Does a Sluggish, Cranking Engine Mean a Failing Engine?

There are many myths about car engines, and one of the most common is that sluggish engine cranking means the engine is on its way to failing. This isn't always true – in fact, there are a few other reasons why your engine might be sluggish.  


In this blog post, we'll discuss what sluggish cranking actually means and when you should start to worry about it.


Scenario #1

If it happens occasionally and you have to keep jumper wires with you as a precaution, the possible causes could be: 

  • Weak battery
  • A poor connection in the starting circuit 
  • A problem in the charging system 
  • The battery is draining while the car's parked.

Pro tip: You should avoid jump-starting your vehicle on your own. It’s best to consult a mechanic. If there’s a mistake on your part, it’s expensive to fix it. 


Also, modern vehicles are susceptible to jump-starting mistakes.



Scenario #2

If it happens only first thing in the morning, then there are two possible causes of slow cranking: 

  • A poor battery
  • Drain in the electrical systems


Scenario #3

If it happens after you’ve driven the car, the possible cause of slow cranking could be: 

  • Faulty starter
  • Charging issue
  • Poor charging


How to Check if There’s a Charging System Issue?


Notice the voltage on the panel or the dome light brightness while keeping the speed a bit above idle. If you see 14 V on the voltmeter and bright light, it’s a good sign. 


However, if it drops to 12 V or lower and dimmer lights, your charging system has problems. 



Why Does Cold Weather Cause Cranking Problems? 


The chemical reaction slows down during the winter season, so less current is produced by the batteries. This is why your car faces power issues since warm weather accelerates the chemical reaction in the car’s battery.


Slow-cranking doesn’t always mean that your battery has issues. Sometimes, it’s just due to cold weather and goes away on its own. However, if your car is taking more than 10 seconds to start, there might be a need to get it checked by the mechanic. 


At Brandon Honda, serving Manatee County, FL, our primary focus is on the overall experience of our customers at our dealership.  


Enjoy our world-class parts and service center, which is open seven days a week. Relax at our Brandon Honda Bistro café and enjoy a fresh meal, nutritious smoothie, or indulgent snack.


Stop by Brandon Honda today and let us raise your car service expectations!

Schedule your service online in minutes. The Brandon Honda Service in Manatee County, FL looks forward to serving you.

February 2, 2022
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