why your car won't start

What To Do If Your Car Won’t Start

One of the things that can get your day started in a bad light or ruin your evening is a car that suddenly refuses to start. If your car won’t start and you’re sure it was in good condition when you parked it, you might wonder what went wrong in the parking.

It could be in your driveway, at your favorite restaurant after dinner, or at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere. No matter when or where your car suddenly stops, it’s sure to interfere with your daily activities. But one thing is for sure; your car has a problem that needs fixing as soon as possible.

However, don’t rush to call a mechanic or get a tow truck. Some of the reasons your car won’t start are easy to fix. Here are why your car refuses to start and how to fix them.

Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start

There are several reasons why your car won’t start. You have some choices as to how to troubleshoot the issue. Before going to the mechanic, check the following things:

Car Won’t Start: Bad or Dead Battery

The battery is one of the most important components of your car, and if it’s faulty, you’ll have difficulty starting your engine. Cars require a good battery to run. It’s what fires the engine to start by giving it an electric signal.

One of the signs you have a dead battery is when you don’t hear any cracking sounds when starting the engine.

Another indicator could be your light components, including the dashboard lights, headlights, and dome lights, not lighting. Finally, when your car displays the battery symbol, it tries to warn you of a battery problem.

The good news about a bad battery is that it doesn’t need the mechanic to intervene since you can change it yourself. You can also jump your battery to offer a quick but temporary solution. If you don’t have a portable jump starter, you can get another car’s battery to start yours quickly.

Jumping your battery is only a temporary solution. Make sure you take your car to the mechanic to test the battery using a tester or a multimeter.

If you have a weak battery, you’ll have to replace it as soon as possible and take good care of it so it doesn’t die sooner.

Related: Is It Safe to Drive with Your Oil Light On?

Fuel Problems

Car fuel or gasoline is the lifeblood of your car, and one of the reasons your car won’t start is fuel problems.

If you forget to fill your tank, you won’t be able to drive to work that morning. The immediate solution is to take your fuel can and run to the nearest station.

To avoid future low fuel issues, always have a full tank before hitting the road. Don’t allow your fuel to run too low because you can get stranded in the middle of nowhere with no fuel station nearby.

Also, remember that you may often experience frozen fuel during winter, and when this happens, your car won’t start.

Water vapor forms in the empty space in your fuel line, which then freezes with cold temperatures. Always fill your fuel tank so no water vapor forms in your fuel line to cause freezing.

car won't start

Starter Motor Problems

Start motor problems are also a common reason your car won’t start. The starter solenoid transfers the electric current from the battery to the motor to start the engine.

When the starter motor doesn’t receive the electric signals, it indicates that the solenoid is broken, and your engine won’t crank.

Some signs your starter motor is faulty are when you turn on the key and see the light, but the engine doesn’t start. If you force it to start even after noticing starter motor issues, you will blow a fuse. The result will be a blown fuse which will cause it to overheat and emit smoke.

Some indicators of starter motor issues are the engine that won’t starting completely, a weak crank sound from the engine, and a grinding noise.

If any of these is the case, you need to contact your mechanic immediately and get them to replace your starter solenoid.

Related: Preventive Car Maintenance | 7 Vital Benefits!!!

Clogged Fuel Filter

If your fuel filter is clogged, your fuel won’t reach the engine, and that means your car won’t start. The fuel filter filters out the debris and other substances from the fuel and prevents them from reaching your car’s engine. With time, this debris accumulates in the filter, causing it to clog.

While a clogged fuel filter seems pretty obvious, it’s not easy to troubleshoot it. Some of the telltale signs include poor gas mileage because not enough fuel will be reaching the engine. With time, the filter will block completely, causing the engine to fail to start.

If you take proper precautions in the first place, you won’t have to deal with clogged fuel filters from time to time. Get your filter changed every 15,000 to 20,000 miles to keep it in optimal working condition.

Also, ensure you use high-quality gasoline so you don’t have to deal with debris and contaminants clogging your filter.

car won't start

Ignition Switch Issues

The ignition switch distributes power to various components of your car from the battery. When you turn on your car keys, the ignition switch will power on your engine, causing your car to start.

A faulty ignition switch means your engine won’t receive power from the battery, and your car won’t start.

It’s not just the engine that will fail to start with a faulty ignition switch. Other electrical components of your car that depend on the power from your ignition switch won’t function either. One of the signs will be a flickering or dying dashboard light or a problem turning your car keys.

If you experience a bad ignition switch from time to time, consider carrying a lighter key chain. A heavy keychain with many keys can put a lot of strain on your ignition switch, causing it to go bad with time.

Get your car to the repair shop and get your ignition switch corrected as soon as possible.

The Timing Belt Has Failed

When your timing belt fails, your engine won’t work as needed. The timing belt is an internal engine component that rotates the crankshaft and the cam to start the engine at the right time. You need to replace your timing belt often to keep it working well all the time.

Failure to replace your timing belt at the proper time will result in a faulty one that can even damage your engine if it fails while your car is running.

Some indications that you have a faulty timing belt are tickling noises from your engine, engaging your starter motor but not turning over, and disparities in your engine reviving.

You shouldn’t wait until your timing belt is faulty to replace it because this is something you should do semi-annually. Get your mechanic to check and replace your timing belt on time before it becomes a big issue.

Related: Why Should I Get Coolant Flush?

Car Won’t Start: Bottom Line

There are many reasons why your car won’t start suddenly. Depending on the issue, you may be able to fix your car won’t start problem by yourself. Other problems may need you to get a fellow driver to help.

For example, if your car is low on fuel, you’ll have to fill the tank and get going. If you have a bad battery, you’ll request your fellow driver to jump-start it for you and get back on the road.

However, mechanical issues, electric failures, or faulty components need the mechanic’s intervention. While a quick fix may give you a temporary solution, you’ll eventually need to take your car to the repair shop to get a more reliable solution.

Also, remember to maintain your car often and avoid small issues such as a clogged fuel filter from ruining your day.

Don't get left in the dust!

Join our community to stay up to date on cool car stuff and updates every few days: