My Car Won’t Start! The 5 Most Common Reasons

Car Maintenance, Service, Tips

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jump starting a car

We’ve all been there. You get into your car after a long day at work, and you’re ready to head home. You stick your key in the ignition, turn it, and get – nothing.

There’s nothing worse than a car that won’t start. But don’t worry – if you read this article, you’ll be able to do some basic troubleshooting, and understand why your car may not be turning on. Let’s get started!

1. Bad Battery

A dead battery is usually the most likely reason your car won’t start. Your battery is responsible for igniting your engine – and if it doesn’t have enough “juice”, your car just won’t start.

Maybe your battery got drained because you left a light on in your car. The terminals may also be loose, or the battery is just really old – and no longer able to hold an adequate charge to start your car.

You can see if this is the issue by jump-starting your car. If the jump works, you’re probably dealing with a dying battery. Have it inspected and replaced. If the jump doesn’t work, the problem is likely not with your battery.

2. Faulty Ignition Switch

If your battery is working properly (which you can test by trying to turn on your headlights, or using power windows and locks), but your car is still not turning on, you may have an ignition switch issue.

Other signs of a bad ignition switch include having a difficult time turning the key in the switch, or having trouble getting the key into the switch. You’ll need to have the ignition switch replaced, in order for your car to start properly.

If your ignition switch seems to be working and in good shape, but your car still isn’t turning on, it may be another problem entirely.

3. A Broken Starter

The starter on your car is a small, one-way clutch that is responsible for cranking your engine, and turning it on. If your starter is broken or faulty, your car won’t start, because it won’t be able to provide the turning force necessary to start your engine.

The biggest sign of a broken or damaged starter is hearing a “clicking” noise when you try to start your vehicle. It’s also possible that the circuit relay responsible for powering the starter is damaged or broken, due to a damaged or faulty wire.

Don’t think that your engine has a broken starter? Time to move on to the next possible cause of car ignition failure!

4. Completely Clogged Fuel Filter

Your fuel filter should be replaced about every 20,000 kilometers. This filter is responsible for collecting dirt, carbon, and other debris and filtering it out of your engine and fuel tank. Over time, it can become extremely dirty.

If you can’t remember the last time you had your fuel filter changed, it’s possible that it’s become so clogged that it won’t even allow gasoline into your engine – and this may be the reason your car won’t start.

The bad news is that it’s not easy to replace your fuel filter yourself, unlike your engine air filter. But the good news is that it’s a simple and cheap fix at a local service station, so you won’t spend an arm and a leg repairing your car.

If you’ve recently replaced your fuel filter, this likely isn’t the problem, so let’s move on to the last (and most obvious) reason your car may not start.

5. Extremely Low Fuel Levels

Are you riding on empty? Trying to start your car without much gas in the tank? This may be the problem! Many cars simply won’t start at all if there is a very low fuel level in the tank, even if there’s enough fuel to drive for a few miles.

In general, it’s a bad idea to drive around with an extremely low fuel level in your tank. Not only do you risk being stuck somewhere without any gas and a car that won’t start, driving with very little fuel can damage your fuel pump, which may wear out more quickly when there is very little gas in your tank.

Not Sure What The Problem Is? Get Your Car Repaired At Ride Time Now!

Still not sure why your car won’t start? Get a professional mechanic to take a look at it! At the Ride Time service centre, we can diagnose all of the mechanical issues that may cause your ignition to fail.

So don’t wait. Schedule an appointment online now, and get started.


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