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Long crank, slow to start, rough start in humid warm weather

I own a brand new 2008 Mazda3s. I bought it in April when the temps were cool. I had no problems with this car until the weather warmed up.

After sitting for sometimes as short as 15 minutes on warm humid days, my new car with ~5000 miles on it, wouldn’t want to start.

The dealership was able to replicate the problem when the temps are warm and humid, it has to be humid for this to happen. The computer did not show any code for anything being wrong.

They first replaced the throttle body, this didn’t work.

They have been conferring with the techs at Mazda for the past month. The repairmen at the dealer have taken all of the electronic components off of my car and swapped one at a time onto another 2008 Mazda 3s to see if they could get that car to have the same starting problem. That didn’t work either.

Then the guys a Mazda told the dealership to replace my brand new engine, remember my car only has 5000 miles on it. After the new engine was in, the temps and humidity back up, long crank slow to start. They are stumped.

I am now requesting a new car. The car has been at the dealer for a total of 30 calendar days, which qualifies for the lemon law here in Vermont.

Any advice?

Take the new car. Change dealers. If the car has hard failures, as you indicate, those mechanics don’t have a clue in troubleshooting techniques. Hopefully, the mechanics at another dealer have more clues.

Continue to press your claim under the Lemon Law, and hopefully you will prevail. I don’t know the exact terms of the Lemon Law in your state, but in some jurisdictions, the manufacturer has the option of buying the car back from you, rather than giving you a new car. A buyback would likely not give you the original purchase price. Hopefully you can get a replacement new car, rather than a buyback.

I heard back from the head of the dealership last night. They are going to replace my car. I won’t loose anything, other than having to get it inspected again since I bought it in a different state. The dealer has been pretty good through this, the servicemen were just following orders.

I’m glad to hear that they are giving you a new car, and that nothing is loose.


Wow, what a tale! While the techs may not be rocket scientists, at least the dealership is doing the right thing and getting Mazda to get you a new car. I’ll bet they’ll be scratching their heads over this one for quite a while.

ALL cars will have problems. How I judge a dealership is what they do when the cars they sell do have problems. Sounds to me like you found a good dealer.

I want to be on the mechanics’ side. Too many people, dealers, service writers, and car maker representatives seem to think that a “productive” mechanic is one who can change parts with efficiency and speed. It’s true that this ability is needed; but, it is just as important to know when NOT to change parts.

So, part of the fault for why more troubleshooting isn’t performed, and why more parts are (experimentally) changed is that customers, service writers, dealers, and car maker representatives don’t provide INCENTIVES (support, pay, time) for troubleshooting. Troubleshooting doesn’t appear productive. Until that emphasis is changed, mechanics don’t have much choice in to change parts, or to troubleshoot.

I don’t want you to get the idea that I think the techs were incompetent in this case. They were just following orders from above. Your point about incentives is well-taken.