The list of things you can do if your car won’t start is long. But don’t panic! A few simple and effective techniques will help quickly get it back in action when your car won’t start but lights come on.
So, read on for more information about what to try next when everything else fails – because we all want our cars running like new again as soon as possible, right?
- Helpful Tools Needed
- Key Turns But Doesn’t Crank
- Engine Cranks, But Doesn’t Start
- When All Else Fails, Have a Mechanic Check It Out
- Final Thoughts
Helpful Tools Needed
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you know that having the right tools is essential to getting the job done correctly. And when it comes to fixing your vehicle, there are some specific tools that you’ll need to get the job done. Here’s a list of recommended tools that will come in handy when you’re trying to troubleshoot and fix your vehicle at home:
1. OBD Diagnostic – Read/Reset
A device that plugs into your car to read and reset the diagnostic trouble codes.
2. OBD Diagnostic – Pro
A professional-grade OBD reader with more features and functions than the standard OBD reader.
3. Socket Set
A set of sockets and ratchets is used to remove and install nuts and bolts.
A handheld device that emits a powerful beam of light, used to illuminate work areas and inspect under car parts.
An electronic device use to measure voltage, current, and resistance in electrical circuits.
6. Battery Charger
A device is use to charge a car battery.
7. Fuel System Cleaner
A chemical cleaner is used to clean the fuel system and remove deposits from fuel injectors, carburetors, and intake valves.
8. Impact Wheel Gun
A power tool that removes lug nuts from wheels using high torque.
9. Starter Tool Kit
A set of tools used to replace a car starter motor.
10. Pro Car Jack
A heavy-duty jack is used to lift cars for repairs or tire changes.
11. Oil Leak Stop
A product used to stop leaks in the engine oil system.
12. Jump Cables
Cables that are used to jump-start a car battery.
Key Turns But Doesn’t Crank
If your key turns in the ignition, but the engine won’t crank, don’t panic! There are a few things you can do to try to fix the problem. In this section, we’ll teach you how to troubleshoot the most common causes of this issue.
So, whether you’re a mechanic or just trying to take care of your vehicle, read on for tips on how to get your engine started.
1. Check the battery
One of the most important things to check when troubleshooting a vehicle that won’t start is the battery. If the battery is dead, the vehicle won’t start. There are a few ways to check if the battery is dead. One way is to use a voltmeter. Another way is to use a test light. If the battery is dead, you’ll need to charge it or replace it.
- Park the vehicle on level ground and turn off the engine.
- Open the hood and locate the battery.
- Check the battery terminals to ensure they are clean and free of corrosion.
- If the battery terminals are corroded, clean them with a wire brush or sandpaper.
- Attach a voltmeter to the positive and negative terminals of the battery.
- Check the voltage reading on the voltmeter. If it reads 12 volts or higher, the battery is good. If it reads less than 12 volts, the battery is dead and needs to be charged or replaced.
2. Check the Alternator
As any vehicle owner knows, the alternator is a vital engine component. It is responsible for charging the battery and powering the electrical system. If the alternator fails, the battery will die and the vehicle won’t start.
To avoid this problem, it’s crucial to have the alternator checked regularly. Most mechanics will inspect the alternator as part of a routine tune-up. However, if you suspect that your alternator is failing, it’s essential to have it checked as soon as possible. A failing alternator can cause problems, so it’s best to nip the situation in the bud before it becomes severe.
- Park your vehicle and turn off the engine.
- Pop the hood and locate the alternator. It should be on the left side of the engine, near the front.
- Disconnect the battery terminal. Disconnecting this will prevent any electrical shocks.
- Test the alternator by starting the vehicle and turning on all the lights, heater, radio, etc. The alternator should keep the battery charged and not drain it.
- If the alternator is not working correctly, have to replace it.
3. Check The Starter
A vehicle’s starter is responsible for turning the engine over and starting the vehicle. If the starter is not working, the vehicle will not start. There are a few things that can cause a starter to fail.
- The starter may be loose. A loose starter can happen if the bolts in place have come loose.
- The battery may be dead. A dead battery can happen if the battery has not been used for a long time or is not adequately charged.
- The starter may be faulty.
A faulty starter can happen if damaged by a surge of electricity or corrosion. If you suspect that your starter is not working, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic to have it checked out.
- Park your vehicle on a level surface and turn off the engine.
- Pop the hood and locate the starter. It is usually located on the side of the engine near the bottom.
- Check to see if the starter is loose. If it is, tighten the bolts that hold it in place.
- Check for corrosion on the starter. If you see any, clean it off with a wire brush and some WD-40.
- Try starting your vehicle again. If it still doesn’t start, take it to a mechanic to have it checked out further.
Engine Cranks, But Doesn’t Start
When your vehicle’s engine doesn’t start, it can be frustrating. You may not know what’s wrong, and you may not know how to fix it. But don’t worry – in this section, we’ll teach you the most common causes for an engine that cranks but doesn’t start.
We’ll also show you how to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs. So read on for all you need to know about this common automotive issue.
1. Check for a Fuel Delivery Problem
One of the most common reasons a vehicle won’t start is because there is no fuel getting to the engine. If you suspect this may be the problem, you should first check the fuel system. Ensure that there is gasoline in the tank and that the fuel lines are not clogged. If the fuel lines are clogged, they will need to be cleaned or replaced.
You should also check the fuel pump to make sure it is working correctly. If the fuel system looks fine, then the problem may be with the ignition system. Check the spark plugs and wires to see if they need to be replaced. If all of these things look good, the problem may be with the engine itself.
- Check the fuel system to make sure there is gasoline in the tank and that the fuel lines are not clogged.
- If the fuel lines are clogged, clean or replace them.
