be from a faulty vent valve on the gas tank that allows liquid gasoline into the vapor recovery lines. These often become a problem if one frequently overfills the tanks - as in continuing to pump after the pump’s auto shut off has activated.

One other thing to try is more of a longshot. Turn the ignition key on-off-on-off-on-off about 5 times, going only to the point where the dash lights come on but the engine doesn’t turn over. You should hear a brief hum each time. After doing that about 5 times then crank it over and see if it starts.

i had the same problem. especially if it is worse with the more gas you fill up with.

i bet it’s the purge solenoid of the EVAP system (my problem). new gas systems send the fumes to purge out through the engine in a controlled way through the valve and such. my valve was messed up and letting it all in at once. the engine was flooding with fumes and takes time to let it clear up after filling up. my purge solenoid only cost $25 (replaced it myself) was right on top of the motor.