If you're wondering, my car is not starting, what to do? You need to check the battery by giving it a quick jumpstart. You might also need to clean up corroded battery terminals. If this didn't work, keep an ear for any clicking noises that might indicate the starter motor problems. By testing these three items, your problem will most likely be resolved. Otherwise, you need to visit the repair shop to pinpoint the culprit.
When your car won't start, don't panic and think that this is the end of the world. Before calling the towing service, you can apply some tips and tricks to get your car starting at least to get to the mechanic shop.
However, there are certain situations where when your car won't start, the problem is related to something more complicated, and you don't have any other choice but to tow your vehicle to the mechanic shop.
As a driver, you need to be prepared for such situations related to starting issues. This article provides you with all details you need to know to answer your question of “my car is not starting What to do?”
We will provide you with tips and tricks to get the car moving temporarily while also providing you with some permanent solutions to solve the problem.
What do you do when your car won't start?
Not every driver has the full list of mechanic tools to deal with starting problems all the time. Immediately after you deal with it engine, you might feel that the case is hopeless.
Luckily, there are certain situations where you still have a chance, and you won't lose anything by testing some tips and tricks to get your vehicle started.
The pro tip in any car starting problem has to do with its associated symptoms. If you were able to identify additional symptoms and the starting problem, you can easily detect the culprit and find your best solution.
Let's take a closer look at the situations below where you might notice the following symptoms:
- Car won't start clicking noise
If you're wondering, my car is not starting, what to do? There is some clicking noise; the problem is most likely related to either a drained battery, faulty starter, or contaminated corroded battery terminals.
“The clicking sound could happen when the starter motor isn't receiving enough power due to corroded battery terminals. Check the battery under the hood and ensure that the terminals don't have a green or blue deposit buildup on them. Also, check for any rust buildup on the battery terminals.
Try the following pro tips to resolve the problem:
Cycle the key
If you tried to start the car and notice that the lights are dim, you might need to try cycling the key tip. What you need to do here is to turn the key to the start position multiple times in a row. Then wait for a couple of minutes. Watch the behavior of the Dome light.
If you've noticed that the Dome light is still damp, this is a clear sign that the battery is drained and probably completely dead.
However, if the lights were bright all the time, the problem might not be related to the battery, and therefore, you need to move on to the next tip.
Tap corroded battery terminals
If the problem is coming from a bad terminal, you might need to tap around them and see whether your starting problem is fixed or affected. You don't want to touch the terminals with bare hands, and you need to use certain tools.
Some automotive experts even say that you might even need to smack the battery terminals with something hard or try to rotate them a little to ensure that they are connected tightly.
Then, give your engine a try and see whether your car starts or not.
Smack the starter
If the starter is the faulty culprit, some mechanics suggest that you might need to smack the starter with something made of heavy metal. There are some scenarios where some electric Contacts might get stuck, and once you tap the starter, it resolves the problem.
- Car won't start any clicking noise
A different situation happens when you say, “my car is not starting. What to do?” While not noticing any clicking noise.
The problem might be resolved by playing around with the shifter. Some mechanics say that keep your foot on the brakes and try putting the shift lever in a neutral position. Once you do that, give your vehicle a start and see if the problem is resolved.
“If your car is still doing the “car won't start clicking noise” issue while you turn the key in the ignition, the main problem could be terminals' corrosion. The clicking sound can happen when the starter motor isn't receiving enough power…. Also, check for any rust accumulation on the battery terminals.”
If it was not, then you might need to try moving the lever to the park position and give it another try.
Technicians and mechanics suggest that sometimes changing the liver position might help reestablish the electrical contact within your transition or what's called the neutral safety switch.
- Car won't start, engine cranks but does not fire up
There is a certain situation where your vehicle won't start, and you still hear the engine cranking but not firing up.
In that case, the problem is most likely related to the fuel system where the engine is not receiving the required amount of fuel at the right time with the right frequency.
Thus, you might need to try some of the following tricks:
Swap the relay
Ensure that your vehicle's radio is turned off, and you can hear very well any sounds coming from your car. Then, put your vehicle in the run position and watch for any buzzing sounds coming from the fuel pump.
This buzzing sound should only last for two seconds. If you didn't hear any noise, it indicates that the pump might have an issue and not injecting fuel into the fuel system.
If that's the case, locate your fuel pump by referring to your vehicle's owner’s manual and yank the fuel pump relay upwards. Try starting the engine and see if this resolves the problem or not
Smack the fuel tank
Sometimes the fuel tank might be filled with contamination, and it might be blocking the fuel from flowing towards the engine.
