There’s nothing more frustrating than getting dressed up and smelling nice, then getting into your car to go to work or meet u with friends and family and the car will not start. This happened to me once. My car was fine the one day and the next, it just would not start.
There are many things that can lead to a car not starting. A skilled mechanic can identify the problem within a few minutes or it can take up to an hour trying to figure out what is wrong, as it was in my case. In my case, it was initially the battery that packed up after my car was parked for month without being driven. All i thought i needed was a battery and i will be on my way, but boy was i wrong.
Before i can go into detail of all the possible causes of a car not starting, i found out that you need to make sure you buy the correct battery for your car or else it can make your starter pack up. And that happened to me and yep, as you may guess it was quite costly. So, when you car wont start, there can be a few causes which i will outline below.
This is probably the most common cause of car not starting issues. This one is easy to identify, the dashboard light will either fade or will not illuminate at all. If these are the symptoms, it will be a good idea to get a new battery, and in most times the car start on the first crank.
The alternator for those who do not know, is a device that helps run your electrics in your car while it is running and also, one of its main function is to recharge the battery. In most instances when your alternator is/has packed up, a battery light will illuminate on your dashboard informing you that there may be a problem with the charging system. If your battery is relatively new and you see that light come on, the alternator is the possible culprit. Your car will run with power from the battery and once that has been completely withdrawn, your car will not start. This will need an alternator replacement.
The job of the stater motor is to crank the engine. Now, you probably ask yourself, how will i know it’s the starter. Well a process of elimination will have at this point excluded the alternator and the battery. The starter motor will display symptom of a weak crank sound, and when this motor is initiated too many times, the crank sound will start to fade and sometimes even burn out the starter completely. If you crank sound is weak and goes hlihee heee heee hee he ee ee, then the cause could be a starter that has packed up.
Fuel is a very important element in the starting of the car. When a car wont start, but it cranks fine and healthy, the battery light is not on and the lights are not fading, the possible cause is that the fuel is not getting to the engine to initiate combustion which turns the engine. This could be as simple as purchasing petrol and pouring in into the tank, or could be as expensive as a damaged fuel pump. The mechanic will usually test if the pump is working by monitoring fuel flow into the engine from a pipe that is responsible for delivering the fuel to the engine. If no fuel comes out, one needs to first check if they have fuel in the tank and if there is fuel, then it can be potentially be the petrol pump or in some instance a filter that is blocked.
I hope this help you gain a little bit of knowledge and also save you some money and head aches.
PS: It is always good to check with a mechanic to help you get to the root cause of the problem.