Look at you all dressed up and ready to head out. You could be at work by now. Or at the store, if that’s where you’re headed. Yet here you are—stuck in the same place for what has felt like hours. The culprit: your car that has suddenly decided not to cooperate. Instead, it sits motionless despite your many attempts to revive it and get the ignition to start.
The Question Now Is This: What Do You Do If Your Car Won’t Start?
The way we see it, you have two options. You could either call for back-up and have the professionals look under the hood right away. Alternatively, you can diagnose the issue and do a little troubleshooting first.
If you’ve opted for the latter, then you’ve come to the right page.
We’ve listed some of the most common things that you can do if your car won’t start. Consider this as a series of steps that you can do to determine the root cause of the issue. Keep on reading.
First: Check If Your Car Is In Park Or Neutral Mode
The telltale sign: Your dashboard light is on, but your car won’t start.
The diagnosis: Most cars can’t run unless it’s on park/neutral mode. Think of this as a manufacturer’s way of avoiding possible accidents.
What you should do: Try moving the gear to neutral or to park, whichever move applies. Do this a couple of times before attempting to turn on the engine again. If, however, you’ve shifted the gears as suggested and your car still hasn’t turned on, this could be a case of a bad starter motor or a dead battery. Make sure to call for assistance right away.
Second: Check Your Fuel
The telltale sign: You can see that you’re out of gas. You might also hear the engine crank up, but your car won’t turn on.
The diagnosis: You’re out of gas—there’s probably nothing else to it.
What you should do: At this point, you should probably call for back-up and have your tank refilled in no time.
Third: Ask Yourself This: When Was The Last Time I Had My Battery Changed?
The telltale sign: You notice that your car is slow to crank.
The diagnosis: Your car’s battery might be more than 3 years already.
What you should do: You can try to jumpstart your car to get it running again. You can also call the pros for assistance.
Fourth: Listen For A Rattling Sound
The telltale sign: You will hear a pinging or rattling sound when you try to key in the ignition.
The diagnosis: If you’ve just had your fuel tank refilled, then you may have filled it up with the wrong octane rating.
What you should do: To remedy the situation, you will need to add an octane booster. This should bring your car’s octane rating to normal levels.
Fifth: Check Your Car’s Cable Connections
The telltale sign: Look for possible corrosion in the battery.
The diagnosis: Your battery could be dead or the connector might need a clean-up or some tightening.
What you should do: Try thrusting a screwdriver in the space between your battery’s connector and terminal post. This should clean up the cables, and get your car up and running in no time. If this doesn’t wake up your engine, then it’s time for a battery replacement.
Sixth: Notice If There’s A Spinning Sound
The telltale sign: A loose timing belt might be to blame. Try to see if you can locate the broken pieces under the hood.
The diagnosis: A broken timing belt could be messing up the synchronization of the valves and pistons in your car.
What you should do: Now is NOT the time to bust out your toolbox and DIY the issue. Make sure to call for roadside assistance right away.
Seventh: Listen For A Clicking Sound From The Engine
The telltale sign: You’ll hear rhythmic clicking sounds. Plus, you likely won’t be able to turn on your headlights.
The diagnosis: If there nothing seems to be wrong with the brightness of the headlights, then a bad starter might be to blame. If the headlight seems a little dim, then your car’s battery might be running low.
What you should do: You can try to jumpstart your car through a process called key cycling. It’s also a good idea to call the experts at this point.
Eighth: Try Pressing The Accelerator As You Turn On The Engine
The telltale sign: There’s a strong smell of gas that permeates the air.
The diagnosis: If your surrounding smells heavily of gas as you try to crank up your engine, then your car might be flooded.
What you should do: Unflood your engine by stepping on your accelerator and trying to turn on the engine a few times.
Of course, your safety on the road is still of utmost importance. Even after you have gone through the tips above, make sure to call in the experts for a professional opinion. For reliable and quality roadside assistance, be sure to call Towing Jacksonville Pros.