I have a 2004 Toyota Tazz and very occasionally the engine won't start. It'll turn over and sound like it's starting, but won't start. Then I'll try again and it will start fine. This has probably happened twice in the past 6 months. I always just took for granted that sometimes starting doesn't work and never really thought otherwise, but today it happened again and I realized that what I was taking as normal may be an actual problem. My car gets serviced regularly and doesn't have any other major issues. Apart from being 12 years old.

So is it reasonable for a (old!) car to not start the first try on occasion and still be considered fine? Or is there something wrong with my car?

  • 1
    When the car doesn't start, how long do you crank it before you give up? When you stop cranking it (give up), how long is it before you "try again"? When you "try again" what happens? Does it fire right up? This doesn't happen very often and only started happening about 6 months ago (did I get that right)? Anything else you can tell us about the behavior when it doesn't want to start? How long does it sit between last running and won't start? Is that a normal period of time? How many miles (or KM) on your Tazz? Ever had a tune up (plugs/O2 sensors)? May 14, 2016 at 13:00
  • Other variables? Engine hot or cold? Weather/temperature?
    – George
    May 14, 2016 at 15:56
  • In the absence of any clarifying comments, I'd point the finger at a fuel pump that's on its way out... but hard to say, without Paulster's questions being answered.
    – PeteCon
    May 14, 2016 at 16:22
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sorry, I didn't get the notification for some reason. The process is literally 1) turn key, (2) it turns over but doesn't take. (3) turn key back. (4) turn key and hold it there a bit longer. (5) car starts. So "try again" occurs right after the failure. I've noticed it happening over the past 6 months, it may have once or twice before that; can't remember. 180000km. Today, it was 1/2 an hour between running and not starting. I don't know what a tune up is? I usually take it to be serviced every 10000km.
    – user17336
    May 14, 2016 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't say that the car is fine but I wouldn't say that it has something horribly wrong. It could be the signs of a part of the fuel system failing. This could be anything from the pump, filter, pressure relief valve, or injectors. Maybe check your owner's manual to see when they recommend you swapping any of these parts out. If you are past due on any of those parts I would include that in your next service.

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