- Check the fuel pump to make sure it is working correctly.
- If the fuel system looks fine, check the ignition system.
2. Check for an Ignition Problem
It is essential to understand how the ignition system works to diagnose an ignition problem. The spark plugs are connected to the ignition coil and powered by the battery. When the engine is cranked, the coil creates a high voltage spark sent to the plugs.
The plugs then transfer the spark to the engine’s cylinders, igniting the air-fuel mixture and starting the engine. If none of these solutions solve the problem, replacing the ignition coil or spark plugs may be necessary.
- Check the battery to see if it has enough power.
- Check the connections between the ignition coil and spark plugs.
- Check the ignition switch to see if it is turned on.
- If the problem persists, check the ignition coil or spark plugs for damage and replace them if necessary.
3. Check for a Timing Belt Problem
A vehicle’s engine uses a series of pulleys and belts to turn the crankshaft. The crankshaft is what turns the pistons up and down in the cylinders. The timing belt ensures that the crankshaft and the camshaft are turning at the correct speed. If the timing belt snaps, the engine won’t start because the pistons and valves will be out of sync.
To check for a timing belt problem, you’ll need to remove the timing cover. Timing belts are usually located at the front of the engine. Once you have the cover off, you’ll be able to see the timing belt.
If it’s snapped, you’ll need to replace it. If it’s not snapped, you’ll need to check the tensioner to see if it’s damaged. The tensioner is what keeps the timing belt tight. If it’s damaged, it will need to be replaced.
- Remove the timing cover. The timing cover is usually located at the front of the engine.
- Inspect the timing belt to see if it is snapped.
- If the timing belt is snapped, you will need to replace it.
- If the timing belt is not snapped, check the tensioner to see if it is damaged. The tensioner is what keeps the timing belt tight.
- If the tensioner is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
4. Check for a Head Gasket Problem
Head gaskets are a vital part of an engine, and if they blow, the engine won’t start. First, remove the spark plug and inspect it for oil or coolant to check for a head gasket problem. If either is present, it’s a sign that the head gasket has blown.
Another way to check is to take the engine oil dipstick out and smell it. If it smells like coolant, that’s another indication that the head gasket has blown. Finally, if the engine is cranking but not starting, that’s usually a sure sign of a head gasket problem. So if you suspect a head gasket problem, be sure to have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.
- Remove the spark plug and check it for oil or coolant.
- Take the engine oil dipstick out and smell it.
- If the engine is cranking but not starting, that’s usually a sure sign of a head gasket problem.
- So if you suspect a head gasket problem, be sure to have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible if you are not capable of doing the repair yourself.
5. Check for an Engine Sensor Problem
Checking for an engine sensor problem is one of the first things a mechanic should do if a vehicle won’t start. Engine sensors are located throughout the engine and are responsible for monitoring everything from air and fuel pressure to cylinder temperature. If one of these sensors is not working correctly, it can cause the vehicle to stall or not start at all.
A faulty engine sensor may also cause the check engine light to come on in some cases. To check for an engine sensor problem, the mechanic will need to hook up a diagnostic tool to the vehicle’s computer and run a test. If the diagnostic tool finds an issue with one of the sensors, the mechanic will then need to replace the sensor.
In most cases, replacing an engine sensor is a relatively straightforward process. However, it is essential to note that some sensors are located in difficult-to-reach places. As a result, it may be necessary to disassemble part of the engine to replace the sensor.
- Hook up a diagnostic tool to the vehicle’s computer.
- Run a test with the diagnostic tool.
- If the diagnostic tool finds an issue with one of the sensors, replace the sensor.
- It may be necessary to disassemble part of the engine to replace the sensor in some cases.
6. Check for a Computer Problem
As any mechanic knows, a vehicle’s computer is essential for its proper functioning. If the computer is not working, the vehicle may not start. There are a few things that can cause a computer to malfunction.
- A power surge may have damaged the computer.
- The computer may have been damaged by water.
- A physical impact may have damaged the computer.
To check for a problem with the computer, first, check the battery. If the battery is dead, replace it with a new one. Next, check for damage to the computer. If the computer has been damaged by water or a physical impact replace it with a new one.
Finally, check for a power surge. If a power surge has damaged the computer, replace it with a new one. By following these steps, you can ensure that your vehicle’s computer is working correctly and that your vehicle will start when it needs to.
- Check for damage to the computer. If it has been damaged by water or a physical impact, replace it with a new one.
- Check for a power surge. If a power surge has damaged the computer, replace it with a new one.
When all else fails, have a mechanic check it out
To fix a vehicle, you need first to identify the problem. Sometimes, you can simply look at the vehicle and inspect it for any apparent damage or leaks. Other times, the problem may not be so easy to spot. If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s wrong with your vehicle, take it to a mechanic and have them take a look at it. They will be able to pinpoint the issue and recommend a course of action.
In some cases, the problem may be something as simple as a loose wire or a blown fuse. However, if the problem is more serious, such as an engine malfunction, the mechanic will be able to diagnose it and get it fixed. Either way, it’s always best to get a professional opinion before attempting to fix a vehicle yourself.
- If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s wrong with your vehicle, take it to a mechanic and have them take a look at it.
- They will be able to pinpoint the issue and recommend a course of action.
Have you ever had a vehicle problem that you couldn’t diagnose? It can be frustrating, especially when you don’t know where to start. You may have a general idea of where the problem might be, but it can be challenging to determine the specific issue without help from an expert.
That’s why we put together this guide on troubleshooting common errors. These tips will give you a place to start and help you troubleshoot some of the most common issues. If you still can’t find the source of the problem after trying these steps, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional mechanic shop for help.
Feel free to comment if you have any questions. We’re here to help.