Need help/mechanic in St. Louis

Left work Friday and went to a happy hour. I’ve been having no trouble with my car at all. When I left the bar an hour and a half later, my car wouldn’t start. It was trying to turn over, but it was like it just wouldn’t catch. Wasn’t the typical “slow” starting noise, either, or the “clicks” - engine sounded fine, just wouldn’t catch to fully start.

Jumped it and it started immediately, and I drove it home fine, but noticed that the “Check Engine” light was on.

Got up Saturday morning and went to try it out and it started right away - no problem. Showered, went back out a few hours later, and again it started fine. Drove to Target, was there for about an hour. Went back out to my car, and the first try it was the same thing as the night before. The second time I tried it, the engine started.

I’m thinking it’s not the battery, but I don’t know enough to know for sure. The last time my Check Engine light came on, a few years back, I think it was the O2 sensor. I’m brand new to the St. Louis area, so I don’t have a mechanic out here I trust yet, so I’d like to know what I’m most likely looking at when I bring it somewhere.

And if anyone’s got any good mechanic recommendations in St. Louis, I’d be happy to listen. Thanks.

First, help yourself and go to AutoZone or Advance Auto. They can test your battery and alternator and do it for free. Second, if the check out OK, then go to mechanics files on Car Talk home page and put in your zip code. You should get some recommendations for good mechanics near you.

While you are there have them pull the codes that set the check engine light. Then post the code number, not their description, back here and someone should be able to help. They will check them for free if your car is 1996 or newer. or if it has the OBD II system.

It would also help to know what year, make, model and engine size you have.