Imagine getting into your car in the morning to go to work. And then the car suddenly won’t start. Many drivers may find this situation confusing. Why did this happen why was everything fine yesterday?

We have collected the most common reasons why a car refuses to start and explain how to diagnose and fix those problems.

Battery Died

No matter how high-quality the battery is, it can suddenly fail.

The rechargeable acid battery runs out for the following reasons:

  • The battery is old, it has exhausted the required resource
  • The generator is faulty — it stopped charging the battery
  • One of the energy consumers in the car is faulty or connected to the battery incorrectly
  • Adverse weather conditions — the battery often runs down in the winter during severe frosts
  • The AC, music, or lights were left on at night.

To check the battery status, it is useful to use a tester.

When the battery is fully charged, the voltage at its terminals should be at 12.6-12.7 V.

If the value is lower when checking, it is time to charge the battery.

You can also check our article to determine if your battery is faulty

When there is no time to charge, and you need to go urgently, use the old method — Jumpstart it from another car, by tossing the wires with tongs from the battery of a serviceable car.

After that, we recommend that you visit the car service as soon as possible for diagnostics as it’s probably time to install a new battery, repair the generator or other devices in the car.

Wiring Issues

Pay attention to the wiring, check all connections and terminals.

They have the property of oxidizing, which leads to the loss of electrical connection.

To fix such problems, it is enough to clean the problem areas with sandpaper or a brush.

Also, there are special lubricants that are sold in any car store.

Even clean contacts can weaken over time from constant micro-vibrations.

Move the terminals and, if necessary, tighten them for stronger contact.

Sometimes the clips of the wires that are connected to the battery also weaken.

The first sign is a greenish or white plaque around the contacts.

Carefully remove the clips from the battery without touching the plaque with your hands — this is an acidic environment.

Then use a metal brush to clean the contacts.

If you do not have a brush at hand, you should at least tap the oxidized area with a wrench, so that the dirt disappears a little.

If the reason was contaminated contacts, the car should start.

Faulty Starter

A starter is an electric motor that starts the car’s engine.

If after turning the key or pressing the button, the starter does not turn on and instead makes unpleasant sounds (screeching, clicking), it is likely that it has failed.

  • First of all, check whether the starter is connected to the battery correctly.
  • After making sure that the contact is working, try honking the horn and turning on the headlights. If the sound is quiet and the light is dim, this indicates that the battery has run out or doesn’t have enough power to start. And the starter has nothing to do with it.
  • If it is found that both the lights and the signal are working normally, we recommend disconnecting the wires from the ignition switch and trying to close them for a short time. If this is the problem, the car will start. Now you just have to reattach the wires to their place and go to the car service.
  • When the ignition switch is probably working, but the starter still doesn’t work, the problem probably lies in the circuit between the starter’s traction relay and the battery. Take any additional wire, connect it to the relay plug with one end, and tap the battery positive terminal with the other. If the car starts up, then you need to fix the wiring.

But sometimes none of the above methods helps, and the starter itself is broken. In this case, it is most reasonable to call a tow truck and take the car to the car electricians.

No Fuel. 

There are many silly cases when the car does not start just because there is a lack of gasoline in the tank.

We recommend that you first look at the sensor. Obviously, the solution is very simple. you need to fill up the car.

But sometimes there is nothing funny about the fuel situation.

Sometimes the lack of fuel is not caused by the driver’s forgetfulness, but by a leak.

The first sign is the smell of gasoline in the cabin.

If you smell it, carefully examine the car and the ground under it for spots and puddles.

Leakage occurs for the following common reasons

  • The separator hose burst – the device in the fuel system responsible for cleaning fuel from impurities-burst
  • The joints between the tank and the pipes have lost their tightness
  • A pipe burst at the filler neck
  • There was a crack in the tank itself
  • The gas pump gasket was worn out.

If a leak is detected under the gas pump, you can put a new seal. In other situations, you need the help of specialists.

Failure In The Fuel System

Incorrect fuel supply can also make a car not start.

On modern cars, fuel supply is often made using an electronic system, which is quite difficult to diagnose without the involvement of specialists, because diagnostic equipment is not cheap, and you will have to visit a car service.

But you can also save on professional diagnostics by discovering the cause of the fault yourself. There are several ways to do this.

First of all, you need to look under the hood and check all the electrical wiring there.

There are a lot of wires — a separate cable is connected to each nozzle that feeds fuel to the system.

