What Does It Mean If Your Car Won’t Start?

Man In Car

You turn the key, but your car won’t start. It’s a huge frustration when this happens, particularly if you’re stuck out in the cold. In this guide, we’re looking at the mechanics of why your car may not be starting and what you can do about it.

Your battery is on its way out

Most of the time, if your car won’t start it’s likely to be the result of a dying battery. This is a particularly common culprit when the weather is cold as the battery can struggle to hold its charge. If you hear a rapid clicking sound when you turn the key, this is a key indicator.

What can you do? A jump start could bring your car back to life, even if it’s just on a temporary basis. You’ll need to drive for at least 30 minutes to allow the battery to recharge sufficiently. Even so, it’s worth getting your car checked by a mechanic as your battery may need replacing.

Problems with the alternator

As the alternator supplies the electricity needed to charge the car battery, this can affect your car being able to start.

Broken starter motor

Connected to your battery, the starter motor sets the engine in motion when you turn the ignition. If there’s a fault with this, you may hear a loud clicking noise. If the battery is not the culprit, then by process of elimination, the starter motor could be to blame. Car diagnostics can help assess the problem at your local garage.

Fuel problems

Perhaps you’ve run out of fuel? If that’s the case, the fix is to fill a can with fuel from your local petrol station. Or, there could be a mechanical or electrical issue to blame. Issues with the fuel pump or fuel system can affect your car’s ability to start.

Engine issues

Issues with the crankshaft or the timing belt and timing chain can all cause the engine not to start.

This is not an exhaustive list, but are common reasons that your car might not be starting. With all of the above issues, the easiest way to get them diagnosed and fixed is to get a car mechanic to take a look. Get your car to Vital Vehicle Care – your trusted local mechanic.

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