By October 31, 2007 2 Comments Read More →

Car Hard to Start Sometimes


Dear Austin,

My Grand Prix has approximately 93,000 miles on it. I have two issues that may be related. The car does not always start, but it will if I tap on the gas. Two, when accelerating it makes a loud high pitch whining sound. Once again, it does not do that all of the time, but it has been more prevalent in recent weeks. The sound also reproduces itself when I make slow moving turns.




Hey there Anthony

Thanks for your email. I would have your mechanic check to see if your throttle body is dirty and needs to be cleaned. A dirty throttle body can produce slow starts, dying at idle and slow speeds and erratic idle speed complaints. This is a quick and easy repair that just about any mechanic, even a fast oil change place can do for you. I would start there anyway if you were at my shop. Here is more about dirty throttle bodies on my blog

Throttle Body

You are past due for tune up related items if you have not taken care of them yet, spark plugs, spark plug wires, fuel and air filters. Just being over due for a tune up could also contribute to slow start complaints.

The second problem could be coming from the power steering pump. I would check the p/s fluid level and top off as needed. It does not hold much fluid, so if it is just the slightest bit low it will make a whine noise as you turn the wheels…..worse at slow speeds or when sitting at a stop. With the hood open and the engine running have someone turn the wheel left and right. If the noise is present when the wheel it turned it most likely is a power steering pump problem IF the fluid level is full.

It is not too uncommon on GM cars to have this ps pump whine with your mileage. I have had a few successes with flushing the ps fluid and then reinstalling a synthetic ps fluid….that seems to help, then again some times I have to replace the pump altogether to get the noise to completely go away. The noise won’t hurt anything, it will probably just get worse to the point you will spend the money to repair it or replace it.

BTW I saw your auto insurance quote you forwarded me and your premium amount you are paying, I would recommend you carry a $1,000 deductible the amount of money you will save can be placed in a mutual fund or emergency savings account in case you need it.

You only pay the deductible amount if the accident is your fault and your insurance company paid the claim. You would never want to file a claim that is less than $1,000 anyway because it can cause your future premiums to increase or be canceled. If you have not had a claim in 3-5 years and you carry a $500 deductible….you probably over paid a few thousand bucks!



Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • bjennings

    By the way… whine didn’t happen when I turned the wheel. It was accelerating that I noticed it the most. Drove me crazy and never thought about the power steering because it didn’t happen when I turned hard.

  • bjennings

    Wow. I have been dealing with the same issues. I put new plugs and wires on the car, replaced the air and fuel filter. Still having the same issue. I accidentally came by this post. I will try cleaning the throttle body. As far as the second question. Well, I pulled the alternator off. I was sure that it was whining. Took it to a alternator repair shop. Guy called me and said there was nothing wrong with the bearings. So I put it all back on. Just happen to notice the power steering fill located back behind the alternator. Thought to myself…hmm, I guess I should check that. The freakin thing was not registering on the stick. Put some fluid in and low and behold… whine went away.