Car Repair and Maintenance

12 Reasons Car struggles to Start in the Morning [Fixed]

Starting your car in the morning should be a smooth and effortless experience, but if your car struggles to start in the morning, it can be a frustrating issue. Whether your car takes longer than usual to start, cranks slowly, or simply won’t start at all, there are a few potential causes that could be at play. We will go through the common reasons why your car might struggle to start in the morning and provide some tips on how to fix them.

Car struggles to start in the morning: causes & fix

Car struggles to start in the morning

When you have a car that does not start right away, you may wonder why this is happening. The following are fixes for the reasons why the car struggles to start in the morning:

  1. Low fuel level

During the colder months, you should keep the fuel tank at least half filled. A small amount of gas condenses more easily than a full tank due to the low temperature. Generally, when temperature decreases, the rate of condensation increases because a lower temperature means that more molecules are moving more slowly—American Chemical Society.

As a result, if the oil level falls too low, condensation can cause the fuel line to freeze, preventing fuel from reaching the engine. Due to this, your car struggles to start in the morning especially when it is cold.

How to fix:

If your dashboard’s low fuel warning light illuminates, you should go to a fuel station right away.

While it may be tempting to squeeze every last drop of fuel out of your tank when the empty light illuminates, you should never allow your fuel tank to sit below a quarter full.

  1. Car battery failure

A failing car battery is one of the most common reasons car struggles to start in the morning. Each battery has a life span that is about to expire, thus, the battery clamps are loose, or the connections are extremely unclean. But, most of the time, experts believe it is due to a dead battery.

How to fix:

If your car battery is bad, you should take your vehicle to a professional mechanic and have it inspected.

  1. Malfunctioning starter

The purpose of a car starter is to harness the power of the vehicle’s battery. After inserting the key into the ignition switch and turning it, the starter cranks the engine to allow the piston to produce suction and draw the gasoline and air mixture into the cylinder.

Having a bad starter can also make your car experience difficulty when starting. In this scenario, you should inspect the starter when you turn the ignition switch and nothing occurs, or the car turns over slowly with feeble dash lights.

How to fix:

Oftentimes, the quick fix for a bad starter is tapping it. Jumpstarting your car by pushing or with jumper cables will get it back on the road, but you’ll need to get the problem diagnosed by a competent mechanic.

  1. Failed solenoid

The solenoid looks like a coil of wire in a cylinder and is a part that connects the battery and the starter so that electricity can flow from the battery to the starter.

Damaged or worn out will cause the car struggles to start in the morning. If there is no sound from the engine when you turn the key, the solenoid is most likely bad.

How to fix:

The technique for fixing this is straightforward; simply examine whether electricity is flowing from the battery to the starter.

Check the condition of your battery. A starting diagnosis will help you determine whether the problem is with the motor or the solenoid. If the second one fails, get a replacement.

  1. Faulty ignition switch

The ignition switch is one common reason why a car struggles to start in the morning. It can degrade with time, so you will need to replace it when it stops working. If the switch is hot to the touch, the wiring may be bad.

But before spending money to fix a worn ignition switch, you should do a thorough check to find out what is wrong.

Heavy key chains are the most common cause of this problem. Holding weighty and keepsake key chains for an extended time surely wears down the ignition switch. As a result, it’s recommended that you keep your car key on a different chain.

How to fix:

In most cases, replacing an ignition switch or component is a simple repair with labor prices ranging from $75 to $150. If despite best efforts, the key would not turn, labor costs will escalate since removal normally necessitates turning the cylinder.

  1. Bad fuel pump

To get fuel into the engine block of modern cars, a highly pressurized fuel distribution system is required.

If your battery and starter sound normal, but the engine isn’t igniting any fuel, it’s possible that the engine lost fuel pressure. When this happens, the first thing to look for is a bad fuel pump.

If the fuel pump fails, there may not be enough pressure to get the gas into the engine at all. It may also let air into the fuel lines, causing the fuel-air combination to be disrupted and the gasoline to fail to ignite.

