January 10, 2019

What Should I Do When My Car Won’t Start?

If you open your door this winter only to find that your car won’t start, there could be a variety of causes leading to the problem. From minor issues to major problems, we are experts at diagnosing a myriad of things that could be leading to your car sitting in your driveway instead of zooming down the road. What should you do when your car won’t start?

If Your Starter Will Crank, But the Car Won’t Start

If your car still won’t start, but the starter is cranking, you should start by checking the battery. If your battery is old, it could die at any given time. However, if a battery is low, it can still struggle to start things up if the level is low enough. A low battery can be jump-started, but a completely dead battery needs to be replaced before driving again.

Then, check the following:

  • Will the car start with the automatic transmission in neutral but not in park? This is a sign that there’s a problem with the neutral safety switch.
  • Are the battery cables free from rust or corrosion? Are the cables tight?
  • Is there enough fuel in the tank? If your fuel gauge is inaccurate, your car could be empty without you even realizing it.
  • Does your car use an anti-theft mechanism that prevents the car from starting if the proper procedures aren’t followed?

If Your Key Won’t Turn in the Ignition

This could be preventing your automobile from turning on for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the steering is locked by the ignition lock or the wheels are pressed against something hard, like the curb. Try to wiggle the steering wheel left and right and adjust the ignition key to release the ignition lock. Another common key issue occurs when there is a problem with the key or lock itself, which can happen naturally over time. If you have a spare key handy, try using that instead.

If There Are No Lights on the Instrument Panel

A total lack of lights when turning your key is a sign that your battery is not giving off any power. The cause of this could be either a bad ignition switch or dead battery. If your headlights kick on, the problem is the ignition switch or wiring and not the battery itself. If no lights kick on anywhere on your car, check the battery terminals. Providing everything looks correct, try jump starting the car and plan on replacing the battery.

If Your Starter Won’t Crank

If your starter isn’t turning over the engine and your car won’t start, a dead battery is the most probable cause. However, if your battery is fine and the starter still won’t crank, there could be a variety of issues including:

  • A bad ignition switch
  • A starter control wire with a faulty connection
  • The starter itself is broken
  • The neutral safety switch is broken or malfunctioning
  • The car’s security system is not allowing the car to start

If Your Engine Cranks Slower and Slower and Clicks

If your engine cranks slowly, continues slowing down and then clicks, the motor doesn’t’ have enough battery power to actually turn over the engine. A very weak is the most common culprit, and giving the battery a jump start can give you enough juice to make it to Thunderbird Automotive for a battery replacement.

Keep Your Automobile in Great Shape with Thunderbird Automotive

Thunderbird Automotive is a leader in auto repair and maintenance in Phoenix, AZ thanks to our awesome customer service, broad range of repair services and expertise. To learn more about our services and get your vehicle checked out, please contact us at (602) 938-3631.

January 10, 2019