Having nothing happen when turning the key in your car is very frustrating. It seems like this only happens when you are running late or have somewhere important to go. Now everything must be put on hold until you figure out why your car is not working.
There are several reasons why your vehicle may not start. A quick look at the following items below may help you solve the problem quickly and get back on the road.
1. The Battery
The battery should always be the first thing you check when your car won’t start. It is the most common cause of this problem. Your battery could be dead due to overnight power drainage from the lights being left on or the door not being shut properly. If this is the case, a simple jump from another vehicle can get you going.
However, your battery could also be dead because of its age, which will require a replacement.
Also, check your connections. A loose battery cable or corroded connections could cause your car not to start.
2. Fuel System Issues
Your battery may be working fine, but the engine may not be getting the fuel it needs to start. This can be caused by several reasons:
* The fuel filter is clogged
* The fuel pump is not working
* The fuel tank is too low or empty
3. The Starter
If you turn the key and you hear a clicking noise, it could be your starter. This noise means that the starter is getting power from the battery but is unable to engage and start. This is a common problem in older vehicles. You will have to replace the starter before your vehicle will run.
4. Smart Key Issues
Many newer cars have a fob that transmits a signal to the vehicle to tell it that the key is in the ignition. If the fob is bad, the car does not receive the signal, and the car won’t start. Some cars may also show a warning light that says “Key Not Detected.”
5. Ignition System
The ignition system has many different parts, beginning with where you put in the key and ending at the starter. There are fuses and other things that can affect the ignition system. If your battery and your starter are in good condition and operating properly, there could be problems with your ignition.
6. Alternator Problems
The alternator in your car is what charges your battery. If your battery keeps dying, even though it is new and there are no other battery-related issues, it could be your alternator. The alternator belt may be loose or broken, or the alternator itself may have stopped working.
You can have the alternator checked before replacing it to see if it is the part or just the belt.
7. Engine Troubles
If you have checked everything else and the car is still having trouble starting, it is probably engine problems. It may be an easy-to-fix problem like a broken timing belt or something very serious with the inner mechanics of the engine. If the starting problem is engine related, you may be looking at very costly repairs.
Always Start By Checking The Battery
When it comes down to starting problems with your vehicle, a majority of the time, it is the battery. Make sure that this is where you start your search when trying to determine what is wrong with your vehicle.
Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making a purchase. A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.
VINsmart reports will also give you a registration history and mileage at registration. It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.
When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.