The good news for drivers today is that over the years, modern cars have significantly increased in reliability. However, with so many moving parts involved in today’s vehicles, even the most well-maintained and well-looked after cars are not immune to being temperamental from time to time. For most drivers, a car refusing to start is something that they are likely going to have to deal with at some point during their car’s lifetime, especially for drivers who change vehicles often. Thankfully, the good news is that a car not starting is rarely a sign of a serious mechanical problem and can usually be rectified in a few simple steps.
Here are some of the main things to do if you are dealing with a car that will not start.
#1. Listen to the Car
If your car will not start when you turn the key in the ignition, then the first step to take is to try and diagnose the root cause of the problem. Even if you cannot get your car going, taking the time to listen to any engine hints as to why this is could save you a lot of time and money if you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic. If your car won’t start, the most likely culprit is the battery, especially if you’re finding it more difficult to start the car in cold weather. If you’ve put the key in the ignition and been met only with silence or clicking, then you can determine if it is a battery issue by switching on the lights – if they are dim, then it’s likely that your battery is dying, dead, or has a poor connection.
#2. Jump Start the Car
If all the signs that your car won’t start are pointing to a problem with the battery, then the first thing to try is to jump start the car. You can do this by attaching jump leads as instructed to the battery of a fully functioning vehicle and connect them to your car’s battery. Then, start the engine of the other car – it can help to rev the engine, also. After a few minutes, try the key in the ignition of your car – if it starts, then remove the jump leads and leave your car’s engine running for a while to allow the battery to re-charge.
Bear in mind that if your car battery is jump-started more than three times in the same week, then it’s a good idea to have it replaced since jumpstarting puts a lot of strain on your battery, which can lead to issues in the future. Yuasa batteries are one of the best options you can go far. These are distributed by companies such as Hardwarexpress, whose different batteries can be found by visiting https://www.hardwarexpress.co.uk/car-batteries-351-c.asp.
#3. Bump Starting
If you do not have a second vehicle available with which you can jump start your car, then an alternative method that you may want to try is bump starting the car. However, be aware that this will usually only work on manual vehicles and takes a little more physical effort. To do this, start by turning on the ignition and placing the car in second gear whilst keeping the clutch down. Ask somebody to give the car a push to start building momentum (this method is best done on a downhill slope). Once you have reached around 10mph, lift the clutch – if bump starting works, then your car will start with a jolt. If you are successful, then be sure to leave the engine running for around 20-30 minutes to recharge the battery.
#4. Check for Damage
If jump starting does not work after a few attempts of trying to re-start your car, then it’s time to consider ruling out the battery as a potential cause of the problem. However, bear in mind that it could still be a battery problem – if the battery has failed completely then jump starting may not work and a replacement will be needed. You should also check for any signs of damage to the battery or the battery terminals that could be causing the issue. If all seems well or your battery is fairly new, then you should check for any other signs of damage to your car or car engine that could have resulted in the fault.
#5. See a Professional
If your car will not start and the reason isn’t obvious, then it’s important to see a professional mechanic who can correctly diagnose the problem. If you have tried to jump start your car and nothing is working after a few tries, then a visit to a trained mechanic may be your only answer. Bear in mind that regular maintenance and checks can help to prevent your car from having problems starting.
If your car ever refuses to start, then keep these tips in mind to rectify the issue as quickly as possible.