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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been trying to figure out this problem for quite some time... about a year now. How this started out was the car kept turning over but never starting. If I fed it some gas, it would help start it. I eventually took it in, they ran some diagnostic but said they couldn't figure out what the issue was... they were torn between the starter and the fuel pump but could not see any issues with either. I ended up buying some fuel cleaner, and the issue sort of went away.

Fast forward to a month ago, and when I get in and turn the key, there's a delay in the car turning over, but it eventually turns over and starts. This started progressing to a longer delay, and then today, I would turn the key and nothing would happen, other than the electronics were on. I figured it was the battery because it was still the stock battery... replaced it, and still it wouldn't start. At this point, I figured it was the starter, so I called a tow truck.

When the tow truck arrived, the driver hopped in and started it just fine. There was about an hour in between it not starting to it starting. I have since started it several times and was able to drive it just fine. So now I'm wanting it to take it in, but I'm torn between starter and fuel pump. To me, the first issue really seems more like a fuel issue, but now, when the car doesn't turn over, that seems more like a starter issue. I'm wondering if there have been any known issues like this with the 2011 Elantra, or if this sounds like a common problem for a car this age? Also wondering if a fuel flush would help.

Any comments would be appreciated, and if something needs clarified, please let me know.
 

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It does seems like your starter could be on its last leg. I would first make sure all the cable connections from the alternator to the battery to the starter and the ground are all nice and tight. You can get a free test from AZ to see the status of the battery, alternator and starter. But if its working now maybe it won't show anything from their test. When it fails to start again, hit the starter with a screw driver or hammer several times and see if it starts. I would get ready for a new one though. There are test you can do on the starter just google it if you are inclined to do so.

Dosing your gas tank with techron concentrate plus fuel system cleaner (1oz/gal of gas) at least 2X a year is healthy for your fuel system. You can do 2 - 3 in a row to clear carbon deposits. No fuel flush. Don't waste your money. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It does seems like your starter could be on its last leg. I would first make sure all the cable connections from the alternator to the battery to the starter and the ground are all nice and tight. You can get a free test from AZ to see the status of the battery, alternator and starter. But if its working now maybe it won't show anything from their test. When it fails to start again, hit the starter with a screw driver or hammer several times and see if it starts. I would get ready for a new one though. There are test you can do on the starter just google it if you are inclined to do so.

Dosing your gas tank with techron concentrate plus fuel system cleaner (1oz/gal of gas) at least 2X a year is healthy for your fuel system. You can do 2 - 3 in a row to clear carbon deposits. No fuel flush. Don't waste your money. Good luck.
Thanks for your response. So you don't think it's the fuel pump or anything in the fuel system? Even if pressing the accelerator helped start it, that could still mean the starter? I've been looking for a good fuel system cleaner, so I will definitely give that a shot, thanks.
 

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sounds like its fuel pump. Starters will go when it makes a clicking sound. It does not do that, as it gets past the starter point and dies afterwards. When you say you have to give it gas, that normally means its fuel pump..not starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
sounds like its fuel pump. Starters will go when it makes a clicking sound. It does not do that, as it gets past the starter point and dies afterwards. When you say you have to give it gas, that normally means its fuel pump..not starter.
But if I turn the key and the engine doesn't turn over, wouldn't that imply starter, or can the fuel pump affect that?
 

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You may have more than one issue with the vehicle.
First, clean off the terminals at the starter and battery
Clean battery posts (both pos and neg).
This eliminates possible corrosion or high resistance at those contact points
If the engine still doesn't crank then starter would be indicated
Take a volt meter and test the voltage to the starter
Don't forget to check the ground also

Locate the fuel pump relay.
Check the relay and its socket.
Plenty of youtube videos that explain what to do and what not to do.
Danger is in one of the terminals goes to the ECU
You don't want to break the ECU. Very expensive to replace.
Should be able to crank engine and see if there is voltage going to the fuel pump.
If there is voltage at the fuel pump then not starting, the fuel pump becomes suspect.

If it cranks but doesn't start
Don't forget to do the basics
Check for fuel pump prime sound
Check for spark
Check for injector pulse
 

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I've been trying to figure out this problem for quite some time... about a year now. How this started out was the car kept turning over but never starting. If I fed it some gas, it would help start it.
This tells me it's either a fuel or a spark issue, leaning toward fuel since you stated you "fed it" some gas and it started.


