Why won’t my car start? 9 reasons to help you identify the problem

How often has your car decided to take an unexpected break just when you’re in a rush? Car troubles can be incredibly inconvenient and frustrating, especially when you’re on a tight schedule. We’re here to assist you in identifying the reasons behind your car’s refusal to start. Let’s troubleshoot together!

Why won’t my car start?

Faulty or dead battery

This is actually the first thing you need to check if your car refuses to start.

There are a few ways your battery might go flat or even die:

  •         An electrical device, such as the lights, was inadvertently left on in the car, leading to a drained battery.
  •         Your car has been sitting idle for an extended period.
  •         A malfunction in one of the battery components could be the cause.

If your car is making sounds when you turn the key but still don’t start, then it could be the battery. Here, a jump start can help.

In chilly temperatures, battery issues are more prone to occur as the cold weather affects the battery’s performance, making it challenging to maintain a charge.

Fuel problems

This is a very common cause as well. You need to check the fuel pump in addition to electrical or mechanical issues with the fuel system.

Starter motor problems

The starter motor is connected to the car’s battery and sets the engine in motion when you turn the key or press the start button.

A potential sign of a malfunctioning starter motor could be a pronounced click when you turn the key in the ignition. Should there be an issue with the starter motor, a mechanic will inspect it alongside the car’s electrical system.

Electrical or wiring problems

If your problem is related to the electrical system, the first thing you should do is check the fuse box, then the battery cables and the body control unit.

Keep in mind that rodents may create nests beneath your car’s hood and chew on the wiring if the vehicle has been stationary for an extended period.

Engine problems

Issues with the mechanical components of your car’s engine can hinder its ability to start. The primary culprits typically involve the crankshaft, timing belt, and timing chain.

If the engine turns over more rapidly than usual, this could be the underlying cause of your problem.

Alternator problems

What does the alternator do? It creates the electricity needed to operate the lights, radio and heating as well as charging the car battery.

Alternator problems include issues with the alternator drive belt and the wiring.

Engine intake issues

Issues with the engine intake encompass malfunctioning fuel injectors, throttles, fuel pressure regulators, and sensors. If starting your car becomes challenging and you’ve observed recent whining or sputtering noises, it may indicate a problem with the fuel system.

Jammed ignition or steering lock

If your key won’t turn in the ignition, then the steering lock might be jammed. Maybe you parked too close to the sidewalk or simply the steering wheel is in full lock.

You can try these steps to free it up:

  •         You should be able to move the steering wheel slightly with the steering lock on.
  •         Try to find the free-play area by rocking the steering and see if the key will turn at this point.
  •         Sometimes it’s easier to do with 2 people.
  •         Don’t try to force the key or it may break.

You can often free a jammed lock yourself without needing a mechanic.

Spark plugs

A frequent problem encountered is a flooded petrol engine, occurring when the engine is shut off too quickly after being started in cold conditions. The unburned fuel lingers after shutting it down. This dampens the spark plugs, making it challenging to restart the car.

You may suspect a flooded engine if, upon turning the key, you hear a rapid cranking sound, typically resembling a ‘whirring’ noise. Additionally, you might detect a potent scent of petrol, or the car may initiate briefly only to cut out again.

Get an appointment at FC Automotive to get your car diagnosed

At FC Automotive, you’ll find mechanics and technicians with 20+ years of experience. This means that there is no car problem that we haven’t encountered before.

Just give us a call at (972)234-2031 or book your appointment through this link: https://fcautomotivetx.com/appointments/

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