Why Won’t My Car Start?

Getting in your car and turning the key or pushing the ignition only to find that your car won’t start is one of the worst feelings there is. The complexities of modern day vehicles and the high variability amongst vehicles means there could be a million different reasons behind why your car won’t start. However, there are a number of common reasons a car won’t start that can quickly be determined and possibly even fixed using the tips in this article.

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Is it your battery? Or your starter?

Before digging too deep, check to see if your car battery is dead. The battery is rechargeable and responsible for helping start the engine. Once the engine is on, the alternator takes over keeps power going and recharges the battery. The car starter is another piece of the puzzle that draws bursts of power from the battery used to start the engine. If the starter is the reason your car isn’t starting, you will be able to hear some noise to indicate this is the problem.

Do You Have Engine Cranking Problems?

If your engine is experiencing cranking problems, your starter’s ability to turn properly is likely impeded. This could be due to a bad solenoid, blown fuses, a bad battery, or a damaged flywheel. A bad solenoid will need to be replaced to allow power to get to the motor and complete the circuit. You can check the fuses in your engine’s fuse box for burn marks. If burn marks are sighted, you will need to replace those fuses. You can check your battery connections and clean off any residue, change out any frayed wires, or replace if needed. Getting a jumpstart may help to recharge the battery and fix any problems you may be experiencing.


Is the Engine Cranking, But Won’t Start?

If your engine is cranking but your car is still not starting, there are 4 different problems that could be at the root of the issue. A bad ignition coil can prevent a necessary spark from igniting the engine. Check the spark plug wires for any bad or burned out wires.

A bad ignition switch can prevent the turning of your key or the pushing of your ignition from starting your car. This may simply be caused by bad wires or connections. However, if the problem is with the ignition switch itself, these can be expensive to replace.

A faulty crankshaft position sensor may misread the crank speed and send faulty information to the on-board computer. If the sensor on your crankshaft is wrong, fuel will not be delivered to the right spark at the right time, preventing your car from starting. You can use an OBD-II device to determine if the sensor is faulty. You can use your own or bring your car into World Class Auto for a full inspection.

Finally, it may be an issue with your on-board computer. It can occasionally misread information in a way that causes the car to crank but not start. You can use an OBD-II device and your user manual to determine if this is where the error lies

The Engine is Fueling and Sparking, But Not Starting

If your car won’t start despite having fuel and properly sparking, there are four areas to examine that may be the culprit.

First a clogged air filter can prevent air from starting the ignition. This issue is a simple fix by cleaning or replacing the air filter.

A clogged fuel filter can also prevent fuel from actually getting all the way through the engine as needed. Make sure to clean or replace the fuel filter regularly.

A clogged or broken fuel pump will prevent fuel from sparking the ignition. Make sure to clean the fuel pump suction strainer or replace the fuel pump if needed.

A broken or clogged fuel injector will block fuel from getting into the system. If you can smell gasoline as you try starting your vehicle, your injector may have leaks and need to be replaced immediately. Otherwise, you may just be able to clean out the clog.

You may also have a broken or faulty mechanical distributor or a faulty spark plug. If you get stranded with a vehicle that won’t start, go through this checklist to cover any simple fixes that will take care of the problem immediately. If the problem persists, give World Class Auto a call! We offer tow truck services and a free customer shuttle to and from our shop/work/home. We have 11 service bays to serve you and the highest end diagnostic equipment. We will be able to quickly and efficiently detect exactly where the problem is and get it fixed ASAP so you can get back to your day as usual. We’re here to help! Give us a call or stop by today.