The most common car issue auto body shops see is the car not starting. After all, if the car doesn’t run, nothing else matters so far, you can’t use your car. When an engine doesn’t start it can lead to you feeling helpless and totally stuck. You will likely have to be towed. And you might not make it to work that day. It is nice to know the basics of how a car starts and some reasons why they fail to. Let’s get to it.
How Does An Engine Start?
A part in your car is designed to provide the craking power the engine needs to start up. This is called a starter. When you press the ignition button, an electrical signal tells the starter to crank and rotate. This how starting up the engine starts.
Once the starter cranks, the engine needs a spark, a compression, and a supply of fuel to start running.
If the starter doesn’t work or there is no battery, your engine will never start. If the starter works, but your engine doesn’t start, there must be an issue with either the compression, the fuel supply, or the spark.
When The Engine Doesn’t Crank
When the engine doesn’t crank it could be because of 4 reasons:
#1 Battery Issues
The battery gives power to the electric starter system. If the engine doesn’t crank, the battery is not supplying power to the starter system. This can happen if we left the lights on all night, or didn’t fully close a door, causing the battery to drain.
#2 The Key Won’t Turn
Another common problem is when you try to turn the key in the ignition but you physically can’t/ the most likely reason has an easy fix, steering might be locked by the ignition lock. This sometimes happens when the wheels are turned to one side. In case this happens, simply jiggle the wheel back and forth, and you will be able to turn the key.
#3 Issues With The Starter Motor
The starter solenoid is the common culprit then this happens. This starter transfers electrical current to the motor when the ignition sends the signal. When there is a failed connection between these starters the engine won’t likely crank.
#4 Ignition System Problems
Sometimes the electrical ignition is faulty. If you can get the starter to crank by jiggling the car key, this will indicate that the ignition starter is not aligned and needs to be replaced.
When The Engine Cranks But Won’t Start
In some cases, the engine will crank but won’t start. This means you have one of many different issues leading to your car not starting.
#1 Engine Cranks Weakly
A weak sound when the engine cranks could be caused by a weak battery. Maybe the connection between the battery and starter motor is loosened or damaged.
#2 Engine Is Flooded
When the engine shortly starts up, stalls, and then doesn’t start again it can be caused by gasoline saturating the spark plugs. This can wash oil from the piston rings and reduce compression.
#3 Lack Of Fuel
This is as simple as it is, but we need to mention it to complete the list. Always make sure there is enough fuel in the gas tank.
#4 Fuel Pump Issues
Fuel pump issues are a bit trickier. Older cars can be prone to have fuel pump issues. When this pump dies, you will not be able to start the engine. You will have to have the fuel pump replaced. This will have to be done by a trained technician.
Is Your Car Not Starting? Contact Us Today!
If your car is not starting that could be nerve-wracking. After all, you need to get places! Contact Sudden Impact Auto today at 702-457-3002 for a free estimate and we can get your car running again.