How to fix

To begin, we strongly advise taking the car to a professional mechanic to get the problem thoroughly resolved. In the instance of a bad or damaged fuel pump, the best remedy is to just replace it. Even if you fix the fuel pump without a replacement, continuing to run a bad fuel pump can hurt your car’s performance.

  1. Damaged or bad spark plugs

Damage to the spark plugs is often the main reason why a car struggles to start in the morning. This is because the spark plugs starts the combustion that is needed to start your car and make sure that the compressed air and fuel mix burns smoothly.

How to fix:

If you detect this problem, contact an auto repair shop to get the spark plugs replaced. Misfires, hard starts, poor gas mileage, rough idling, and a lack of acceleration are all symptoms of faulty spark plugs.

  1. Thick oil

Low temperatures and not changing the oil at the correct time might cause the fuel to thicken.

A condensed liquid, as you know, cannot flow swiftly. Because there isn’t much oil in the fuel line or the engine, the engine has to be pushed around a lot to spin and start.

How to fix:

If you don’t want your car to have trouble starting in the morning after sitting overnight, you should change the oil filter on a regular basis. It gathers dust and dirt over time, which can get into the oil and engine and make them both dirty.

  1. Dirty fuel filter

The fuel filter performs just what its name suggests: it filters the fuel. Yet, in the course of doing so, the filter can become extremely dirty or even blocked with all of the debris and muck that it prevented from entering the engine.

If the filter becomes sufficiently clogged, it can interrupt the fuel pressure and impair the vehicle’s ability to operate smoothly or start.

How to fix:

You can clean and reuse it if it’s constructed from metal and isn’t too grimy. But before you begin, release the pressure in your fuel system and unhook the battery. Take the filter from the fuel lines and clean it with a solvent. Let it dry for an hour before reinstalling it, reconnecting your battery, and starting your engine.

  1. Cold temperature

The commonest reason why your car is hard to start in the morning is due to the cold temperature. When it’s cold, engine oil gets thicker, which makes it harder to pump and makes your engine work harder.

Cold weather can also have an impact on the strength of the current from your engine’s battery. Also, it may take longer for the fuel injectors to give the engine enough fuel to burn.

How to fix:

To fix this issue, simply allow yourself a little more time to get out of the door on a truly cold day so your engine can warm up. You could also park your car in a garage instead of an open driveway to prevent the temperature from lower extremes.

  1. Clogged fuel injector

The fuel injectors can also get clogged. If debris gets into the tip of the fuel injector, it can drastically affect the direction or pressure of the fuel pumped into the engine. Such interruptions can alter the air-fuel combination and prevent it from igniting.

How to fix:

There are two methods for cleaning the fuel injectors. The most basic is to purchase a fuel additive and pour it into the petrol tank. Let it circulate in the fuel system and allow the chemicals to do their work.


Why does my car not start after sitting overnight?

Your car won’t start after sitting overnight because when the fuel pump fails, the pressure begins to drop even while the engine is turned off.

Why is my car hard to start on cold mornings?

When temperatures drop below freezing, your vehicle’s battery may undergo a chemical reaction that results in reduced electrical current output. Compared to warm batteries, cold batteries generate less power, and this is a frequent cause of car starting problems.

Why does my car struggle to start but runs fine?

If your battery and starter appear to be functioning properly but your engine fails to ignite the fuel, your engine has probably lost fuel pressure. In such cases, the initial step should be to examine the fuel pump.


It is a common issue if your car struggles to start in the morning. A weak battery, dirty spark plugs, a faulty starter motor, and low fuel pressure are some of the possible culprits. Proper maintenance of these components and regular check-ups can prevent such issues from arising.

Ultimately, take care to park the car in a covered area or garage during cold weather, and using a block heater can also aid in starting the car more easily.

Latest posts by Bernard Juchli (see all)

Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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