Problem With Car Starting
When dealing with a car that won’t start, there are loads of things that can go wrong. Basically everything under the hood could prevent a car from starting properly. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to check a car from top to bottom, there are still some last resorts left before calling the AAA. Here are some things that can be easily checked.
So let’s treat some symptoms. What do you do if the engine just won’t crank one bit: this usually is caused by a dead battery or a busted starter. In this case you’ll need a voltmeter. A dead battery can create loads of headaches. Since it is “responsible” for creating the spark that ignites the gas in the burn chamber, no spark, and then no engine cranking. If the car is running, yet the battery is low on acids or in bad condition, it won’t hold the charge in, so you may have the unpleasant surprise of ending up in the middle of the intersection with a car that completely shut down.
If you own an automatic car, then you need to make sure that the gear is shifted in park mode and, you’re holding the foot on the brake. It may sound childish but many people make that mistake and blame it on the engine.
If the car has manual drive, you need to make sure that the clutch pedal is completely pushed down. If the clutch pedal isn’t completely pushed down, than the pressure plate does not deplete completely, so the engine will not crank.
If you have a newer car then you should make sure that all your seat belt is fastened. Most cars will not start unless the seat belt is fastened (usually signaled by a blinking light on the dashboard and a warning sound).
Make sure that you have inserted the key correctly. Turn the key in the ignition, but not completely, only until the electrical system becomes online, then give the steering wheel a bit of a turn, in each direction to see if the steering wheel is unlocked. And while you’re at it, you should make sure that the alarm system is not active. Although, the moment you unlock the car, the alarm system should go off, there are some systems that wait until you insert the key in the ignition to fully deactivate. Some car models have a chip connected to the starter that scans the other chip inserted in your key. This way the car makes sure that no one else can start the car.
If you turn the key, yet nothing happens, not even the electrical system comes online, than you need to take a look under the hood. Pop the hood and have a look at the battery, the connectors and the cables. Because of the high voltage that runs through the connectors, static electricity is created around the battery terminals. This attracts all kinds of particle, and specs of dust and dirt to the connectors. This is how corrosion is created. If you can see any signs of corrosion on the battery terminals than you need to get an anti corrosive cleaning agent and give the terminals a good clean. Don’t stop until they are shiny again.
Also there could be a problem with the cables. Have a look around, check for cracks, or any holes in the isolation or any other kinds of abuse. The cables tend to get loose, as the terminals get dirtier. Make sure the terminals are well in place. You can even “help them” with a hammer.