Both new and used cars may sometimes fail to start. Turning the key and realizing nothing is happening can be disappointing, but it helps to know the cause of the problem so that you can take immediate action. Let’s go through some reasons why your car won’t start.
Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start
If your car fails to start, do not fret; these are some of the common reasons why your car won’t start, and most of them can be solved
If you try to turn on your car and there is no dashboard light or your engine turning over, chances are your battery is flat. However, if the vehicle is in a generous mood, it can indicate the battery sign, which is an excellent pointer to the issue. The usual thing to do once your battery goes flat is to jumpstart, right? However, some manufacturers advise against jumpstarting your vehicle since it may interfere with some sensitive electronics.
Also, it can be dangerous if the proper procedure is not followed. Therefore, before jumpstarting your vehicle, check your car manual for directions. If you have lost your manual, you can find one online since car manufacturers post their manuals on their websites. Alternatively, you can opt to charge your battery using its recommended portable charger.
Poor Battery Connection
Poor battery connection is not a common problem, but it is among the reasons why your car won’t start. Therefore, you need to check whether the cables connected to your battery are loose by turning them. If you notice they are moving, they need to be tightened, which you can do by yourself without the help of a mechanic. If you see rust, you will need to replace them. Noteworthy, since you will be handling metal tools around your battery, it is best to stay safe or contact a professional mechanic if you have less trust in your skills.
If you can turn on your car, but your car won’t start, or you notice your interior lights are bright at first, and then they dull after some time, it could indicate a faulty alternator. A battery sign may appear on your dashboard if the alternator is the problem. Also, you will notice a burning smell since the alternator works with the belts. There is no quick fix for a faulty alternator; you will need to get it checked by an expert to prevent any damage to the battery.
The primary function of the starter is pretty much what the name indicates; to start the engine. Therefore, if you hear a clicking sound when turning on the key and the car won’t start, the starter may have failed. However, slow starters may make any noise. You will also need professional help since it is not a quick-fix component. Common signs of a faulty starter include:
- Car does not start after turning the ignition key
- Loud clicking sound when turning the ignition key
- The engine does not start
The Car Is Not in Park or Neutral
Once you engage your car to reverse or drive gear, the car won’t start. Therefore, before starting your vehicle, always ensure your car is in park or neutral mode. If your car won’t start in park but starts in neutral and vice versa, or if your vehicle is in gear and is still starting anyway, it may indicate a bad poor neutral safety switch that might be dangerous if not fixed. Therefore, in case of such, ensure to contact an expert immediately.
Clogged Fuel Filter
Fuel filters aid in the transmission of clean oil from the gas tank to the fuel injectors. Therefore, a clogged fuel filter may lead to low fuel pressure so that the car won’t start, and thus your car may fail to start. Additionally, dirty fuel filters may result in much mileage and transmission of low-quality fuel. Oil filters need to be changed every 15000 kilometers so ensure you change them the next time you will be serving your car.
Locked Steering Wheel
If your steering wheel is locked, your car will not start. However, do not yank the steering too hard in desperation to get it moving. Instead, you can move your steering wheel from the side gently with your key in, or you can use a duplicate key if you have one. Your current key may be worn out, thus poor communication with the lock tumblers. Therefore, before taking any drastic measures, you can try out your duplicate key first.
Your Car Has No Gas
Sometimes we may overlook a simple problem. Do not forget to check your gas tank level before setting out on your trip. Also, ensuring that your tank does not run low on fuel often is essential. Additionally, it is important to note that during the cold season, such as winter, your gas may freeze in the tank, which may also be among the reasons why your car won’t start.
Most car owners have had their fair share of experiences of their cars failing to start. However, sometimes these factors can be prevented by proper routine maintenance and keen observation and tracking your fuel levels.