There comes a morning when you’re late for work and you can’t seem to find anything in your rush to get out of the house faster. The moment you turn the key and see that nothing happens, you realize that it’s going to be a long, long day. Car start-up problems can get really annoying because of all the issues that could go wrong and cause an engine stall. As a matter of fact, any kind of malfunction under the hood can keep the car from starting.
In order to figure out what’s wrong with the car you need to start somewhere. That somewhere is at the battery and then slowly head back. Some of the tests are quite simple to make but others are a living nightmare. Even so you have to give it a shot if you ever want to get out of the driveway.
Ok, let’s see some possible electrical reasons. Some cars have fuse related starting systems so the very first thing to do before anything else is checking your fuses. It could be that simple. A busted fuse is enough to completely shut down the starting system leaving your car dead in its tracks.
If there’s nothing wrong with the fuses then check the battery. Like everything else, the battery connections are susceptible to time and weather and other exterior factors so it slowly corrodes the connections. This very corrosion breaks the battery link to the rest of the car by failing to deliver the energy required to create a spark so that the gas ignites starting the engine. Cleaning the battery well and using an anti corrosive agent could help out with the problem.
One of the most common reasons for a failed ignition is due to a dead battery. If you have a battery tester that could measure the amps test your battery for any signs of weakness. In case you don’t have one of those then jumpstart the car. If it starts right away than you’re dealing with a faulty battery that just can’t “keep it in” and having it replaced will most likely solve your problem.
If the battery is in good condition, yet it’s almost always close to drained. Then you need to turn your attention to the alternator. The alternator is the charger that coverts motion into electricity and delivers that power surge to the battery charging it while the engine is active. If the alternator is not doing its job properly then the battery will slowly drain leaving it dead. Unfortunately an alternator is not as easy to deal with so it’s recommended to have it tested by a certified mechanic.
So until now, the battery is ok, fuses are ok and alternator is ok. Yet still no ignition, no roaring engine to life. Have a close look at the dashboard. The moment you turn the key, all the dashboard lights should light up for a second. If nothing happens than you might have a faulty ignition switch. It is clearly that the starter doesn’t get any ignition command and not even the electrical equipment turns on.
If you cannot find any electrical reasons for the car’s refuse to start, your best bet is to look at one of the most “vulnerable” component under the hood: the distributor cap. Usually when wet weather occurs, a faulty cap could prevent your car from firing. Remove the cap and have a look inside for possible moisture. Even a drop of water could be enough to clog it so make sure it’s wiped out properly.