Starting a car, and then immediately turning it off

I know someone who likes to test the condition of their car by turning it on, then off again after a few seconds, so he can listen and see how easy it is to start. For example a year ago he told me he had a bad battery/his car sometimes wouldn’t start, so while I was in that car with him he started the car then turned it off right way to just reassure him that the car would start. I told him then he’s making the problem worse by doing that since he’s not giving his alternator a chance to recharge it, but he didn’t seem to believe me. Recently he had a car he was borrowing since his car was being repaired. His loaner car was really struggling to start, cranking for a while before its engine would turn on. I was seeing him test it a few times in a row (starting, then turning it off immediately) so he could just listen to how difficult it was to start. It made me cringe seeing that since it seemed like he was making the car even more difficult to start in the future, so I said something similar to what I told him a year back, but he didn’t seem to want to hear it. I tried doing an internet-search to see if there was any commentary on this kind of behavior, but wasn’t able to find anything, so that’s why I thought it may be better to post my first time on this forum.

This is indeed unusual behavior. I expect he/she understands already, but as a need of some kind to do it anyway. Does this person show any other signs of obsessive compulsive disorder? It is like if you were worried about your bottle of beer getting empty, so you took a swig every few minutes to make sure there was some left. Doesn’t make sense, but you enjoy the swigs of beer.

I agree with @georgesanhose

Sounds like OCD. I once worked at a pizza parlor and at the end of every day the owner would spend at least a minute checking the door handle to make sure it was locked before we left, Sometimes he would unlock the door open it and relock it, then I would check it as well.

That guy needs a dope slap along side the head.

Not only is he wearing the battery down because the charging system doesn’t come on line long enough to recharge the discharged battery from using the starter, he’s also wearing out the starter faster. And if he does this with engine cold, he’s contaminating the oil with gas because the rich fuel mixture doesn’t have a chance burn off.

What an idiot!


I have a 2 stroke rototiller that can be hard to start. You better believe that once I get it going, I don’t stop it to see if I can restart it.

Sounds only slightly more useful than testing all your matches to see if they work.