How To Troubleshoot A Car That Won'T Start

Posted on

You get in your car for your drive to work, only to find that it won't start. After an initial frustration of knowing that you'll be late, it's time to work out why. There are various reasons your car won't start, and here is a guide to troubleshooting the problem to get it going again.

Is There Silence?

What do you hear when you turn the ignition. If there is complete silence, it means the battery is the likely reason for the car not starting. Another sign is that no lights on the dashboard come in (even just for a second). Check the cables first to see if they are corroded and fitted properly.

If there is a clicking noise or some lights showing it is likely the battery is dead and just needs recharging. This is also a sign that the connector to the starter is loose and just needs tightening.

Does the Car Crank Over?

When you get a sound, it could be that your car is cranking but it just won't go. One of the most common reasons for this sound is the fuel supply. Are you running on fumes?

If the fuel supply is fine, it suggests there is a problem with the spark plugs. Check to see they get an electrical spark when you turn the engine over.

Will It Start In Neutral?

Sometimes, you'll find the car won't start in Park but you can switch it to Neutral to get it going. If this is the case, it suggests there is a problem with your neutral safety switch. You will at least be able to get the car going to get it to a garage to get this fixed.

Will The Ignition Not Turn?

Sometimes the ignition key just won't turn. This suggests that there is a problem within the mechanism or your anti-theft device has stopped working.

Another problem could be that your keyless system has stopped working—maybe the battery within the key is dead. Look at the dash for any signs that there are these types of problems. In many cases, you'll see a little red key flash to tell you that the car isn't letting you start it to prevent the car from being stolen.

A third common reason is that your steering lock is preventing the ignition from turning. This can happen because your front wheels are stuck on a curb or your steering wheel has locked. Gently try turning the wheel and the ignition at the same time to get it to turn.

There are plenty of reasons for a car not to start. While a dead battery is one of the reasons, you need to test the signs for why your car isn't ticking over before you get too frustrated that you'll be late for work. For more information, contact shops Terwood Auto Repair.