10 Reasons Your Vehicle Won’t Start
Troubleshoot Your Vehicle Issues
When your car doesn’t want to start, you just can’t help but get frustrated. Sometimes it just happens. But the thing is, for many people, it happens at the most inopportune times, during an emergency or when one is simply in a hurry. The thought that it’s experienced by every car owner at one time or another doesn’t give much comfort. But it’s just one of those realities you have to accept.
A lot of things can go wrong with your car, and this is true whether you use it regularly or you don’t. The good news is, whatever the problem is, there’s always a solution.
Before going further, you need to know that a ‘no-start’ problem actually falls into two categories: the engine won’t crank or cranks slowly, or the engine cranks but won’t turn over. The first points to an electrical problem while the second points to a mechanical problem.
Reasons why the engine won’t crank or cranks slowly
Weak or dead battery
Your battery may simply be past its useful life. Or your battery might have drained unexpectedly (sometimes referred to as parasitic drain) because you may have accidentally left something on (like your headlights or maybe an internal light) after shutting off the engine. Or it may have become too dirty or corroded that electrical connection has become poor or impossible.
The solution for an expired battery is replacement. The solution for parasitic drain is recharging. And the solution for a corroded battery is careful and thorough cleaning.
Everything deteriorates to the point of being unusable after some time. Your starter is no exception. You’ll know it’s time to replace your starter when you try to turn on your car and all you can hear is a lot of clicking noises but not a cranking engine.
Your alternator is responsible for powering up your car and recharging your battery while you are driving. Signs of a deteriorating alternator include dimmer lights, slower power accessory performance or lights on your dashboard. A completely dead alternator will fully drain your battery. Which means it will prevent your car from starting.
Starter circuit problem
When you try to start the car and the lights don’t flicker or dim when you turn the key, there might be a problem with one or more components of your starter circuit. Maybe the ignition switch has been damaged. Or there might be a problem with the wires. It could be as simple as you’re not fully in park, or your clutch needs to be stepped on to start.
Sometimes it may be just a careless mistake. In today’s high tech world, some keys are coded and a car’s ignition will only work if the exact key programmed for it is used. Are you sure you are using the correct key to start your car?
Reasons why the engine cranks but won’t turn over
No more gas
Aside from the obvious consequence that running out of gas causes, running too low on gas is bad for your engine, your fuel pump and your fuel filter. Without enough gas, your fuel pump will be able to suck in some air, generate heat, and cause premature wearing out.
Clogged fuel system
When your fuel system gets clogged with dirt or debris, fuel won’t be able to reach the engine, and your car won’t start. To fix this, you may need to have your fuel filter replaced, and of course you need to have your fuel system cleaned and declogged.
Frozen fuel line
It doesn’t happen as often, especially now that ethanol is being blended into fuel. But sometimes it still does. To avoid ice in your lines from water that freezes in your tank, don’t let your tank go below half-full during extremely cold weather. You might also want to consider adding a can of Iso-Heet to your tank to prevent freezing (especially when the temps are forecast below zero).
The starter is what starts off the entire engine running process. If parts of the starter, like its bushings or bearings, become worn out, it won’t be able to function properly. You can easily tell if a broken starter is what’s causing your no-start problem. If your car is off, your headlights are bright. Conversely, if your car is on, your headlights are dim.
Defective spark plug
Its replacement schedule is typically at 100,000 miles, which makes it so easy to be overlooked. But there’s a warning before your spark plug goes completely bad. Before the worst case scenario of no-start happens, you will probably notice that for the past few times, starting the car has not been easy, and even when you are able to do so, your car doesn’t seem to run as smoothly as it used to.
Big Sky Collision Center Wants You to be Safe
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we strive for safety. That is why we train our auto body repair techs to be leaders; so they treat every car as though it is their own.
Safety on the road begins with proper maintenance. Make sure you’re maintaining your vehicle and many of these issues won’t even come up. If they do, you now have a checklist that you can go through to narrow down the problem.
Is your vehicle in good working order? Perhaps you just need to have the thing detailed for spring! Call us at 406-259-6328 to schedule an appointment with the best auto detailer in Billings!