10 common reasons why your car won't start & how to fix it


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Read our article to troubleshoot and address this problem yourself.

Your car engine is refusing to start? You have made multiple attempts without any success? Perhaps that is the reason why our article attracts you. Well, we are glad to help you overcome this unfortunate situation.

Many causes can lead to your car engine failing to start, and they present different symptoms. So please detect your car symptom first and then read the corresponding solution.

1. The car is motionless when the key is turned in the ignition

If this happens, take a look at the battery’s terminals. If there is any signal of being corroded, tie the point of a screwdriver (with a wooden or insulated handle) between the terminal post and the connector and curl it to place it firmly. Then start the car engine again. If it works, your car’s cables should be cleaned or even replaced.

battery’s terminals

Take a look at the battery’s terminals

2. The car generates a clicking noise but still can’t start

If your car generates any kind of that sound, it is trying to notify you that its battery is dead. If not, take a look at the wires to and from its starter for a failed connection.

3. The car engine cranks over but can’t move

Firstly, exam the fuel source for the engine. If there is not any problem, check the connection between the electrical spark and your car’s spark plugs.

4. The engine is able to start but dies

Depending on which type your car is, it will be equipped with a carburetor or fuel injection. If it is a carburetor, let's check the choke and the carburetor adjustment to know whether the choke works as normal or not: close and then open. If your car comes with a fuel injection, it will be more complex and you need a consult from mechanics or experts.

5. The car fails to work on rainy days

Check the distribution cap to spot any signs of moisture. If the distributor is wet, go to the nearest service station and get some mechanical solvents which are used to clean the car’s parts or you can purchase an aerosol at the self-supplying shop.

To evaporate any moisture inside the lid, turn it upside down and spray or pour some solvents into it. Swipe it, pour it out. After that, dry the lid with a clean cloth, no dew and replace the lid. To evaporate any wetness inside the lid, turn it upside down and spray or pour some solvent into it. Shake it and pour it out. Then dry the lid with a clean and soft rag, and replace the lid.

6. The car can’t start in cold weather

The cold-start problems directly involve in the carburetors or the fuel injection. If your car has carburetors, check the choke to know whether it is opened or closed. And for the vehicle having fuel injection, you will need help from professionals.

What to do if your car won't start

7. The engine misses while idling

There are some parts you need to check including a non-electronic distributor, the spark plug, fuel filter, carburetor and fuel pump, the problem might lie on one of them.

8. The engine hesitates or misses during acceleration

If your car is equipped with an accelerator pump in the carburetor, check it along with the timing, the distributor and the spark plugs to locate the problem and address immediately.

9. The engine pings or knocks

If your car’s engine knocks or pings, exam your timing and the octane level of the fuel your car is using. Consult the car manual to know if your car needs regular unleaded gasoline or premium gasoline. Also, the cooling system and the engine cylinders also need to be checked.

Jumping a start

Follow our steps below to know how to start the engine with help from another car.

Jumping a start

Call for help from a car that has a working battery and bring it near your vehicle

  1. Call for help from a car that has a working battery and bring it near your vehicle. Then park the car at a good distance that the jumpstart cables can reach batteries of both the vehicles.
  2. Shut off the working car and find the batteries.
  3. Clean the batteries’ connectors of both the vehicles and ensure that the two batteries are debris free.
  4. Find the black and red sides of both batteries (black is for the negatives and red is for positives).
  5. Find the positive side of the working battery and attach the red cable of the broken battery there, its other end will be attached to the positive side of the broken car’s battery.
  6. Connect black cable with the working car’s battery’s negative side, and its other end will be attached to any metallic part of the broken car.
  7. Now the two cars have been connected, and it is time to start the working car and let it run for about 30 minutes.
  8. And now, start the dead battery.
  9. Take out the cables starting with the black side first, and then a red one. Don’t let the two connectors touch each other, as it can lead to a short circuit.
  10. Keep your car running for several minutes to make sure that its battery does not die again.

>>> Click here to get more useful tips and advice for your car maintenance

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