What Could Be The Reason Why My Car Won’t Start?
There is never a good time for your car to breakdown. Somehow, however, it always seems to happen at the worst possible moment.
On the way to a job interview or when you’re running late to a meeting – you just don’t need it.
You’re probably familiar with that feeling when you turn the key in the ignition, the engine cranks and turns over, and then…nothing.
Your heart starts to sink when you think about what might be wrong and how much it’s going to cost to get it fixed.
There could be any number of reasons why your car won’t start, some are more common than you might think.
A dead battery is a common reason for your car not starting.
Everything in our cars from the lights to the radio is all powered by a battery.
Some things that suggest a dying battery is at fault are:
- A sluggish sounding engine crank
- Sometimes it starts and sometimes it won’t with no real explanation as to why
- Your interior lights won’t come on
- If jump starting works in getting the car started
- The battery light will appear on your dash
As well as a dying battery, there is a chance it may be corroded or there may be a loose connection.
If there is corrosion, you may be able to see evidence of this on the terminals. This is a clear sign that there is something wrong with your battery.
Batteries don’t last forever and there can be several reasons why your battery might die.
For example, your battery might die if you don’t use your car very often, you’ve had the battery for some time, you have a loose wire or a water leak, or you left the headlights on overnight by mistake.
Alternatively – it might just have come to the end of its life.
On the other hand, it might be an indication of a deeper problem such as a failing alternator.
When your car is running, it is charged by the alternator. A problem with your alternator can cause the battery to not charge properly.
A Bad Alternator
If you’ve replaced the battery but you’re still having the same issues … it suggests you might have an alternator problem.
Signs of a bad alternator include a failure to start, dimming lights, and problems with your stereo. You may also notice that while your car starts, it will stall periodically while you’re driving.
The reason for your car doing these things is because the alternator is not properly charging the battery which, in turn, doesn’t have the power to keep all of your electrics working.
Another sign that it might be your alternator at fault is hearing a squealing sound coming from your engine. This will be your alternator bearings and is happening as a result of the energy drain from using things like your heater and radio.
Even with a new battery, if your alternator is not working you might get the battery light appearing on your dash. This is because your battery is not getting the charge it needs to work properly.
If you suspect an alternator problem, you should get your car into a garage for a full diagnostics check. If your alternator needs replacing you’ll need a mechanic to do the job for you.
A Damaged Spark Plug
You need a spark to ignite the fuel in your car. This is what causes it to start.
If your engine is cranking but failing to start it might be an indication that you are not getting a spark.
If you’re an avid car lover and know your way around any engine, this is something you might be able to check for yourself.
It is a good idea to book your car in for a once over by a mechanic who’ll easily be able to confirm to you whether this is the reason why your car won’t start.
A Starter Engine Issue
The starter is located under the hood of your car.
If you can find it, you can check to see if this is the cause of the problem.
When the starter engine is working, you’ll hear a clicking noise when you start the engine. If you don’t hear a clicking noise this suggests a dead battery as above.
If you do hear clicking but your engine won’t crank when you try and start your car, it might suggest that the starter is not getting enough electricity.
If you think this might be the issue you’re having, you can again speak to a mechanic who’ll be able to check for this. In your car manual, there will also be instructions on how to check your starter engine’s functionality with the use of a voltmeter.
A Bad Fuel Pump
If you’re still asking yourself the question “why won’t my car start?” and none of the above appear to be the issue – you may have a fuel-related issue.
There are a few possible fuel-related problems that could cause your car to not start, including:
- In especially cold weather your fuel line can freeze. It will need to warm up and thaw out which should fix the problem.
- Your gas tank could be empty. There is a chance your fuel gauge may be slightly inaccurate leading you to think you have more gas than you do. If your gas levels are really low, topping it up can help to rule this out as a possibility.
- You need a new fuel filter. These need to be changed every so often in accordance with the advice from the manufacturer you’ll find in your manual. It is a good idea to make sure you are changing this regularly to avoid any issues. An old or clogged fuel filter can stop your car from getting the gas to reach the engine meaning your car won’t be able to start.
My Car Won’t Start – What To Do Next?
These are some of the most common reasons why your car will fail to start.
As you can see, some of the reasons are pretty simple and can be fixed by you whereas others like a failing alternator or bad fuel pump will require the assistance of a mechanic.
If you’re finding that your car is feeling sluggish and slow when you’re trying to turn it on, bring it down for a service and we give it a check over to let you know what might be causing it.
If you find yourself in a position where your car won’t start, we’ll do our best to help you fix the problem!