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My Car Won’t Start: What now?

You’re ready to set off, turn the key in the ignition, and nothing. Despair sets in when your car simply won’t start.

Keep reading to explore the reasons behind this common problem, from a dead battery to ignition system failures. Find out what to do when this happens.


What Could the Reason be Behind your Car Not Starting?

Several problems could lead to this situation. Some possibilities include a dead battery, issues in your ignition system, and starter motor failures, ranging to more complex problems in your car’s electrical or fuel system.

Find out the main problems that may lead to your car not starting.

Often, a car dashboard lights up, but the car won’t start, or the car starts but won’t accelerate. In such cases, it may mean a problem with the car’s starter motor.


What are the Signs of Problems in a Car’s Starter Motor?

To detect any problems, you should pay attention to signs such as:

  • Difficulty starting: the starter motor takes longer to turn, or you hear a clicking sound;
  • Dim lights: if the dashboard lights or both fog lights are weaker than usual, it could be a fault in the battery;
  • The check Engine light comes on: sometimes, the engine check light comes on due to electrical problems or faults in the ignition system;
  • Strange odours: strange smells, especially a burning smell coming from the engine, may indicate problems in the electrical system;
  • A “Ticking” sound: if you try to start the car and hear this sound, it may indicate a problem with the starter motor.


How Do You Identify Problems with Your Car’s Starter Motor?

If your car doesn’t start, pay particular attention to any lights that may come on on your car dashboard, as well as any strange odours.

Carry out a visual inspection of the battery cables and motor, looking for any signs of wear, corrosion, or anomalies.


What Do You Do if Your Car’s Starter Motor won’t work?

If your car won’t start because of the starting system, you can try to follow a few steps to solve the problem:

  • Check the battery charge and cables;
  • Test the fuses and make sure they are connected to the starting system;
  • Put your car in neutral (if you have an automatic vehicle, make sure it is set to “P” or “N” before turning it on).


Your Ignition Won’t Work: What Now?

If the ignition does not work:

  • Make sure your steering wheel isn’t locked;
  • Check if your key is damaged or deformed;
  • Pay attention to the dashboard lights to see if the low battery one comes on;
  • Among dozens of others.

If you notice any abnormalities, you should seek the help of a mechanic, as you may be experiencing problems with your car’s ignition coilspark plugs, or another component in the ignition system.


How Can You Find Out if the Problem’s the Battery?

Certain signs indicate that there are problems with your car battery, such as:

  • Dim dashboard lights;
  • Dim headlights;
  • Clicking sound when you turn the key.


How Long Can a Car Battery Last?

On average, the life of a car battery is 3-5 years. However, it all depends on various factors, such as the weather and the driver’s driving style.


How do you Test a Car Battery?

If there are signs that the car battery is out of charge, you should measure the voltage with a multimeter (a healthy battery will measure around 12.6 volts).

Another option is to perform a car battery charge test at a specialised centre.


How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Car Battery?

On average, prices start at €40 but can go up to hundreds of euros.



Your Car Dashboard lights up, but the Engine won’t Start: What could it be?

In addition to problems with the battery, such as lack of power or dirty or corroded terminals in the ignition or starter motor, you may face problems with other components.

The fuel filters in the fuel system may be clogged, for example, preventing fuel from reaching the engine.

Or, if your car has a manual transmission, you may have problems with the clutch sensor, which prevents your car from starting.


The Engine Runs but won’t Start: What could it be?

If the car starts but won’t move, the problem may be in the combustion system or ignition. In addition to the causes we’ve mentioned previously, other causes may include:


Can You Start Your Car with Jump Start Cables?

Yes, you can try starting your car using jump start cables, which transfer power from another vehicle’s battery to the battery of the car that needs to be started. To do so, you’ll need:

  1. To position the vehicles so that cables reach both vehicle batteries;
  2. Turn off the engines and other electronics;
  3. Identify the terminals and connect the cables;
  4. Start the car with the good battery and try to start the engine of the vehicle with the dead battery;
  5. If the car starts, turn off the engines and disconnect the cables.

If you followed the previous steps and they didn’t work, it means your vehicle has a more complex problem.


Your Car Won’t Start or Respond: Now What?

If this is the case, you’re best off seeking a professional mechanic to resolve the situation in the best way possible.

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