Car needs to sit for 2 hours after being used before it will start again

After driving my car for as short as 15 minutes, I need to let it sit for 2 or more hours before it will start again. Any ideas what is causing this?

The battery was replaced in August.

The problem has gradually gotten worse–in September I could make 2 or 3 stops and drive for a long distance before an issue like this would occur. And when the problem initially started I only needed to let my car sit for half an hour or so.

Make, model, year, miles, etc would help.

What happens when it won’t start? Does the engine turn over but won’t catch?

Ed B.

Those 49 Packard were notorious for that. Just pack a lunch and enjoy the wait.

A lot of those '49 Packard drivers were so busy with their lunch that they forgot to put the key in and turn it.

Is them having lunch all the time why, when they meet other Packard drivers, they ask whether they have Grey Poupon mustard?

Like edb says without a make, model, etc its impossible to say for sure. I know I had a Chevy tow truck back a few years ago with a 454, it had a brand new starter and still had the symptoms you describe. The problem turned out to be that a heat shield that was over the starter solenoid from the factory was not replaced when the new starter was installed, as such it got “Heat Soaked” and you had to wait for the starter to cool to get it to crank the motor again.

had a problem like that with an '92 chevy S10. it would take a variable amount of time after running to restart it, typically the longer i drove, the longer i had to wait. Its been a while, so im a bit fuzzy on it, but in the end it was either replacing the starter (think that was it) or the alternator that got it fixed. something about the housing being magnetized and causing interference when it attempted to turn. makes sense that it was the starter now. mechanic said hitting it a few times would demagnetize it enough to start.

If its an older Honda the main relay(common) failing does this.

I don’t know why anyone is guessing at all. We still don’t know whether the car actually cranks over or not.

I don’t know why anyone didn’t answer my grey poupon mustard question in the meantime - I’ve been wondering that for years.

Actually, those old Grey Poupon commercials featured Rolls Royce Silver Cloud models, circa 1955-1966.
The cars in those commercials were most definitely not Packards.

Ah, well, in that case: carry on.

So does this car crank or not?

Hmmm…despite several requests for more information, the OP has still not revealed the make, model, model year, and odometer mileage of this mystery vehicle, nor whether the engine even turns over during these no-start incidents.

I agree.
Besides that important info, we really should have some sort of sticky FAQ with conditions to mention when a car does something weird.

Things like:
“The headlights are off as well.” instead of “the battery seems dead”.
“When turning the key, the car turns over but it doesn’t start” instead of “nothing happens”
“My car is a Hybrid and the brakes failed” instead of “my brakes failed”, etc, etc.

It would aid in quicker diagnosis.

Hmmm, you mean some diagnostic charts? Car won’t start, Hot/cold, cranks yes/no,-novel idea.

I had a 68 Dodge Dart that did the same thing. Can’t remember if it ever was fixed and if it was the carb or points. I know the points almost killed me once an an interstate bridge when the car decided to die out. I think it was the last C Corp car I owned.

Yup, kinda like a chart with good descriptions of conditions On the obvious ones, the chart may offer what it most likely is.
At least it will give the poster a good guide of what to look for and mention.

Slant 6? My wife had a 72 and pinks away a tear every time she sees one at a car show or cruise night.

Naw 318 GT, bucket seats, shoulder belts. Bought it from my folks in '71. Not a bad car but can’t say I was in love with it. Better than my 59 Pontiac that it replaced. Sold it in 74 for about $800 with about 100K on it and the guy wrecked it.