No car has ever broken down at the “right time”. Whether you’re sitting in a car that won’t start, or preparing for the future, this list might help you figure out what’s wrong with your car. Take a look at these 6 common reasons why your doesn’t start to see if any of these symptoms match your car’s issue.
Warning:If your car won’t start, avoid turning the key for extended periods of time. In cold weather, letting the engine try to turn over for a while might seem like it will work, but if you try to crank the starter engine for more than 15 seconds, you may damage the starter engine.
If you turn the key and the engine won’t crank:
You most likely have an electrical problem.
For any number of reasons, your battery might have died. This is the most common reason for a car to die, and therefore the best reason to keep jumper cables in your car. Once you have your car jump-started, the alternator should recharge the battery as long as the car is running.
If this problem happens frequently, you may be able to help the problem by cleaning out any corrosion that has gathered around the battery terminals. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you will need to replace the battery.
Starter Engine Issues
If you can locate the starter under the hood of your car, you can check if it’s the source of the problem. If you don’t hear clicking when you start the engine, the problem may be a dead battery. If you hear clicking, but the engine doesn’t crank, the starter might not be getting enough electricity.
Using your owner’s manual and a voltmeter, you should be able to test functionality.
Broken or Damaged Ignition
Similar to the starter engine, a broken or damaged ignition switch can stop your car from starting. If your headlights can turn on, but your car won’t crank, that means that your battery is charged, but either the starter or ignition is the problem.
If the starter or ignition is the problem, a starter engine can be jumped by using a charged battery.
If the engine cranks, but the car won’t start:
If an engine is cranking, but will not start, you know that your electrical is good. For the car to start running correctly, you need a few ingredients: spark, air, fuel, and compression.
If you suspect that the problem may be fuel related, there are a couple of solutions. If the weather is cold enough, your fuel line may have frozen, and would need to be thawed. Two more common solutions are:
Gas Tank is Empty
Even if your gas tank isn’t showing that the tank is empty, this could still be the issue. A miscalibrated fuel gauge can lead you to run out of gas.
Fuel Filter Needs to be Replaced
Check your owner’s manual to find out how often, or how long ago your fuel filter should have been changed. A clogged fuel filter will stop gas from reaching the engine. If you frequently run your car to empty, your fuel filter could look much worse.
If your car will crank, but not start, you may not be getting a spark. A spark is used to ignite the fuel, allowing the car to start. It is possible to check for a spark yourself, but this is likely outside of the skill set of the average driver and should be left to a mechanic.
If you have any difficulties starting your car, H&H Mobil can bring your car into the shop and run a full diagnostic on it to see if any or multiple of these reasons are causing issues with your vehicle.
If one of the above reasons is why your car doesn’t start, contact All Phase Auto Repair to have a professional take a look at your car and help you safely get back on the road as soon as possible.