Why won’t my car turn over?
You’re Late and Your Car Won’t Start
It’s 7:30 a.m. It seems your alarm didn’t go off. You’re starting to panic because you have an important presentation to make at 9:00 a.m. You jump in the shower, and then throw on some clothes; you grab the first snack you see in the fridge, and then race outside to your car. You turn on your key, and what do you hear? Silence. You try turning your key again, still nothing. As luck would have it, your car decides to fail you on this critical day which can make or break your career. So why is this happening? Big Sky Collision Center has seven of the most common reasons why your car won’t turn over.
Your battery is dead.
Your battery can only last for so long and more often than not, the reason your car suddenly won’t start is a dead battery. Usually your battery will drain if you accidentally leave your headlights or any other accessory on overnight (even the smallest light can drain a battery over several hours). Or maybe there’s a loose wire somewhere. If this is the case, you will just need to jump-start and recharge your battery. On the other hand, if your battery is past its expected lifespan (meaning, it’s really old; generally more than 7 years), the only solution is to buy a new one. Make sure it’s the right battery for your car.
Your alternator has gone bad.
The function of your alternator is to power your car and recharge your battery while you are driving. If your lights are getting dimmer, or your power accessory operations are slower than usual, or you see lights on your dashboard indicator, these are warning signs that your alternator is starting to malfunction. And when your car won’t start at all, it might be a sign that your alternator has gone completely bad, that’s why your battery has completely drained unexpectedly.
Your starter is faulty.
The starter got its name because it surprisingly starts the car. This device provides the power needed to create a spark and “turn over” the engine. If you hear a clicking or a high-pitched screeching noise instead of the sound of the engine running when you turn your key, the likely cause is a faulty or worn out starter.
Your ignition switch has gone bad.
The ignition switch is responsible for allowing electricity to get from the battery to the starter so it can spark and start burning gas. If the ignition switch can’t do its job, the ignition process can’t be initiated, and your engine won’t start. Typically, you may suspect a bad ignition switch if you notice flickering lights, malfunctioning electrical accessories, and most notably, difficulty in turning the ignition key.
There are problems with your fuel system.
If your fuel filter is clogged or your fuel pump has failed, gas won’t be able to reach your engine. The result? Either your car can start but stall repeatedly, or your engine will just crank but not start.
You are out of gas.
Sometimes when we get too busy, we might tend to forget one of the most basic activities related to driving, that is, refueling our tank. On those rare occasions, we suddenly remember what we’ve forgotten when our car refuses to start. Hopefully there is some left in the lawn mower gas can.
Your wheel is locked.
Some cars have this anti-theft feature that causes the steering wheel to lock upon removing the key from the switch, which can in turn prevent you from turning your key the next time you put it in. If this is the case, simply nudge your steering wheel in either direction (left or right) as you are turning your key.
Big Sky Collision Center Can Help!
But only if you have dents, dings, scratches, or other auto body repair work. Sorry, if your alternator has gone out, we can recommend a good mechanic, but that’s not our specialty. If you need to have your car detailed here in Billings, then we are your source! Give us a call at 406-259-6328 to schedule a time for a detailing.