When I start my truck it always starts fairly easily. When I purchased it back in 2007, I was surprised to find that it came with a feature that allowed me to turn the key for a quick moment and then it took over turning over the engine until it started.
You can get your engine to start faster by doing a tune up and adding features such as remote start to aid you in getting your car started. A car engine will start faster under certain weather conditions and when the electrical system is performing well.
Sometimes when I drive someone else's car I notice that the car won't start the first time I turn the key. The crank hold function in my truck isn't used, even in some more modern cars. But many car now have push button start systems, which sometimes functions similar to my truck.
Reasons Why my Car Doesn't Start the First Time
When you're starting your car, it may struggle to start right away. There may be several reasons that a vehicle has difficulty starting the first time. Here are a few of the common reason your car may be experiencing trouble with starting.
Common Reasons A Car Won't Start
1 The Temperature
If the temperature is too cold, the car may struggle to start right away. Consider if your battery is frozen.
2 The Battery
If your battery energy is low, the car may not start as well. A dead battery makes it impossible for the car to start. See link for more information. (Link)
3 The Connection to the Spark Plugs
If the spark plug can't spark well, the engine will struggle to start. The ignition coil may be faulty and not create enough voltage for the spark plugs. Look for aging (wires could have degraded) and consider checking the spark plugs to see if they are bad.
4 Not Enough Fuel
Your engine may not be getting enough fuel, either because the fuel line is clogged or more commonly, your gas tank is about empty. You can replace the fuel filter and check for enough gas.
5 The starter
If your starter has a loose connect or it is starting to fail, the engine will not turn over very well. Tests can be done to check the connections and function. (Link)
6 The Belts
The belt that connects your starter to the engine and alternator can be damaged or worn. Replacing the belt or tightening it can help the car to start better. (Link)
7 Air Flow
If air is not getting to the engine or getting out of the engine, starting could be difficult. Look for loose hoses and check the air filter to see if it is still good.
8 Consider Any Other Conditions You May Have Noticed
If you have heard, smell, or felt something different than normal, check under the hood. There can be several other reasons a car fails to start or has difficulty starting. Check this articles for more information.
Once you have fixed one or more of the issues that cause problems with starting your car, you find it may start much quicker. If it still is having problems starting quickly then you'll need to consider that there is still a condition that need to be fixed first.
Doing a tune up can help you recognize what may be causing the problem. If you look at this article, DYI Tune-Up Guide, it may guide you to a course of action to take. Sometime you know your car better than a mechanic, if you're paying attention to it's various sounds, smell, and vibrations.
If you go to a mechanic to get you car to start faster, be as clear as possible about the conditions during starting your car and how your car operates on a day to day basis. The better grasp you have of the issue and how to explain it, the more likely a mechanic will focus on that detail.
They will usually try to sell you services that you may or may not need. Be prepared for how you will respond, and what you might expect needs to be serviced on your car, so you can make a educated choice about what to do. You can always get a second opinion.
Older Ignitions Vs Modern Ignitions
When you consider how new ignitions work, your car should start the first time you try to start it. If not, then you've probably got some issues that needs to be resolved so your car can start sooner rather than later.
Newer systems tend to be more reliable, needing service less often. But any system can fail if one of the parts has a problems.
Sometimes you can use a OBD2 scanner to check for problems when your car has a hard time starting. If you see the check light on, it's a good idea to have a mechanic check it or do it yourself with a scanner.
Expect to check the ignition coil on older model car, as this may be the reason a car won't start or has difficulty running smooth.
The Differences in Ignition Systems
Traditional / Conventional
(A distributor cap)
When you have an older car, you may have a conventional ignition.
These systems rely on a battery, an ignition coil, a distributor, and the wires with plug caps to cover the spark plugs.
The time to check make sure they are working accurately is about 10,000 miles. Replacing the distributor cap every 50,000 miles is about average.
When you have a newer car, you may have an electronic ignition.
These systems rely on a battery, an electronic ignition module, an armature, and the wires with plug caps to cover the spark plugs.
The time to check make sure they are working accurately is about 25,000 miles. Replacing ignition coils every 75,000 miles is about average.
(Ignition Control Module)
If you have some of the newest cars available, you may have a distributorless ignition.
These systems rely on a battery, an ignition control module, an ignition coils, a crankshaft position sensor, and a camshaft position sensor.
The time to check make sure they are working accurately is about 100,000 miles. Replacing the various parts may be needed from time to time.
To get your car starting quickly, older car need to check the ignition coil and then the distributor cap. The rotor and contact point can wear out and cause problems with spark plug firing. You car may not start quickly when contact points are worn.
All of these different ignition systems also rely on spark plugs. A bad spark plug can slow down your engine from starting quickly, as well.
Should I Install a Push Button Start?
If you are using your keys to start your car, you may need to turn the key and hold it for a few seconds until the engine starts. Some cars may have a crank hold function that cranks the engine for you after you turn the key for half a second. And today, more and more cars have push button starters.
A push button starter can be helpful for security reasons, but does it help you start you car faster? Like my truck, many push button starters will crank the engine until it starts. This can help you get the car started a bit quicker and more efficiently.
Each manufacturer has slightly different push button systems, so you need to make sure you have a good understanding of how they work so you don't have any safety issues, usually found when turning the car engine off. In general, a push button system will be as quick as using a key, but it may be quicker in some instances.
Some of the things to consider when buying a push button kit to install on your car are:
Push Button Install Kit
Push Button Kits Available to Purchase
Installing a push button system for your car may not cause the car to start any quicker. Dealerships that have push button start may also incorporate automatic cranking, which may make the start up faster.
What a push button kit can do is free up the time you need to get out the keys and use them to start and stop the car. This help the process of starting your car become faster. Some systems use an RFID fob, so this will be slower, like having a key.
Consider looking at reviews before buying and check to see if it will meet your specific needs. If you get the right kind, it can make your life easier as you drive each day.
Starting Your Car Quicker
Regular maintenance and following your service manual will help your car to start up quickly most of the time. If weather is a factor where you live, your car will need to be warmer to start quicker or you will need to wait an extra second or so.
Here are some tips for the cold:
Anything you can do to keep your car in a warm garage can help it start better. And if it is outside, it may just take a extra turn of the key to get it going. If it is refusing to start after three attempts to start, consider that one of the issues that were discussed previously in the article may be the problem.
Getting your car to start faster will occur with regular attention to the maintenance of your car. You can consider that there might be a particular issue that is preventing your from starting well. Be sure to be aware of how your car is operating from day to day in order to catch any issue that may be going on with your vehicle.
Getting a push button starter may be an option for some. This provides some features that a key start ignitions don't have, making them a bit faster to start in general. To get your car started fast, be prepare for the weather and any service that needs to be done, and you'll likely have a car that starts up in no time at all.