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My Car Won’t Start

So you’re already running late, and now your car won’t start. Well, most people have had problems with their cars not starting. That is why I want to give you some helpful hints to help diagnose the problem and maybe even help you figure out what is causing your car not to start. To help us decide where the problem may be, let’s go through a car’s starting process chronologically.

The Most Obvious:

We shall start with the most obvious first. Oftentimes we overlook what may be the most obvious cause for our cars not to start. First, make sure if the car is an automatic that it is in park or neutral. If the car has a manual transmission, make sure you are pushing the clutch in. These two mistakes are simple but commonly overlooked.

The Battery:

If the car still won’t start, the next step is to check the battery. If the lights on the dash do not illuminate, or your headlights won’t turn on when the key is in the on position, it’s likely that a dead battery is the culprit. Another sign the battery is dead is if you turn the ignition and all you hear is a single click, or a series of clicks, and the engine remains dead or silent. If the lights on the dash turn on and dim slightly when turning the ignition and your car makes no sounds, then your battery is not the issue. This could be a likely case of a bad starter.

The Starter:

If you make it to this step and realize it may be the starter and there is another person nearby or with you, you may be able to get the car to start. What you do is have your helper turn the ignition while you tap on the back of the starter with a hammer or any piece of heavier metal if you don’t have a hammer handy. By tapping the back of the starter, this should allow the metal brushes, which get worn out, to reconnect momentarily, giving you a free start! However, use this free start to get to a local mechanic because this solution won’t work forever! Click here to get a free, no obligation estimate from one of our pre-screened, qualified professional mechanics.

Spark, Fuel, and Compression:

If your vehicle is cranking (trying to start) but just won’t turn over, then it is probable that the issue is a little more serious and may be more mechanically demanding. Typically there are 3 issues related to a car that will begin cranking, but not turn over. The first is if there is no spark, which allows the pistons to fire. If your spark plugs are bad, then there will be no flame to ignite the fuel, and again the car will not start. The second possibility is if there is no fuel getting to the engine. This could be a bad fuel pump which is common, even in newer vehicles. The third issue may be compression. If there is fuel and spark, but no compression, this can also cause a car not to start. A lack of compression usually means that there is an issue with the timing belt or timing chain (a given vehicle will have one or the other), or an issue with the head gasket has taken place.

Any of these last three engine related issues could be out of the mechanical scope of the average driver. Your local mechanic would be able to test for all three of these possibilities to determine where the issue is. Should this be the case, we at can help! Simply click here to provide some quick details about your situation and one of our Qualified Mechanics can provide a free estimate on your repair need and help get your car back on the road.

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