Pressing gas when starting automatic

Does pressing the gas while starting an automatic transmission car cause any problems? My husband does this all the time, because he says it makes the car start quicker. It takes several turns before it starts when I start it without pressing the gas.

It doesn’t cause any problem, the problem is already there. Start with a tune-up: air filter, spark plugs…

Fuel injected vehicles don’t require that the accelerator be depressed when starting. The only time the accelerator should be depressed while starting is if the engine is in a flooded condition. Other than that, stay off the accelerator.


Your husband is still using habits left over from the old days when cars all had carburettors. Then it was necessary to depress the gas pedal once to set the choke properly. It is no longer necessary with modern fuel injected cars. Hmmm… maybe you have an older car that still has a carburettor? Let us know.

Dear Goddess; your husband is living in the past! When cars had carburetors with accelerator pumps, you pressed the gas pedeal down to get more gas into the engine for quicker cold startting. With fuel injection on all modern cars (since early 1990s)this is not necessary. As others have poited out, IF the car does not start quickly it needs to be looked at by a competent mechanic. Bad plugs, clogged injectors, dirty air filter or other problems could be the cause.

But, as you say, you can sart it easily without pressing the gas. I own two cars that have specific instructions NOT TO PRESS THE GAS PEDAL while starting. Only if the engine is flooded (too much gas in it) do you hold down the pedal to clear the gas out and get more air in.

Several turns is about right for a good car to start.

It depends on the car. Newer cars are all fuel injected. Pressing the gas pedal on one of these can cause some hard starting due to too much gas getting into the cylinders prior to start. Your method of starting is the preferred method on a fuel injected engine. But, if your husband’s method works better, then go for it. At least with this particular car.

I’ll second that. Gotta be careful now with throttle by wire becoming more common but on a mechanical throttle, pressing the pedal opens the throttle plate and leans out the mixture. On a marginally operating ignition, leaky fuel supply or restricted air flow, doing so can help it to start quicker. Start with the basics mentioned. If the problem persists, you may need to look deeper.


A lot of husbands pass gas while starting without causing problems for the car, albeit some discomfort for the passengers.

You got that right Doc. Old habits die hard. I still turn the key and wait a few seconds like I did with the diesel for the wait light to go off and I haven’t owned it for ten years.

If your vehicle is a newer, fuel injected model, the delay when YOU are starting it may be that you’re not letting the fuel pump presurize the injectors. Do you insert the key and then turn straight to “Start”? Try turning the key to the detent just before “Start” and listen for a humming sound from the rear of the car. When it stops, your injectors are pressurized and you can then turn to “Start” probably with less “crank=-overs” than your hubby.