Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting? - Honda-Tech

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Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:31 PM   #1
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Default Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

It must be a honda thing?? All three hondas i've owned did it.

This one, my '98 HX, on the first start of the day will crank for an obnoxiously long period of time before turning over. What gives?

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

All of my Hondas start(ed) right up. Maybe it needs an ignition tune-up?
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

It only seems to do this when cold? But my del sol did the same thing, and everything on that car is brand new. Though it seems like my extended cranking on the Sol is gone since I've been driving it more often?
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

It's still doing this. Could the plugs not be gapped correctly and cause this?
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

Is it getting fuel?
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

Pretty sure. It seems as though it cranks and cranks and cranks, so I stop cranking for a few seconds, try again, and either it will do the same thing or it will start up. I would think its getting fuel but dunno
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

Its cold outside, your battery is probably old or does not have enough "cold cranking amps" to beat the super cold weather. I bet when its warm it starts fine ????

When you crank and crank, the Alternator adds a little bit of juice to the net system, as long as your battery has a strong charge then typically you will get just enough spark to get it to fire up after a couple tries.

Upgrade your battery to more cold cranking amps and you should be fine.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

I've noticed it actually does it any time it wants, the car doesn't necessarily have to be stone cold.

My buddy suggested the same thing about the battery. Even if it's cranking really fast and all that, you think it may still not have enough cca?
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

Try switching your key to the "on" position and hold it for a few seconds. Then start your car. Does it crank right over? Or does it still crank and crank?
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

I'll get back to ya on that
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

I don't think this is a battery related issue. If you click it into the 'on' position, can you hear the fuel pump make a whirring type of noise? If you hear it, then your fueling system should be pressurized. Otherwise, it could be something with your ignition. Do some tests for spark and check your fuel pressure if you can.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

Doubt I can check fuel pressure, but could it be because the wrong plugs and wrong gap are in it? I haven't checked to verify yet, but I have a feeling they are messed up.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

Your plug gap being off is not going to stop a car from turning on. It would just run poorly. But do what i said in the last post and listen for your fuel rail being pressurized. Try to do a spark test after and see if you're getting spark. There is a tool that checks this you can buy at an autoparts store maybe. You take out the spark plug wire and plug one end into the wire and then the other on the spark plug and it checks your spark. there is a screwdriver method as well.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

^You probably know more about hondas than I do, BUT with my gst I used to have, if the gap was off or you weren't running the very special plugs it needed, NOTHING ran right. Hell, even the brakes didn't work with the wrong plug/gap!

I really think that if the gap is SO far out, it might have trouble igniting sometimes. So I'm gonna check it out and I'll report back my results.

I'll listen for the fuel system pressurization also.

Whats weird is, often times when I pull into my parking spot the car will just shut off and die.. and SOMETIMES at a red light it will just die. I wonder if this is all related.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

My car does this it seems like randomly. Sometimes it starts right up, even in the cold and sometimes it has to crank a bunch before starting. My old roommates civic did the same thing.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

^You guys never figured out what the problem was? Because My del sol used to do it all the time.. and It seems like all I did to make it go away was drive it more often..
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:12 AM   #17
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

Try to check your fuel filter..
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:13 AM   #18
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

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^You guys never figured out what the problem was?
We're here to help, but we can't do that if you can't even help yourself. Have you even done what I told you to do?
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:23 AM   #19
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

my car does the same thing. in the morning i turn my key to "on" to turn on the fuel pump. then shut it off. turn it on again and then it starts right up... in my car if it sits for a long time the fuel driains back into the tank....
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:24 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

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Originally Posted by tercel95 View Post
My car does this it seems like randomly. Sometimes it starts right up, even in the cold and sometimes it has to crank a bunch before starting. My old roommates civic did the same thing.
I've owned like 6 civics and I have one now currently that does that exact same thing, I don't think its weather or battery related, I never figured out what does it!
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:37 AM   #21
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

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Originally Posted by Jonathan_ED3 View Post
Try switching your key to the "on" position and hold it for a few seconds. Then start your car. Does it crank right over? Or does it still crank and crank?
^^^This. Gotta prime the fuel pump. Every civic I've ever driven didn't like to start right away if it was below 1/4 tank of gas. They would crank 6-7 times before starting. But if I turned the key to the on position for 2-3 seconds before starting, they would all start right up, every time.

Never figured out why, but mine did it fresh from the dealer with 7000 miles on it.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:47 AM   #22
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

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^^^This. Gotta prime the fuel pump. Every civic I've ever driven didn't like to start right away if it was below 1/4 tank of gas. They would crank 6-7 times before starting. But if I turned the key to the on position for 2-3 seconds before starting, they would all start right up, every time.

Never figured out why, but mine did it fresh from the dealer with 7000 miles on it.
That would be crazy if it was only that, I'll give it a try!
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:01 AM   #23
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

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Originally Posted by Vindicator9000 View Post
^^^This. Gotta prime the fuel pump. Every civic I've ever driven didn't like to start right away if it was below 1/4 tank of gas. They would crank 6-7 times before starting. But if I turned the key to the on position for 2-3 seconds before starting, they would all start right up, every time.

Never figured out why, but mine did it fresh from the dealer with 7000 miles on it.
I always do this and my car always starts on the second crank. If I just try to start it after sitting for a couple days, it cranks a few times before starting.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:05 AM   #24
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

if it gets cold like it does here then you need to get a block heater, if you already have one then plug it in for a hour or so before you try to start it up.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:45 AM   #25
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Default Re: Why does my car crank and crank and crank before starting?

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Originally Posted by t_mac View Post
if it gets cold like it does here then you need to get a block heater, if you already have one then plug it in for a hour or so before you try to start it up.
Although a block heater is a good idea in cold areas, I've never had a problem with slow starts and I suspect that it's colder here than where you are.
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