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6 Possible Reasons Your Car Won’t Start
It is an occurrence every driver dreads. Just at that moment when you really want to get moving, your car just won’t start. You might be rushing for an all-important interview or a crucial meeting and such a situation will mess up your day. The frustration that you feel is compounded by the fact that you don’t even know where to start in order to resolve the problem.
So, what do you do? Do you call your local mechanic immediately or do you try to solve the glitch by yourself? To answer this, you have to understand the main reasons your car can’t start: What actually happens when you turn the car key? (1) Does the car crank or (2) absolutely nothing happens? These two situations are totally different. If the car won’t crank, there is an electrical hitch that can be down to several factors.
1. Weak Battery
When was the last time you had your battery checked? Does your car maintenance involve battery servicing? If your car has not been driven of late, parasitic drain on the battery charge happens. This is because some of the electronic components are drawing battery power gradually even when the vehicle is shut off. When the car is being driven regularly, parasitic drain on the battery charge is not a big issue because the battery is recharged through an alternator while driving. Leaving some electronics on or headlights also leads to parasitic drain which weakens the battery. Most starters don’t do anything unless your battery has 10 volts available.
2. Charging System Problem
A good battery should never have any issues because charging is automatic when driving. If there is no parasitic drain on the battery’s power, the problem could be down to a faulty charging system. A reliable charging system should produce around 14 volts at idle when accessories and lights are off. Once the engine starts, the charging voltage should rise quickly before tapering off at the specified voltage. If this doesn’t happen, then there is a problem with the battery’s charging system. A mechanic’s input in determining the state of the charging system is crucial because these experts have the tools and expertise to identify and remedy the problem once and for all.
3. Dead Battery
If your car won’t start, the problem could be a dead battery. You can easily test the battery using a battery tester to determine the cranking amps. Another way of checking for a dead battery is jumpstarting it. If it starts immediately, you have a dead battery and replacement is the best way out of the problem.
4. Battery Terminal Problem
This is the most probable issue that your car won’t start is when your car engine cranks but it can’t proceed. Poor connection of the battery terminals can be attributed to bumping during driving if the battery is not firmly fixed. If there is accumulation of corrosion on top of the terminals, this also affects the battery and cleaning the rust helps ensure your car picks up immediately.
5. A Clicking Noise, And Car Won’t Start
This is another common problem and while most drivers assume the battery is dead, the problem could actually be a loose terminal connection. Poor connection to and from the starter could also be the main cause of the problem.
6. Undersized Battery Cables
If your car’s battery has had some repairs lately and you are now experiencing slow cranking. it is highly likely that the replacement cables have small gauge wire. Cheap replacement for the battery can cause your car not to start or crank. Such replacements are encased in tick insulation to give the impression they are fit for your battery. Such wires are not able to handle the amps leading to poor performance of the starter.
What other reasons could there be when my car won’t start?
Other than battery issues, there are other problems that can lead to your car not starting. Some of these include broken clutch or park switch, security systems error, defective starter or solenoid, bad ignition switch, among other issues. In most cases, diagnosis of these problems requires technical expertise and specialized tools. This is where the input of a qualified mechanic comes in handy. These experts understand all the safety guidelines when dealing with batteries. They also have the safety gear to wear when handling the battery.
It is important to understand that while battery issues are DIY tasks, the role of a mechanic cannot be gainsaid. When your car is checked at an established service station, you are guaranteed of comprehensive repairs to any section of the battery connection that is faulty. If there are any replacements required, a mechanic uses premium products that come with industry warranties.
Proper maintenance of your battery is important to avoid frustrations when your car won’t start.
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