Common problems with starting a car
There is virtually no driver who hasn’t faced a problem with starting a car at some point. This can be a very unpleasant situation, especially if you have something important to do or if it’s freezing outside. This article lists some of the most common reasons why a car won’t start and what you can do about it.
Basically, the problem with starting a car comes down to the following:
- Electrical problems (car battery, spark plugs, worn out cables, bad contacts and similar issues)
- Gas system problems (clogged fuel injector valves, low fuel pressure and a worn fuel pump, just to name a few)
Empty or weak battery
One of the most common reasons why a car won’t start is a weak or completely empty car battery. In some cases it is enough to check if the battery terminals are corroded, and if the cables and contacts are in place. You can find out how to clean battery terminals in our video tutorial about getting your car ready for a summer trip.
Jump starting a car with the help of a donor vehicle can get you back on the road, but make sure you have a professional check the battery’s voltage, power, the level of electrolytes and the alternator. Understanding how a battery works and when to replace it will help you avoid some problems. One of our previous video tutorials explores this topic in depth and busts some of the most common myths about car batteries.
Have your spark plugs checked regularly because they too can be a reason why your car won’t start. Do not postpone their replacement in intervals recommended by the manufacturer.
A starter is an automatic device for starting the engine of a vehicle. If the starter is defective you will hear a lot of clicking instead or an engine cranking or turning over and you won’t be able to start the car. Should this happen, you will need to pay a visit to the car service.
Cars are nowadays coded to work with their car. If the key suffers physical damage or if the battery wears out in time, you won’t be able to start the car. An official service can order a new key for you, provided you bring your ID and registration.
Fuel, fuel pump and filters
It may sound banal, but you might want to check if you ran out of fuel. We suggest that you keep the fuel tank at least half-full so as not to have water drops in the fuel tank that can freeze and thus cause problems. A change in temperature will cause the condensed water to get down to the bottom of the fuel tank.