Nothing is more irritating than dealing with a car that won’t start, especially if you have somewhere to be. Eventually, all engines wear out, which can be indicated by a faint clicking sound or absolutely no activity when you turn the key. Fortunately, these are common issues that drivers deal with all of the time, so don’t worry too much if you run into trouble initially. There are some engine starting issues that are deeper and more problematic, but with a vast majority of the cases, there is an easy fix.
- Check on the Obvious
If your car isn’t starting, there are a couple of really simple things to check before you go rummaging around under the hood. First of all, is the ignition turning all the way? If it isn’t you may need to turn your wheel a bit, which can free up the ignition to turn. You should also make sure that your car is fully parked if you have an automatic, as many automatics require your car to be in “park” before the engine starts.
Also, you should check on your fuel tank. Even if your tank is close to empty, you may not have enough fuel in the tank to start the car, as some fuel gauges aren’t entirely accurate.
- Check Your Battery
Usually, when a car doesn’t start, the first part to check should be your vehicle’s battery. The battery might be dead, or it might be too weak to start the engine. Otherwise, there may be a weak connection or an issue with your alternator.
If you get a clicking sound and the engine doesn’t start, or you don’t hear anything at all when you turn the ignition, your battery may be dead. Other indicators include the dash lights and your radio. Is anything turning on? Even if your lights and your radio turn on, your battery may still be too weak to start the engine.
If it is your battery, and you can get someone else to come by with their car, you can jump start your engine if you or someone else has jumper cables. If you just left your lights on all night and your battery is drained, the car’s alternator should bring the battery back. Just beware: if your battery is old it may drain again and fail to start your car, in which case you should head to the auto parts store and pick up a replacement. You could also order a better battery online at automotive specialists like Enjuku Racing.
If you try to jump start the car and your ignition is still clicking, your starter may be going out. Then you’ll have to replace that instead.
- Check Your Ignition Switch
If you turn your ignition to the start position and you don’t hear a single click, your ignition switch may be out of commission. The ignition fuse may have blown out too. Check out your fuse box and see if anything is blown.
Getting Back on the Road
In most cases, you should be able to jump start your car and get to a local shop if you are having battery issues. Sometimes there really is a part malfunction or engine problem that will render your car dead in its tracks, in which case you should call a tow company to pick up your car and bring it to the shop. Whatever your issue happens to be, good luck getting back on the road.