You can also perform a visual inspection of the wiring system while paying attention to the damaged insulation.

Of course, this activity is quite tedious and time-consuming, but still not hopeless.

If the wiring is in Ok, it makes sense to check the fuel pump.

Its verification is carried out using special equipment, which is also not found in any garage. Independent diagnostics of this element consists in checking the voltage on the plus cable of the pump.

Its absence may be the result of a failure of the fuse. If so, it needs to be replaced. If this did not give results, then you should look at the relay of the motor of the fuel pump.

If this part is found to be defective, it should be replaced with a new one.

Air Filter

To start the engine properly, you need a lot of clean air.

Its availability will be greatly hindered if the air filter is clogged. As a result, this makes it difficult to start the engine due to the incorrect air mixture required to ignite the fuel.

You need to check not only the filter itself but also the air ducts — they can also accumulate debris.

Filter pipes may also leak.

For example, the engine may not start because too much oxygen is entering the system, which may well be caused by damage to the pipes.

By the way, visual inspection of pipes does not always give positive results — it is much more effective to check their tightness by ear.

Gasoline-filled Spark Plugs

If there is a strange buzzing sound when the ignition is switched on, it will cause the relay to malfunction.

If, on the contrary, there are no sounds, the reason is the pump. But the absence of sounds can also indicate a break in the electrical circuit.

When the driver tries repeatedly and unsuccessfully to start the car, the spark plugs are heavily filled with gasoline.

After that, they will definitely not work. To correct the situation, Unscrew and dry them.

Spark plug can be poured on the carburetor motor.

But the described situation is especially relevant for modern cars with an electronic injection when the driver unknowingly begins to repeatedly press the gas pedal, which in this case only harms.

Faulty Ignition Switch

If you think your battery is functioning well, but your car doesn’t turn on for the first few attempts, you may have a problem with the ignition switch.

You can attempt to limit the source of your question by turning your headlights on.

This is because your car’s battery controls your headlights and dashboard, and if it’s the case that your engine is not able to start, then a bad ignition switch is probably the fault.

Low air temperature

If the air temperature drops to 15 degrees, any battery loses up to 50% of its power.

In this case, the car can be very difficult to start. To” Wake up ” the car, activate the high beam for a few minutes.

As a result, the electrolyte will warm-up, which will give it additional energy.

When trying to start the engine, you do not need to turn the starter for more than 5 seconds, since in this case you can fill the spark plugs or completely discharge the battery.

Do not forget that an attempt to start the engine in the severe cold will be equivalent to 500 km of mileage.

Faulty Alarm System

Car alarms, like all electronic systems, are prone to failures

  • Randomly triggered
  • Does not set the car alarm
  • Blocks alarm dismantle via a native keychain.

Electronics sometimes prevent the car from starting. The reasons are as follows

  • The alarm wiring or power line is faulty
  • The anti-theft device (immobilizer) does not work)
  • Someone tried to steal the car
  • Program failure

Sometimes the driver forgets to unarm the car from the security system, which blocks the ignition. Remove the protection and start the engine.

To check whether the cause is really an alarm failure, pay attention to these signs:

  • The alarm warning light is not flashing as it always does
  • The security is removed, but the key FOB still has a message about the closed ignition lock
  • The siren does not turn off, the light alarm is triggered
  • Buttons don’t work correctly
  • The Central unit does not respond to signals from the keychain.

Try resetting the alarm to factory settings via the keyring.

The procedure is described in the instructions, which should always be kept in the glove compartment.

If you don’t have it at hand, download it online.

If the Central unit does not respond to pressing the keyring, perform a reset by pressing the secret button — VALET.

Most often, the VALET button is hidden under the torpedo or in other hidden places.

Turn the ignition on, off, and on again.

Then press the hidden button three times. Some systems require you to enter a pin code.

Conclusion

  1. Battery Died
  2. Malfunction in the wiring. High-voltage clamps were loosened
  3. Faulty Starter
  4. No Fuel. 
  5. Failure In The Fuel System
  6. Air Filter
  7. Gasoline-filled Spark Plugs
  8. Faulty Ignition Switch
  9. Low air temperature
  10. Faulty Alarm System

Many of the reasons described can be resolved on the spot.

But sometimes you can’t do without the help of specialists.

We recommend that you monitor the correct operation of all systems and components of the car, as well as pass maintenance according to the recommended schedule of the automaker.