There is really never a good time for your car to stop. Whether it be in the parking lot, in your driveway before work, or even at the traffic signal. It is one of the worst things that can happen to a driver when the car gets a starting problem!
Troubleshooting and Fixing
There are many reasons why your car won’t turn over. Before calling for help, there are things you can check yourself.
When your car just clicks and won’t start
This could mean there’s a problem with the starter motor. The starter motor is responsible for getting the engine to fire. If this is the issue, you’ll need a new one installed. (starters typically need to be replaced every 30,000 to 200,000 miles.)
When you turn the key in and the engine doesn’t crank at all
It can be either due to a dead battery or corroded battery
- Your car battery is an important electrical component that stores the power necessary to run your vehicle. If you have a dead car battery (one that contains no power), it won’t start. Always keep a jumper cable in your car’s trunk for emergencies like this. You’ll need another car’s good battery or a portable jump starter to charge your weak battery. If you don’t know how to, look at your owner’s manual for help or call a mechanic. A mechanic will use a battery tester or multimeter to analyze the state of your car battery. If the battery voltage reading is low, you may have a weak battery and will need to charge or replace the battery.
- Corrosion on your battery can also spell trouble. And it could prevent your car from starting, even with a jump start. Check and wipe down your battery posts to make sure there is a clean, complete connection, then try to start the engine again. You should clean the battery terminals before reattaching or getting them replaced. Since this requires working with metal tools around a car battery, it’s best to have a professional handle the battery corrosion or bad connection situation for safety.
When the car cranks but won’t start
It can be due to numerous reasons like clogged fuel filter, failed fuel pump or bad timing belt
- The fuel filter is responsible for delivering clean fuel from the fuel tank to the injectors. Over time, the fuel filter may get clogged due to dirt particles, which will hamper its performance. If the filter is completely blocked, then fuel cannot reach the injectors. Therefore, the engine will not start or will stall immediately. A replacement is usually needed if this is the problem. And to keep your fuel filter from clogging in the future, try to change it every two years or 30,000 miles (whichever comes first).
- Another component you’d want to check if your car won’t start is the fuel pump relay. It’s an electrical component, mostly found in the fuse box. It relays the power required to draw the right amount of fuel via the fuel pump to the combustion chamber. If the fuel pump is broken, the fuel will not reach the injectors, and the engine will not fire up. On the other hand, if the fuel injectors are not working correctly or are dirty, the engine may stall or not start or result in rough idling. You should get your fuel system checked by a certified mechanic.
- The timing belt is an internal engine component. It’s a rubber strip that rotates the cam and crankshaft in your engine at the proper time. The timing belt ensures the engine’s valves open and close at the proper interval so that the valves and the pistons never touch. A failed timing belt can cause catastrophic engine damage requiring an engine replacement. A timing belt should be changed based on mileage; generally, the interval is every 60,000 miles or five years
When the engine won’t turn over but the lights work.
When your dome light turns on but the engine doesn’t start, that means your battery is working but your ignition may be at fault. The ignition coil transforms a battery’s voltage into an electric spark. A damaged ignition coil means there’s not enough juice to do that. You’ll need a multimeter (a tool designed to measure electrical current, voltage and resistance) to test the strength of the current running through the coil.
Alternator recharges the battery after the car has started. If the engine starts but dies immediately, your alternator probably isn’t keeping your battery charged.
Faulty starter motor
A starter motor is responsible for cranking the motor and firing it up. If faulty, you will hear a clinking noise when you turn on the ignition. You have to consult an expert mechanic to solve this issue.
If yours is an automatic car, wrong gear position may also cause starting problem. In ‘Drive mode’ the engine will not start. If the vehicle starts in ‘Neutral’ but dosent in ‘Park’ mode or vice versa, then there is a problem with the gear position or neutral safety switch. On the other hand if engine cranks but not start it is not the problem with neutral safety switch
As you see there are several reasons why your car has starting problem. Knowing the reason is a good first step towards repairing it, but sticking to a car maintenance schedule can help prevent issues from arising in the first place. For any car maintenance services please reach us at Vehpal. We provide you the best of services with a host of benefits ranging from a 12-month repair warranty to a convenient online booking process.