Tips for When Your Car Won’t Start – AutoRepair.Answers.com

23 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Tips for When Your Car Won’t Start – AutoRepair.Answers.com

Tips for When Your Car Won’t Start

There are several reasons why a car won’t start, and the good news is that some of them have really easy fixes that don’t require calling for a toe or an expensive checkup at the mechanic. A lot of people don’t carry complete toolboxes in their cars, which can make the idea of doing quick repairs on a the car rather daunting. Some of the reasons that a car won’t start are fairly common, depending on the age, make of the car, and the season.

Depending on the symptoms, there are some simple fixes you can try that take little time and require practically no tools. Keep these tips in mind the next time your car dies or you need to help out a friend with this problem. Here’s what you should do if:

Nothing Happens

If you’ve just put the key in the ignition and turned it to start and absolutely nothing happens, such as no lights go on on the dashboard and there are no sounds. This is an electrical problem and could be a discharged battery. In older model cars, the lights or the radio could have been left on and completely run down the battery.

In newer car models, there is an automatic switch that shuts off power after a period, in order to prevent this problem. However, sometimes there are short circuits and the battery can run out. Try getting a charge to your battery, such as using jumper cables using a friend’s or a neighbor’s car.

The Engine Clicks When You Try to Start it

The Engine Clicks, but the Lights Don’t Go Out

When you turn the ignition, the lights on the dashboard go on, but when you turn the key father, the engine clicks and doesn’t start. This is often a symptom of a stuck solenoid or a worn starter motor. There are a couple of quick fixes you can apply to get your car started and get home, but to fix this problem permanently, you’ll have to go to mechanic.

Try cycling the ignition key, which might help unstick the solenoid. Turn the key to start and back to the position marked ACC on the side of the ignition key. Do this repeatedly and as fast as you can, holding the key in the start position long enough to make sure it’s not starting. If this doesn’t work after 10 or 15 tries, open the engine hood and see if you have access to the starter motor. It is often located near the bottom of engine next to the fly wheel.

Give it a hard rap with a blunt object. Another option is to locate the alternator and give a tug in one direction on the belt. Then try cycling the key again.

The Lights Come on, but There is no Click

This is most common in cars built after 2005, and typically cars with automatic transmissions. They usually have an electronic contact inside the transmission, which is called the neutral safety switch, and doesn’t allow the engine to start unless it’s in neutral. The switch can sometimes get stuck. Make sure the car is in neutral when starting.

Then, shift the car into park (or in gear, if it’s a manual transition) then shift back into neutral.

The Engine Won’t Turn Over (Gas Pump)

In other words, you turn the key in the ignition and you hear the starter work, but the engine doesn’t fire. There are several reasons why this could happen, and they are most often associated with fuel not getting to the engine. Start making sure the radio is shut off, turn off the ignition, remove the key and wait one minute.

Insert the key and turn the key to the on position (two clicks), and listen for a low buzzing or humming sound. This is the fuel pump priming the engine for starting. If you don’t hear the hum or buzz, this could mean that your fuel pump is not working. Frequently, this is a problem with the fuse.

Locate the fuel pump relay, usually in a fuse box under the hood (directions to it are in your user’s manual), and switch it with one in the same fuse box of similar characteristics. Usually the air conditioning relay fits the fuel pump, and you can probably drive without air conditioning until you find a repair shop to buy another relay.

The Engine Won’t Turn Over (Flooding)

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