I recently bought an 02 Chrysler sebring (4 cyl) When cold, it takes about 5-10 secs of cranking for engine to start. Is that normal?

No, it isn’t normal, and it could simply be the result of lax maintenance, such as spark plugs that are overdue for replacement, and/or spark plug wires that need to be replaced (assuming that this engine has spark plug wires). Or, it could be related to a malfunctioning temperature sensor, or…

Since you recently bought the car, it is important to make sure that all of the car’s maintenance is up to date. If you don’t have hard copies of maintenance records, then–unfortunately–you have to assume that no maintenance has ever been done, and you need to do all of the maintenance that is listed for the major maintenance interval closest to the current odometer mileage. Typically, the major maintenance intervals are 30k, 60k, 90k, 120k, 150k, etc.

Pay particular attention to any mention of timing belt replacement on the 90k or 120k maintenance lists. The timing belt has nothing to do with your starting problem, but when that belt snaps, you will wish that slow starts were your biggest problem.

You didn’t mention if the Check Engine Light is lit up, but if it is, you need to begin the repair process by having the stored trouble codes read (gratis) at an auto parts store, such as Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly, or (possibly) Napa. Then, come back to this thread and post the exact codes (similar to P0123) so that we can provide more specific advice.

Another possible issue is the check valve in the fuel pump is leaking and fuel is draining bad into the tank while the car is parked.

It’s also possible that the valve lash is too tight, and needs to be adjusted

If that is the case, the car will have low compression

Seen it before

thank u all 4 ur sage advice. I will b diligent on maintenance, will have those parts looked at and will advise later as to results. I recognize the value of good maintenance but the car is 11 yrs old and I don’t want to invest mucho dollars into this venture. Have a great day!