The last thing you ever want is to put your key in the ignition, turn it, and have nothing happen. You never really realize how much you depend on your car until it won’t start. You use it to drive to work, take your kids to school, go to the grocery store, and probably just about every other thing that you do in your day to day life. Needless to say, when your car won’t start it’s a huge headache.
Why Your Car Won’t Start
There are many of reasons why your car won’t start. A car’s engine is a very complex system that has a lot of moving and interdependent parts and components. If any number of those malfunction, then your car may not start. Reasons can range from battery issues, to problems with your car’s computer, to a bad starter, to a broken ignition switch.
With that said, there are several common reasons why your car won’t turn over or start.
Dead Car Battery
The first place you should check when you have trouble starting your car is the battery. A dead battery is the most common reason why a car engine won’t start. You can check the strength of the battery with a battery tester or go straight to jump starting your car. If your car starts after jumping it, then you probably just need a new battery or make sure you turn off all the electronics when you shut off your vehicle, especially the lights.
If your battery is fully charged but the car won’t turn over, check the cable connections. If they are damaged or corroded, it might be time to replace them.
If your battery has power and the cables look good, but your car still doesn’t start, then it’s time to explore other potential reasons.
A broken starter is another common problem when a car won’t start. Your starter is the device that actually turns on the engine, so if it is malfunctioning or faulty, the engine won’t engage. If you hear a clicking sound when turning the key, then you most likely have a broken or weakened starter.
Bad Ignition Switch
If you know that your car battery is working properly and has a full charge, and you don’t hear any clicking, the reason your car won’t turn over may be a defective ignition switch. Additionally, if your car starts and stops suddenly, it could be due to a bad ignition switch. This problem occurs if the switch fails when it’s in the “on” position, causing the engine to immediately power down.
Spark Plug and Ignition Chamber Failure
When your car engine cranks but doesn’t start, faulty spark plugs may be the culprit. The ignition coils and spark plugs are what actually cause the ignition in your engine. Fuel and air are injected into the ignition chamber, and your spark plugs cause the spark that makes them ignite, starting your car. If the spark plugs are not firing the spark properly, then the air-fuel mixture will be very difficult to ignite.
If Your Car Doesn’t Start, Call HEART Certified Auto Care
No matter the reason for your car not starting, we can help you out at one of our three Chicago area locations, HEART Evanston, HEART Wilmette, or HEART Northbrook. We will get your car moving again fast and offer free loaner cars and courtesy rides. Just call the location nearest you!