Slow Start--2008 Toyota Yaris 2-door Hatchback

I bought a 2008 toyota yaris last year from the dealership when it was returned from a lease. It has been running really well, couldn’t be happier with this little car. I purchased the extended warranty protection since I live far away from my Dad who would normally be my car guru.

I live in Los Angeles, where the weather is practically perfect, but today when I was leaving for yoga, I had trouble starting my car. I’ve had problems with starting when I lived in snowy Buffalo, NY, but now I’m in weather-heaven and very puzzled about what the problem could be.

After turning the key for 2-3 seconds the car finally starts and once it starts is runs fine, no service lights come on, no issues with lights, no sputtering, no stalling. My Toyota dealership isn’t open until tomorrow morning, but I have an appointment at 7am.

Any suggestions about what this could be and if I drive the car anywhere else today (10/02/11) is there a risk I’ll not be able to start it at all? And end up needed a tow?

I am on a tight budget (I am an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer) and want to know if this could be an electrical issue or something else that my extended warranty would cover versus something that is considered wear and tear and would come out of my pocket?

Thank you so much for your help (and thanks from my Dad too, who isn’t near his phone today)!

How many miles on the odometer?
What is the maintenance history of the vehicle since you bought it?
Did you get copies of the maintenance done by the previous owner?

Thanks for the reply!

About 30,000 miles. The maintenance history is solid. I take excellent care of the car, confirmed by my mechanics. The person before me was leasing through the dealership where I bought it and all the maintenance is in the online records at my Toyota dealership. I got it two days after the lessee returned it, but it was checked out before I purchased. The mechanics told me that whoever had the car before me took really great care of it, probably because it was being leased and they didn’t want to have any trouble once it was returned.