Auto Troubleshooting: Understanding The Common Problem Signs

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Why Your Car Won't Start And What To Do About It

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If your car will not start, then there are a variety of different things that can cause this frustrating problem. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to get it started and running again. So, before you let the frustration get the better of you and call for professional assistance, first follow this procedure:

Step 1: Check the Gasoline Gauge

While it may sound obvious, before doing anything else, take a quick look at your car's gas gauge and think about when the last time was that you put gasoline in your vehicle. Your car being out of gas is the easiest thing to fix, so it always makes sense to quickly check this before you search for a more challenging problem.

Step 2: Determine if the Problem is the Battery

If your car has gasoline, then the next suspect for why it won't start is its battery. Your car's battery will stop holding a charge as it ages. If it has been a long time since you bought a new one, then this is the likely reason that your car won't start.

When you try to start your car and the battery is dead, the lights on the dashboard will be very dim or will not come on at all. As you turn the key, your vehicle will make a whine but will not ever kick over and start. The more you turn the key, then the lower the battery power and the less chance of your car starting.

If you suspect the battery has lost its charge, then you can try jump starting your car with another. If your car starts, then the battery is the problem. Drive around a while to give your car's alternator time to charge the battery, and then take your car to your local auto repair center to check the battery quality.

Step 3: Determine if the Alternator is Charging Your Battery

Your car's battery is only used when you start your vehicle. Once your car is running, then its alternator re-charges the battery. If your car's alternator is failing, then it will not charge the battery while you drive and the next time you turn off your car it won't start again. If this happens, then you should have your car's alternator replaced.

Step 4: Determine if the Starter is the Cause of the Problem

Finally, if you try to jump start your car and it will not fire and start, then you should suspect the starter has failed. As an electronic part, starters do periodically fail. Thankfully, replacing your car's starter is a fairly simple repair for any mechanic and will not be horribly costly to have repaired. 

Check with a local auto shop or European car maintenance facility for more information.