Car slower to start

Car gradually getting slower and slower to start. What could be the problem?

Do you mean it takes longer to start?

Is the starter turning as fast as it did before this problem started? If not, it could be a battery problem. How old is the battery?

What happens while the starter is running? does it attempt to start/ cough a few times, or nothing and then suddenly it starts?

How old is the car? do you have any other problems with it? How does it idle? how well does it accelerate? Are you keeping up with the maintenance? Oil changes, filter changes etc?

I noticed its taking longer to start and is getting slower day by day to the point that I think by the end of this week I will go to start my car in the morning and I think it wont start.

There is a delay between when I turn the key all the way and when my car actually starts so I think the delay from turning the key all the way turned to start is getting longer.

No cough

My car is a Honda Civic and is 11yrs old, 2007 make. No other problems. I don’t notice any idle problems. I wish it would accelerate faster on the freeway, but I have not noticed a change in acceleration. I get Oil changes regularly. I also had my engine air filter changed a few months ago. Battery was replaced a year ago

I have two suggestions, and I suggest you do them both, not one or the other:

  1. Get your battery tested. Many auto parts stores will test it for free.

  2. Turn the key to the “on” position and wait a few seconds before starting the engine. If the radio is on, turn it off first. In my Civic, I can hear the fuel pump engage and disengage. When you hear it disengage, then start the engine when the fuel system has fully pressurized; it should start right up. This tends to be worse when the fuel tank is low, but it’s a quirk on many small foreign cars like Hondas and Toyotas.

OP says it is getting worse every day, which points to a failing fuel pump, assuming battery (and starter and connections) are OK. But bad battery etc, you should be able to notice that the starter is turning slower than it was.

But the OP is still vague what happens while it is not starting. Is the starter running at normal speed? Or not running at all?

Hi Bill,

No weird sound or anything it is just slow to start. I’m not sure what is meant by starter running at normal speed? Or not running at all?

Hi Bill,

No weird sound or anything it is just slow to start. I’m not sure what is meant by starter running at normal speed? Or not running at all?

Sorry but regardless if it is the battery, charging system, needing a tune-up or whatever, you’re going to have to take it to a shop for a diagnosis and repair.

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Yeah, I’m not willing to assume the battery is okay. I think it’s getting worse everyday because the battery is getting worse.

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…not if the only thing wrong with it is that it needs a new battery. If the OP can’t change out a battery and is short on money, she might consider letting an auto parts store employee do it free of charge (for labor).

To me, this looks like it might be one of those rare circumstances where a shop diagnosis might be unnecessary since the battery can be tested at an auto parts store.

Actually, if this battery is only a year old, it might still be covered by a partial warranty where it was purchased.

Are you saying that you turn the key to start, and then nothing happens for a short amount of time, and then the engine begins to crank and the car starts? And the amount of time that nothing happens is getting longer?

I’d be looking at the ignition switch contacts and the starter relay, if so.

Ashley, listen carefully when you try to start the car.
“just slow to start” is not very helpful.

Normal sequence is:

  1. turn the key to start

  2. immediately hear a whirr-whirr sound, That is the starter.

  3. above sound continues for for a brief time, about a second, then the engine starts (steady roar type sound).

  4. If the starter sound continues for several seconds, then the engine starts, this means a bit of difficulty in starting

  5. If the starter sound continues for 10 or more seconds, then the engine starts, this means a lot of difficulty in starting.

  6. you seem to be stating that you hear no sound for several seconds before the starter noise starts. Is that correct?

Bottom line, this is very difficult to diagnose remotely. As suggested above, take it somewhere that sells batteries and get the battery checked. Or take it to a repair shop.

Point is if the battery is getting more run down every day, it might be more likely to be a charging system issue, if it is in fact a slow cranking issue. I’m not feeling very positive though that the OP would be able to change the battery or for sure the alternator from the description. But then if it is actually taking longer to start, that’s a whole 'nother can of worms. So off to the shop. Cars are not cheap.

To me, it sounds like a battery that is worn out and fading rather than an issue with the charging system. I can always tell when my Civic has a dying battery because it cranks just a little bit slower than usual. If I procrastinate, it gets slower and slower before it dies completely.