Most common reasons why your car won’t start

The weather outdoors is lovely. The weather is great, and the sun is beaming. Your car won’t start as you slide into it, ready to begin your busy day. Your car won’t start for a variety of reasons. There are certain things you can check on your own before contacting for assistance. Check to see if the steering wheel is locked first.

Another easy explanation for why your car won’t start is a low gas tank. You might only be on “E” if you were previously low on fuel (or if your fuel gauge is damaged). Look at a few typical causes for your situation and what you can do to resume driving.

Well, in this article, I’ll work you through the most common reason why your car won’t start.

Now let’s dive in!

Most common reasons why your car won’t start

Read more: How to choose the perfect battery for your car?

What are the top common reasons why your car won’t start?

The followings are the top common reasons your car is not starting:

  • Bad battery
  • Bad battery connection
  • Faulty starter motor
  • Faulty alternator
  • Wiring or electrical issues
  • Engine problems
  • Faulty immobilizer
  • Bad ignition switch
  • Slack timing belt
  • Clogged fuel filter
  • Broken distributor rotor and cap
  • Lock steering wheel
  • Bad spark plugs
  • Low ad AdBlue
  • The car runs out of gas



Bad battery

The most frequent cause of a car not starting is a dead battery. The battery is what the vehicle utilizes to power all of its electrical systems and systems inside (e.g., lights, radio, etc.). The alternator charges the battery while the car is moving. You won’t be able to start the automobile or utilize any electrical parts if the battery is not fully charged.

Several things can cause your battery to die: Your headlight or headlights were left on overnight or for an excessive amount of time, or a connection is loose. The battery’s lifespan has passed due to weak conductivity caused by the component’s evaporating water.

Jump-starting your car is one approach to check if the battery is the issue. If the jump start is successful, your battery is probably dead or your alternator is having difficulties charging it. Think about changing the alternator or battery, cleaning the connections, or hiring a technician to handle the work for you.

Read more: How long does it take to charge a car battery?

Bad battery connection

Though less typical, this is still a possibility. The battery’s cable connections could be damaged or loose if your automobile won’t start. Turn them around. The terminals need to be tightened if they move because they are loose. Before being reattached, they should be cleaned or replaced if they exhibit corrosion or are otherwise filthy.

It pays to be extremely cautious and knowledgeable when working around a battery because you’ll probably be using metal tools, or you could just hire a pro.

Faulty starter motor

Another frequent cause of a car not starting is a broken starter. An electrical motor that is connected to the battery is a starter. When you turn on the ignition switch, it serves to start the engine, which includes the pistons, crankshaft, etc. The starter’s task is finished once the engine is running and moving. When you turn the ignition key on, the engine may not crank properly or it may not crank at all if the starter is damaged.

When you try to start your automobile, you can hear a clicking sound, which indicates that your starter may be damaged or weak. This is extremely comparable to the earlier case of the problematic ignition switch. Some typical signs include: When the ignition key is twisted, the car won’t start, and When turning the ignition key, a loud clicking noise is heard, but the engine does not start. When trying to start your car, it is noisy.

Read more: Understanding battery used in automobiles

Faulty alternator

The alternator may be to blame if you can start the car, but it stalls, or if you have interior lights that brighten briefly before dimming. Due to the alternator’s use of belts, the battery symbol may also appear on the dashboard and you might even smell burning. There is no quick cure, so you should have a professional look at it. If it’s bad, it could have harmed the battery as well.

Wiring or electrical issues

We found that wiring or electrical issues were present in nearly 5% of the non-starting autos we examined. These included problems with the battery cables, the fuse box, or the body control unit. Keep in mind that if your automobile hasn’t been driven for a while, rodents may build a nest under the hood and nibble the wiring.

Read more: 7 signs of a bad or faulty alternator

Engine problems

Your car may not start if there are issues with the engine’s mechanics. The crankshaft or the timing belt and chain are typically the main offenders. They account for more than 3% of the non-starting autos we observe together. If the engine won’t start or starts and stalls, this can be the issue.

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Faulty immobilizer

If your car’s security system doesn’t recognize your key, it may occasionally prevent you from starting the engine. Your key fob’s low battery could be the blame for this. Nearly 3% of the breakdowns we observe are due to alarm and immobilizer problems. Try using a spare key or holding your fob directly against the start button. You might need to get a new key if it’s still not working or if you don’t have a backup.

Bad ignition switch

If your car won’t start on the first few attempts even though you are certain that your battery is in good condition, you may have a problem with the ignition switch. By turning on your headlights, you can try to identify the root of your problem. This is because your car’s battery controls your headlights and dashboard; if they turn on but your engine won’t start, a faulty ignition switch is most likely to blame.

Read more: Understanding vehicle wiring

Slack timing belt

The engine’s cam and crankshaft are rotated at the appropriate times by the timing belt, which is a rubber strip. The engine won’t start if it malfunctions. Under the hood, you can hear a ticking noise or the starter motor engaging but not turning over.

Because timing belts often break while the engine is running, which can be very harmful, and because some cars now have chain belts that last longer than the rubber type, this problem is less frequent than other potential ones. In either case, a trip to the repair shop is necessary.

Clogged fuel filter

The gasoline won’t be able to get to the engine if your fuel filter is clogged. This makes it challenging for your car to start burning petrol. Think about switching out your fuel filters the next time you get your car serviced because they need to be changed every 15,000 to 20,000 kilometers.

Broken distributor rotor and cap

Spark plugs ignite the fuel by being supplied with electricity by a distributor. The spark won’t move if the cap isn’t on tightly or the rotor isn’t working. the positive news The distributor is replaced by individual coil packs in the majority of contemporary automobiles. A faulty cap may cause noises like tapping or sputtering in older vehicles. Let a professional replace it.

Read more: Understanding electric cars and how they work

Lock steering wheel

Your car might not be able to start if the steering wheel becomes locked in place. (You want to be able to control a moving car badly.) Don’t pull the wheel too firmly. Use a side-to-side motion instead, or if you have a spare key, use that instead. The one you already have might be worn out and incapable of connecting with the lock tumblers.

Bad spark plugs

Every month, hundreds of autos with spark plug problems are seen by our mechanics. A flooded gasoline engine is a typical problem. When the engine is turned off too quickly after being cold-started, this occurs. After you switch the engine off, the unburned fuel still stays within. As a result, the spark plugs become damp and the automobile is difficult to restart.

If you hear an extremely rapid cranking sound when you turn the key (often a “whirring” sound), the engine may be flooded. Additionally, you can smell a lot of gasoline, or the car might start briefly before cutting out again.


Low AdBlue

You won’t be able to restart the engine if the AdBlue supply is exhausted. Some car models require software to restart them, therefore you might need to call a mechanic. However, it’s simple to prevent running out because your car will alert you with a countdown on the dashboard so you have time to refuel.

The car runs out of gas

Sometimes an issue has a straightforward solution. Don’t disregard the possibility that you’ll need to fill up your gas tank before leaving. And try to avoid letting your tank empty too frequently. When it’s chilly outside, moisture in the tank’s inside air can freeze and form ice, which could cause problems for the engine.

Read more: Understanding Suspension System

In summary

A bad battery, Bad battery connection, Faulty starter motor, Faulty alternator, Wiring or electrical issues, and Engine problems among others are the top reasons why your car is not starting.

That is all for this article, where the common reasons why your car won’t start have been discussed. I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!