We've got a 2004 Toyota Corolla 'S' that, ever since we acquired it years ago, has problems starting when it is refueled. Basically, the engine will crank for a few seconds before finally taking off. All other times, the car is fine - first crank and fires right up.

We've never had a problem with it where it wouldn't start, just takes a few cranks.

I've never looked for any answers before, and therefore have never tried anything.

Any ideas?

If you need more information on the car, let me know

  • Is the check engine light on? When you refuel, do you top it off or stop when the gas pump stops automatically?
    – Tim
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 14:19
  • @Tim Check Engine Light is off, never top off. Commented May 7, 2012 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


One thing to check is the EVAP system. If your gas tank is overfilled you may be getting some fuel in the charcoal canister.

First, make sure when your refuel, don't overfill your tank by trying to 'round up' to the next dollar, stop when the pump handle shuts off.

Some other things to check may be your refuel check valve and fuel cutoff valve (car_start_right_away_after_refueling). Another possibility is the EVAP purge valve. If the purge valve is stuck open it can let fuel vapors into the engine while the engine is off, essentially flooding the engine. However, if any of those are the culprit, you would most likely have a Check Engine Light on.

  • These sound very promising. I would, at a minimum, upvote the answer for now, but I can't due to limited rep. Commented May 7, 2012 at 16:35
  • Not directly related, but make sure your check engine light still works. Most cars will light all of the indicator lights as a test with the key-on, engine-off. If the bulb is burned out, you may have a code stored and not know it.
    – Mobius
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 16:44
  • One other thing that I have seen cause issues in the past is the fuel tank cap. Here are a couple of things to look for.
    – Tim
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 17:52

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