Help! My Car Won’t Start

Turn the key and nothing happens? More often than not, if your car won’t start there is something you can do about it. Here’s a list of the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

1- Battery maintenance problems are the reason behind most stalled cars (other than running out of gas, but that’s a no-brainer). If you accidentally leave the lights or radio on overnight, expect battery problems. Your solution: jump start the car and be more careful in the future.

2- If battery cables look bad or they’re loose, tighten and replace as needed.

3- If your battery top is dirty it may interfere with proper current flow. If you find white stuff on top, clean it and charge the battery.

4- Dead batteries happen. They have a life expectancy of a few years, although we can’t tell you exactly how many because it depends on your driving habits, battery type and location. As a general rule, replace it at least before the fourth winter.

5- Short circuit or current drain. Unfortunately, for this you’ll need a mechanic. You’ll recognize short circuits or current drains because the engine doesn’t crank or cranks very slowly.

6- Fuel injection problem. You’ll need a mechanic to fix this one as well, but to prevent the problem you can use liquid fuel-injector cleaners that go right in your gas tank.

7- Bad distributor cap or spark plug wires. This happens mostly in rainy weather, when the distributor gets wet. Both caps and spark plug wires need to be replaced.

8- If the engine cranks normally but won’t start, check fuel filter, pump or ignition.

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