It might be worth hitting the bottom of your vehicle's fuel tank with the heel of your shoes and seeing what happens with your starting problem.
Check for flooded engine
If you notice that your vehicle has some gas smell, it might indicate that your engine is flooded with gas. Therefore, it might be worth using the accelerator pedal and pressing it hard to crank the engine.
Trick your vehicle's computer
There might be a problem with your vehicle's vacuum leak that could cause the temperature sensor issues. Thoughts, the air-fuel mixture will be disturbed, and therefore, the engine will continuously drive on cold.
Try pressing on your vehicle's accelerator, not down, and start the engine. This tricks your vehicle's computer, and we'll ask it to produce more fuel and send it to the engine.
Why won't my car start if it's not the battery?
Will your call won't start, and you're pretty sure that it's not the battery? There are many potential reasons.
If you review how many components are involved in the starting process, you can tell what could go bad.
Usually, you might need to check the battery terminals as a first step after ensuring that the battery is in good condition. You might need to check whether the starter motor and usually a bad starter motor will make some clicking noises.
A bad alternator might also prevent your car from starting. It might also be wrong with the fuel system like the ignition switch, the fuel lines, etc.
In some scenarios, if you passed any bad engine symptoms, your vehicle's engine might be completely failed, and that's why your car won't start.
Therefore, you might need to watch for any additional symptoms associated with your vehicle's starting problem to pinpoint the culprit.
According to experts, “Whenever your car will not start, and the battery is charged, the starter motor is usually the culprit of the issues… It could also be due to poor connections, damaged battery terminals, or a bad or dead battery. Sometimes, this could even be due to the starter, with the control terminal becoming corroded.”
What is wrong when you turn the key and nothing happens?
When you turn the key, and nothing that happens has to do with the starting system. You can start by looking into your vehicle’s battery, battery terminals, starter motor, etc.
Usually, the starting problem should be resolved by looking at the 1st three causes, and one of the fastest ways to confirm whether it's the battery or not is to perform a quick jump start to your vehicle.
If the jumpstart did not work, then the problem is not related to the battery because the jumpstart skips the battery's job and moves onto the following steps in the starting process.
Thus, you might need to tell your vehicle to the nearest repair shop to pinpoint the culprit and get the problem resolved.
What does it mean when my car won't start, but all the lights come on?
When your car's lights work, but the car won't start, the problem is most likely related to a drained battery.
The battery might have some small charge to get the lights starting or probably the radio but not the entire vehicle.
Your car requires a huge amount of electrical current to get started but, the lights or the radio need just a small charge.
Thus, the first thing you might need to do is jumpstart the vehicle and see whether the problem results.
If it didn't, you might need to test the battery terminals, which might be corroded, causing a blockage to the electrical current and preventing it from reaching the engine.
If none of this works, you might need to move on to the starter or the alternator or even the fuel system that might be causing the problem.
As we indicated in a previous article, “This is usually due to battery failure, which is due to something being left on and causing the battery to drain. It could also be due to poor connections, damaged battery terminals, or a bad or dead battery. Sometimes, this could even be due to the starter, with the control terminal becoming corroded.”
How do you tell if it's your starter or your battery?
One of the common symptoms indicating that your vehicle's starter is going bad is hearing clicking noises when turning the ignition switch key.
If you would like to confirm the problem, you might need to give your vehicle a quick jump start and see if the problem is resolved.
If the problem was resolved after the jump start, the problem is usually related to the dead battery. However, if it did not, it might be because of an issue with the starter or probably both the starter and the battery.
How do you tell if it's the starter or the ignition switch?
It is very important to differentiate whether the problem is coming from the starter motor or the ignition switch.
Therefore, you need to test both the starter and ignition were switched. To test the starter motor, you need to locate it by following your vehicle's manual and using a voltmeter or a circuit tester that checks whether there is any power moving around the wires connected to the starter motor.
If the voltmeter showed some power, then the problem is not related to the sudden water, and you should go ahead and check the ignition switch.
To test the ignition switch, you need to put your vehicle on either the ACC or the run position. Then, check the power in the fuses. If there wasn't any power in the fuses, it indicates that the ignition switch requires replacement.
According to experts, “test the starter, It is under the hood, usually on the passenger side at the bottom of the motor next to the transmission. The ignition switch is a set of electrical contacts that activates the starter and usually is located on the steering column. The ignition switch activates the main electrical systems in your car.”
My car is not starting. What to do? The bottom line
As we indicated before, starting problems with vehicles vary, and finding the clear culprits can be challenging.
By identifying additional symptoms associated with your starting problem, you can narrow down the list and identified the culprit much easier.
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