What Can You Do When Your Car Won’t Start?

As you’re screaming and kicking, it’s normal to freak out and lose control. Fortunately, there are convenient solutions to get your car back to working condition. Consider using our subsequent troubleshooting guide. You’ll know what to do when your car won’t start the next time.

  • Listen for sounds as you attempt to crank it. Is the car silent or making a clicking sound? Check the battery. If the car cranks but won’t start, check the fuel supply. If the engine starts, then dies, check the carburetor. Do the engines have a knock or ping sound? Check the cooling system, timing, and octane fuel rating.
  • If the problem is the battery, figure out the problem by attempting the following:
    1. Turning on car lights: Dim lights diagnose a dead battery or poor battery connection.
    2. Checking battery connections: Clean off corrosion and tighten loose battery connections.
    3. Jump-starting the car: If neither is the problem, a jump-start is a good solution.
  • For the fuel supply, examine it near the engine. If the fuel supply is fine, check the electrical spark to verify the charge connects to the spark plugs.
  • With start and dying engines, examine the carburetor and choke. Is it closed? Does it open as it should? This also works if the car doesn’t start on cold mornings.
  • If the problem is the cooling system, timing, and/or fuel rating, thumb through the owner’s manual. More than likely it needs unleaded or premium gasoline. The cooling system needs a compression check from the engine cylinders.
  • If the car doesn’t start on rainy days, it’s due to dampness. View the distributor cap for moisture. Clean the cap with mechanic’s solvent or aerosol can. Evaporate any dampness by turning it upside down, spraying solvent, swishing it around, and pouring it out. Dry with a clean lint free rag.

If our troubleshooting tactics don’t work, there’s always a plan B. Come to our shop. We can diagnose the problem and bring it back to life. We also recommend coming to the shop if it is successful. We need to ensure batteries or car parts are functioning properly. For more information on car services, contact us.


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