What to Do If Your Car Won’t Start

A vehicle that refuses to start can be the result of more manageable issues or serious problems. If your car is not starting and the battery is fine, you need to start looking elsewhere for the culprit. This month, K&S Car Wash brings you six possible problems when your car won’t start, hesitates or starts making unsual sounds.

Minor Problems

The Vehicle Is Silent When the Ignition Is Turned If your car battery has a charge, there may be an issue with the cable connections. If they are damaged, they will need to be replaced. A battery cable replacement performed by a mechanic will cost about $250.

Clicking Sound

If you hear a clicking sound while turning the ignition, it may mean that the wiring to and from your starter is loose. Inspect connections and tighten up any loose wires.

Refuses to Start in the Rain

If it is raining outside, the distributor cap can get wet. A wet cap will cause ignition trouble. To dry it off, first, look in your owner’s manual and find where the cap is located. Remove it, then flip the top upside down. Spray the lid with a carburetor cleaner and shake the cap around gently. After the cleaner has covered all parts of the cover, clean it off with a dry, lint-free rag. Then, reattach the top and test the vehicle again.

More Serious Problems

Knocks and Pings From the Engine

Unusual noises from the engine can indicate multiple, more serious issues, from the timing belt to the engine cylinders. You will likely want to have a professional perform an inspection on the car to diagnose the problem.

Car Cranks and Does Not Start

If you hear a cranking sound, your spark plugs may be damaged. Pop open the hood and inspect the spark plugs. Look out for any carbon deposits, and check the spark plugs to see if they appear worn. Be sure to check all of the plugs. Just one defective spark plug can cause issues. If everything appears to be fine, you may need to get the fuel supply inspected.

Car Hesitates During Acceleration

There may be issues with different parts of the car. Inspect the timing, spark plugs, distributor, and accelerator pump. A combination of issues in these areas can cause the vehicle to run correctly. If your car doesn’t start right away, it is important to keep calm. Most ignition problems can be solved in minutes. For more serious issues, contact a trusted mechanic to help get your vehicle back on the road. And once your car is up and running, don’t forget to stop by K&S Car Wash for a wash.