Starting my car

I just purchased a 2003 Chevy Impala. It has about 101,000 miles on it and it’s the LS version. I have noticed that when I turn the key there is a sound and all the lights and warning stuff on the dash cycle through, I then turn the key the rest of the way and car starts right up. The other day I didn’t pause and the car made a very funny sound when it went to start and I turned the key off. I waited a moment, then turn the key to where all the lights signal and process through then I turned it the remaning way and it started without issue. When starting this car is it best to allow the warning lights and such cycle through then continue to turn the key to turn it on or is there something wrong with my starter?

Sounds as if it glitched. You should not have to pause to allow the system test. I would try just going straight to start and see if it happens again. The ignition key feeds the PCM which turns on the crank relay under the hood. The crank relay the turns on the starter. You could swap out the crank relay if it happens again.

It probably isn’t necessary to do so, but I learned a habit from driving heavy machinery of letting the fuel pressure build up before starting the engine. If you pause with the key in the “on” position, and listen closely, you might hear the fuel pump engage and disengage. Once it’s disengaged, go ahead and start the engine. If you don’t hear it, it’s still probably happening, you just can’t hear it, so waiting a few seconds to start the car might help.

You might notice this is unnecessary when the tank is full of fuel, and it’s only necessary when your fuel is below half a tank. Still, I notice my car starts a little faster if I let the fuel system pressurize before cranking the engine, so in my mind, I’m preserving the life of the starter. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

At 101000 you may well have an injector leaking off pressure after the car is shut off. When you turn the key to the on position you are giving the fuel pump time to pressurize the system and the car starts easily.

Another idea, when you turn the key to “on” there’s probably an engine main relay or two that kick on. One of those relays may be sticking a little, so if you turn the key from “on” to “start” too quickly you end up trying to start the cranking process when the engine thinks it is is still off.