Start a Flooded Engine

Have you had the frustration of starting your older car. You always give a couple pumps of the gas pedal and your car fires up. Sometimes, it does not work and you pump it again, flooding it. New cars can be even worse. Usually holding the gas pedal to the floor is the only way to clear flooded engine.


  1. Do not keep turning your key. On a fuel injected engine (which most engines are now) each turn of the key pumps fuel, so minimize key turns.
  2. Begin to rectify the issue. Begin by holding your gas pedal all the way to the floor. Turn the engine over while keeping the gas pedal to the floor. Do not pump it, just keep the pedal all the way down. Do not turn the key for more than 10 seconds at a time, with 10 seconds of rest between each crank cycle. Remember, keep the gas pedal to the floor.
  3. Release the pedal while you continue to crank the engine. You should hear the engine speed increasing now as it begins to start and run.
  4. Consider possible issues, if the engine fails to start. If a leaking fuel pressure regulator, leaking injector or defective regulator or injector is involved, a sensor may be the cause of the engine flooding. The engine will normally start within the first or second crank cycle, using this procedure.
    • Hard starts, failure to start, misfires and too rich of a fuel mixture are typical symptoms.
    • If longer or more crank cycles are needed for engine startup, or the engine fails to start entirely, using the method above, other components may be involved.