Picture this scenario … You woke up before your alarm clock, had a leisurely breakfast, had time to check your favorite social media, and now you’re ready to head out to work. You’re even 10 minutes early!
Now, you head out to the garage, hop in the car and turn the key or push the button to start, and … nothing. As luck would have it, the one day you’re early, your car won’t start!
While it may not be possible to still get to work on time, you might be able to identify the problem. Then, you can decide whether it’s something you can fix yourself or if you need to call a tow truck. Let’s look at the symptoms you’ll notice when your car won’t start, and what to do about them.
#1: Your car won’t start and you don’t have sound or lights.
Possible Reason: Dead battery or loose battery connections.
What to Do: First, check to see if the battery cable connections are tight. If you’re not sure, disconnect them, clean them with a rag, and reconnect. If your car still won’t start, try jump starting the vehicle in case the problem is a dead battery.
#2: The dashboard lights turn on but there’s no sound.
Possible Reasons: Faulty starter or ignition switch, the vehicle isn’t in park, or there’s a key fob problem.
What to Do: Try shifting the vehicle into neutral to see if it will start. Then, check your owner’s manual to see if there is a way to start the vehicle even if the key fob has a dead battery. If both of these options fail, you may have a starter problem and should have your vehicle towed to your favorite auto repair shop.
#3: Your car won’t start but you hear a clicking sound.
Possible Reason: A weak or failing battery.
What to Do: If you’re able to turn on your headlights and they function well, the battery may be fine but you could have a starter problem. If the lights turn on but are weak, try jump-starting your vehicle. You may need a battery replacement soon but the jump start could get you where you want to go.
#4: The engine cranks but won’t fire up.
Possible Reasons: Not enough gas, you have a flooded engine, or there’s a blown fuse.
What to Do: If you think you’re low on fuel, call AAA, another emergency roadside service, or a friend to bring you some gas. If the engine is flooded, push the gas pedal down while cranking the engine – this should allow the excess fuel to be cleared out of the combustion chamber. To check for blown fuses, look inside the fuse box and replace with a spare if you have one.
#5: The engine cranks but makes a spinning noise.
Possible Reason: Broken timing belt.
What to Do: If your vehicle’s timing belt has reached its usable life and given up the ghost, you won’t make any progress starting your vehicle no matter how hard you try. It’s time to call the tow truck and schedule an appointment with your mechanic. And, not to throw salt in an open wound, but THIS problem could’ve been prevented if you had just followed a regular preventative maintenance schedule.
Whether your car won’t start, you need a new battery, or you’re simply ready for some routine maintenance, Good Works Auto Repair is ready to meet your auto repairs and maintenance needs. Simply give us a call or schedule an appointment online today to keep your vehicle running smoothly AND safely!