Why Won’t My Car Start?

Why Won’t My Car Start?

We’ve all been there: you’re trying to get work or pick up kids from school and your vehicle won’t start. There are a host of reasons why your car won’t start. While some of them are fixable on the spot, most will require some diagnostic work. If you’re having trouble starting your car, schedule an appointment today and bring it to your local Tire Pros shop for expert attention. Here’s a look at some common problems:

It’s Cold

If your battery is slightly weak, cold weather can zap enough energy to keep it from starting. Engine oil gets thicker, too, making it harder for the car to turn over. If there’s moisture in the gas lines, it could freeze, blocking the flow of fuel. In diesel vehicles, cold temperatures can cause the fuel to gel so it won’t flow through fuel lines. If you have a car that’s over 20 years old, it may have a carburetor that’s susceptible to cold weather problems.

It Makes a Clicking Sound

When you turn the key or push the start button, but you hear a clicking noise rather than the car starting, your first suspicion should be a faulty starter. The solenoid that controls the flow of electricity to the starter is trying to work, but for some reason, it’s not. It could be due to loose cable connections on the battery or the starter; or the starter may need to be replaced entirely. If you try jump-starting the car and you still only hear clicking sounds, it’s likely a failed starter.

The Engine Cranks

An engine requires three elements to run: fuel, air and spark. If it cranks but won’t start, it’s missing at least one of those things. However, the battery and starter may be working just fine. So look at the fuel system – including the tank to see if it has fuel – as well the fuel filter and fuel pump. Look for any warning lights on the dash, and schedule an appointment with your local Tire Pros shop to read fault codes to help pinpoint the problem.

The Lights Work

If the interior lights and radio work, but the car won’t start, the first suspect is the battery. You can quickly test the battery with a hydrometer or voltage meter. Or have someone jump-start the car for you. If your vehicle dies after the other car is disconnected, it’s most likely the battery. Also, check the battery cables for corrosion or a good connection. Enough power may be getting through to run the lights, but there’s not enough for the starter. You can also check fuses or fusible links that could have blown. If those steps don’t work, dig deeper. Other components, such as the ignition switch or transmission position sensor, starter, or the starter cables could be damaged. If you’re having trouble starting your car, schedule an appointment today and bring it to the Family Tire Pros shop for expert attention.