Even if your car is a relatively new, late model vehicle, it is not immune to issues that can prevent it from starting. A car that will not start can be extremely frustrating, especially if you are in a hurry to get to work or fear being stranded far away from home when you are out and about. Some issues that prevent your car from starting up normally can be fixed right away while others may require you to have the vehicle towed to an auto service. The following guide can help you diagnose what is preventing your car from starting up right away.
A common and easy-to-fix problem is a drained or defective battery. If you left your lights on for hours by mistake or if there is a circuit that is draining the battery when the vehicle is turned off, you might return to a car with a dead battery.
A quick fix is to pull out your jumper cables and get a jump from another driver or call your roadside assistance service. However, if there are repeated instances of a drained battery, you should take your car to your auto service to have them check the car's circuits to find out what is draining the battery. It could be anything from a trunk light that stays on when the car is turned off to an aftermarket stereo system that fails to go into standby mode.
Corrosion around your battery's terminals will also cause your battery to malfunction. It is easy to clean the corrosion yourself with water, a toothbrush, baking soda, gloves, safety goggles and petroleum jelly. There are plenty of tutorials online to teach you how to perform this task safely.
Onboard Computer Defect
If your car fails to start once or twice a week or your engine turns off unexpectedly soon after you start it up, the vehicle's engine control unit (ECU) may be defective. After you determine that your battery is not defective when the car does not start, have the vehicle towed to your local car service. Certified mechanics have the equipment and knowledge to diagnose and repair ECU issues like damaged circuit boards or loose pins.
Your car's starter, a type of internal combustion engine, is what gets your engine going so you can operate the vehicle. When the starter malfunctions, your engine will not start spinning. Your car's lights, stereo system and alarm may work but you will not be able to get the engine running.
A defective starter may emit whirring, grinding and clicking noises when you try to start your engine. Unless you have extensive experience in car repair, you will need to take your vehicle to an auto service to repair or replace the starter.
For more information, contact companies like GSBP Automotive.