Fast forward to a month ago, and when I get in and turn the key, there's a delay in the car turning over, but it eventually turns over and starts. This started progressing to a longer delay, and then today, I would turn the key and nothing would happen, other than the electronics were on. I figured it was the battery because it was still the stock battery... replaced it, and still it wouldn't start. At this point, I figured it was the starter, so I called a tow truck.
Explain this delay? Slow engine turn over? Or just a "pause" when you tried to start, nothing then turns over? I'd check connections and load test battery. Including connections to starter. Maybe have starter bench tested.

When the tow truck arrived, the driver hopped in and started it just fine. There was about an hour in between it not starting to it starting. I have since started it several times and was able to drive it just fine. So now I'm wanting it to take it in, but I'm torn between starter and fuel pump. To me, the first issue really seems more like a fuel issue, but now, when the car doesn't turn over, that seems more like a starter issue. I'm wondering if there have been any known issues like this with the 2011 Elantra, or if this sounds like a common problem for a car this age?
This leads me to an battery issue again, or maybe the fuel relay as stated already. But an electrical issue. Could be connections again.

You definately have a variety of things happening.
 

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But if I turn the key and the engine doesn't turn over, wouldn't that imply starter, or can the fuel pump affect that?
If the cranking sound strong every time you turn the key to start it then it may not be the starter. But if it sounds weak barely turning or you just hear clicking sound then the starter is a good candidate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You may have more than one issue with the vehicle.
First, clean off the terminals at the starter and battery
Clean battery posts (both pos and neg).
This eliminates possible corrosion or high resistance at those contact points
If the engine still doesn't crank then starter would be indicated
Take a volt meter and test the voltage to the starter
Don't forget to check the ground also

Locate the fuel pump relay.
Check the relay and its socket.
Plenty of youtube videos that explain what to do and what not to do.
Danger is in one of the terminals goes to the ECU
You don't want to break the ECU. Very expensive to replace.
Should be able to crank engine and see if there is voltage going to the fuel pump.
If there is voltage at the fuel pump then not starting, the fuel pump becomes suspect.

If it cranks but doesn't start
Don't forget to do the basics
Check for fuel pump prime sound
Check for spark
Check for injector pulse
I really appreciate this reply, but I definitely can't/don't want to do all of this all on my own, so it's probably better that I take it into a professional and let them do the checks. I more or less wanted opinions on what most thought was the issue, so I could get into the conversation with the mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Explain this delay? Slow engine turn over? Or just a "pause" when you tried to start, nothing then turns over? I'd check connections and load test battery. Including connections to starter. Maybe have starter bench tested.
The delay would be that I turn the key, the electronics are on, but I hear nothing else from anywhere between 1 second to 5 seconds, and in yesterday's case, no other sounds ever came... as if I had turned the key, and the car was disconnected from the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If the cranking sound strong every time you turn the key to start it then it may not be the starter. But if it sounds weak barely turning or you just hear clicking sound then the starter is a good candidate.
Once the cranking does start, it sounds fine, yes. There never was only a clicking sound (I've heard that before on other cars), but I guess not turning falls into the barely turning part of what you said there.

I'm actually wondering if the issue I had way back when I first got the car caused this... when I first bought the car, at lower gears, it would basically stop accelerating, and almost feel like the brakes were pressed hard... and it would toggle between accelerating and this almost jerking reaction. I had reported it to Hyundai, but they said I was crazy. A few years ago, I went into a dealer, and they said there was an update for the computer which fixed this issue... so I'm wondering if maybe that forceful nature that it was exerting could've messed something up in the fuel system and caused it slowly to build to this issue.
 

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I believe on this (and other newer vehicles) all turning the key does is tell the ECM and BCM you want to start the car. Then the computers take over and send the command to start through relays to the starter. The old days of the ignition switch being connected to the starter solenoid, sometimes through a relay, are long gone on a lot of these computerized, rolling technowhizzers.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As an update, I took it into a Firestone, and they ran a check against the starter, battery, and alternator... everything checked out fine. He said it could be the ignition switch or something else in the electrical line and basically left it at they wouldn't know what the issue is unless it actually breaks, which is not great, but I understand it's a hard problem to diagnose. I could take it into a shop that specializes in diagnosing electrical problems, but he said that'll cost a pretty penny. At this point, I'll literally ride it out and hope I don't end up broke down in the mountains. I appreciate everyone's feedback.
 
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