Three Things To Check When Your Car Won't Start

Posted on: 19 December 2016

After rushing to get ready, you jump in the car and give it a crank, only to be met with the sound of deafening silence. When your car refuses to crank, there are a few common issues to check to diagnose the problem.

1. The Battery

Battery issues are some of the most common causes of dead vehicles.

If your car makes a clinking sound when you try to start it, this indicates a battery that is completely dead. Batteries can die over time, or they may lose power suddenly if you leave a door open or your lights on all night. You may try to recharge a dead battery first; if this doesn't work, replace the battery.

A dead battery isn't the only battery-related ailment your car may suffer from. Sometimes, the cables that connect the battery to your vehicle require replacement or maintenance. They may become corroded or have a loose connection. A car that sounds completely dead when you try to crank it usually has a problem with the battery cables.

Try cleaning the cables first if they appear visibly corroded. If cleaning then or securing the connection doesn't work, you need new ones.

2. The Spark Plugs or Plug Wires

If your car sounds like it is cranking, but isn't actually starting, this usually means that you need new spark plugs and/or spark plug wires. Spark plugs are a necessity for a working vehicle, as they provide the spark necessary to ignite the air and fuel cylinders inside of your engine.

Spark plugs usually require replacement about every 100,000 miles. Next time, consider having them replaced before the end of their life span so that you aren't left stranded somewhere. Signs that spark plug or plug wires need to be replaced (other than a dead car) are misfiring when you crank the car, excessive fuel consumption, and poor acceleration.

3. The Distributer Cap

Your car may be fickle, starting with ease some mornings and refusing to start on other days of the week. Look for a pattern as to when it will start or won't start.

If it seems like the car consistently doesn't start when the weather is wet, your problem may lie with the distrubuter cap.

The distributer is the part that routes the current from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. Your distributer cap helps the distributer do its job. 

Check the distributor cap to see if it is wet. If so, this ridding the cap from wetness should get your car back up and running again. When this doesn't work, the cap should be replaced.

If you can't figure out what's wrong with your car, make sure to take it into a mechanic service like Import Automotive