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why does my car hesitates to start

8 Reasons Behind Hesitation of A Car

Sometimes, you may see that you are finding difficulty in starting or accelerating your car as it is stopping when you try to start it. No doubt, it is a noticeable problem that should not be left unchecked. You must get it checked by a professional to find the cause behind it and fix it as soon as possible. You can notice that when you step on the gas pedal to accelerate, you will feel that the power has been lost in your engine for some time.

When you go through such a situation, you surely wonder why does my car hesitates to start. If you want to answer this query, it would be best if you go through this guide and learn about the reasons behind this happening. The major reason behind the hesitation of a car is failed spark plugs. There are also many other reasons but you will have to read the complete guide to know about them.

8 reasons why does your car hesitates to start

Let’s have a look at some reasons and happenings why your car hesitates to start:

1. Leakage of Vacuum

When you notice your car hesitates to start with no check engine light, there might be the issue of vacuum leakage. You should check the vacuum hoses present around the engine of your vehicle. If you do not know how to check them, hire a professional mechanic for this purpose.

Your car hesitates when the engine of a car is worn out or damaged badly. The air gets leaked from there which results in low RPM. It would be best to repair them or replace them with new ones that could fix the leakage.

2. Damaged Battery

best car battery
Source: autoguide

Let us tell you that the battery of your vehicle is the one that provides a voltage that plays a vital role in cranking the engine over when the car is not running. Your vehicle will be provided with enough voltage to start but the provided voltage will not be enough for starting it quickly. You will surely find difficulty in starting the engine.

If your car’s battery is damaged, you will see that red light is turned on the present on the dashboard of your car. This warning light shows that there is some issue with any of your car’s parts. So, you must get your car checked including the battery and if the battery is damaged, get it replaced.

3. Inefficient Spark Plug

When the spark plugs of your car are damaged, the car hesitates to start. Let us tell you that the spark plugs fail if the electrical connections of your car’s ignition system are damaged badly. So, if you notice any issue with the spark plug, you should change them immediately.

4. Usage of Low-Quality Fuel

When your car hesitates to start but runs fine, you must check the quality of the fuel you are using. If the fuel is of low quality, you will find difficulty in starting your vehicle. Let us tell you that the spark plugs can get easily damaged due to low-quality fuel due to which your car hesitates to start.

The presence of low-quality fuel in your car’s tank can also clog the injector and can also damage the engine. So, it becomes hard to start the car with low-quality gasoline. In this situation, you should add some fuel additives that will let you start your car without any problem.

5. Bad Air Filters

If the air filters of your car are clogged, broken, or damaged, you will find it hard to start your car smoothly. When the air filter is damaged, the air cannot easily enter the engine. Thus, the lack of air results in making the air filters dirty and clogged.

You can see that the air filters get damaged especially in winter due to high-temperature changes. So, you must check the air filters if your car is hesitating to start. If they are damaged, get them fixed by a professional mechanic or technician.

6. Leakage of Air

When you see that you are trying to start your car but finding difficulty in starting it. In this situation, you wonder why is my car hesitating to start. Let us tell you when there is a leakage of air in your car, your car cannot start smoothly. Moreover, the amount of air needed depends upon the outside temperature. So, if the temperature is low, you need more air to start your car.

7. Low Compression

You can find it hard to start your car or any other vehicle if there is low compression in diesel engines. When you operate your car, varnish contamination, sludge, and carbon deposits are formed inside your vehicle’s engine. No doubt, this process is inevitable. After some time, a situation occurs when the carbon deposits do not let the compression rings work properly.

In this situation, the compression falls. You will see that the pressure has become insufficient that it cannot ignite the fuel mixture. You can prevent this issue before letting it get worse. You can use the method of engine flush for cleaning the carbon buildups and maintaining the compression level.

8. Low-Quality Alternator

When you notice your car is hesitating while starting, the reason behind this happening can be a bad alternator. This issue mostly occurs in limbo. You need to check what kind of voltage is coming from it. It can be done using a machine that can spin it fast to determine the kind of voltage.

You can also use a multimeter for this purpose. No doubt, it is very easy to use a multimeter and check the alternator instead of hiring a professional. If you see that the voltage is under 13 when the vehicle is started, it means that the alternator is not worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does my car hesitate to start?

Your car hesitates to start when the air filters are clogged, the battery is damaged, inefficient fuel is used, etc.

2. What does it mean when your car hesitates to start?

When we say that the car is hesitating to start, it means the car is not starting smoothly and you are finding difficulty in starting it.

3. Why does a car hesitates to start in winter?

Your car hesitates to start in winter because the battery has to struggle hard for providing enough cold cranking amperage.

4. What is the major factor on which the hesitation of a car depends?

The type of the engine is the major factor on which the hesitation of a car depends. Moreover, it also depends on different situations such as warming up of the engine.


When you feel that your car is not working properly and you are finding difficulty in starting it, it would be best if you take your car to a technician and fix the issue. If you want to know about the reasons behind this happening, we are here for you. There are many reasons behind this happening such as the damaged battery, use of low-quality gasoline, damaged air filters, inefficient spark plugs, air leaks, etc.

If you have some knowledge about these parts of your car, you can fix them yourself. But if you do not have any idea about them, you must take your car to a professional. You will notice that your car hesitates to start especially in cold weather because the battery cannot work properly under such temperatures.

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