If your car won’t start..

It’s annoying when the car wouldn’t start. .. You turn the key and nothing happens. Almost every car owner has experienced this. There are many things that can go wrong, but do not worry, almost every problem has a solution.


What should you check first?

  • Is the battery good? Turn on the wipers. If they move very slowly, much more slowly than usual, it is probably the voltage of the battery is low. Turn on the lights, if they are very faintly, the battery is likely discharged.
  • Are the battery cables tight and not corroded?
  • If you have automatic-transmission car: the car doesn’t cart in P mode, start either in N? Sometimes the automatic car will not start in P, but start in N because of the problem of the safety switch.
  • Is there enough fuel in the tank? Frequently, that the fuel measuring system is not working properly and the car runs out of fuel while the gauge shows that there is still. There is no other way to check the fuel level. You can only estimate the fuel level based on the last refueling-time and the mileage.
  • Is anti-theft system in the car, which can block starting for some reason?

You must answer the following questions:

  1.  Can you turn the key?
  2. When you turn the ignition, what happens?
    • Light up any warning icons on the instrument panel?
    • Lit continuously or flash a small key-shaped icon on the dashboard?
    • Switch on the engine control light?
  3. What happens when you turn the ignition key to start position?
    • Nothing happens, the engine will not start?
    • You hear one or more clicks, but the engine will not start?
    • The engine is spinning, but only very slowly?
    • The spinning of the engine will gradually slow down, and then click?
    • The motor is spinning but does not start?

1. You can’t give ignition to the car

Often happens, when the steering lock is turned or when something hints the front wheels (e.g. curb) that you can’t turn the key in the direction of ignition. In this case, try to turn the wheel left or right while slowly moving the key – it can help to unlock the steering. Another possibility is that there is a problem with the key or the ignition switch. Try the spare key.

starting the car


2. When you turn on the ignition, what happens?

A. Warning icons don’t light up on the dashboard
When you turn on the ignition and lights don’t light up on the dashboard, it means that the energy doesn’t’ get enough energy from the battery. It may be a bad battery or bad ignition. Turn on the headlights, and if they work, the battery has enough energy so there could be a problem with the ignition switch or wiring.
If nothing lights up on the dashboard and electric stuffs don’t work, then either the battery is bad or there is no connection between the battery and the car’s electrical system.

B. Key shaped icon lights up on the dashboard
kulcs ikonMany car is equipped with an immobilizer or a security system that makes allows that the car will only start if you try to start it with the right key. This basically means that there is a chip with a security code inside your car keys. When you insert it into the key hole, the sensor of the security system reads the code.
Normally when you turn on the ignition, this icon is lighting for a short time and then going out.
This means that the key code is correct and the car can start.
When you turn on the ignition, but the icon is still lit or flashing, the security system didn’t recognize the key or there is a problem with the system.
It is possible that the sensor is not good, or you have to reprogramming the key. Try out the spare key, if nothing else works.

C. The engine control icon doesn’t turn during the ignition
engine warning lightWhen you turn on the ignition, the engine control lamp is always turned on, indicating that the car’s computer system started. If it doesn’t turn on at startup, there isn’t enough energy (broken pipes, faulty main relay, burnt out fuse b) or something is wrong with the on-board computer.


3. What happens when you turn the key?

A. The engine doesn’t spin, doesn’t start
If nothing happens when you turn on the key, it means that the starter “is not spinning.” Most often this may be caused by a bad battery.
If you checked the battery and it’s good, but the motor doesn’t run, there are several reasons for this. Some of them:

  • Ignition is wrong – a common problem
  • Starting cable is bad
  • Starter motor itself or the contactor could be bad
  • A neutral safety switch is bad (in the case of automatic transmission car)
  • There is a problem with the security system or other electronic control unit, which prevents the starter from operating.

B. If you hear a click, but the engine will not start
It is very common problem: turn on the key, but the motor is not running, all you hear is a single or multiple repetitive clicks coming from the engine compartment. Very often this may occur the low battery or a poor connection on the battery.
Sometimes the battery terminals are corroded. Of course, there could be other reasons, but the most common because of the corroded terminals there is not enough electrical power to start the engine. Make sure that the poles are not corroded.
If the battery is okay and the poles are clean, not corroded, the solenoid, the battery cables or the starter itself may be causing the problem.

C. The motor rotates very slowly, but will not start
This can be caused by weak or dead battery.
Sometimes parts of the starter are worn; in this the case, the starter must be renewed or replaced. Another reason could be an internal mechanical problem (such as a lack of oil, the use of very old motor oil). Check the oil.

D. The motor spins, but gradually slows down, then begins clicking
If the engine speed is just slow down and slow down until only a clicking noise, then the starter motor doesn’t transfer enough energy to the motor. This problem is relatively easy to recognize, as it is only two cables that transport energy from the battery to the motor.
There is also a frequent cause the poor battery. It can be caused by the bad starter too. And of course, a bad cable or corrosion can cause these symptoms.

E. normally the engine is spinning, but the car will not start
If the motor is spinning, but the car will not start, at least you know that the battery and the starter work well. There is fuel or electrical problem.


What is required to start the engine?

– Compression in the cylinders
The normal value of the compression engine is 120-170 psi. The engine will not start if this value drops below 70-80. The compression could be low due to several things.
If the compression is low, you feel that the engine is unusually fasts with almost no resistance, but does not start or only difficulty.

auto engine


– Good timing
The control of the engine (and the camshaft that opens and close the valves) is precisely timed. For example, if the timing belt will break, the engine will not start.

– Fuel and spark plugs
The car engine need an appropriate air-fuel mixture at the right moment a strong spark, so the fuel dispenser and the ignition system must work properly in order to start the car.
A common problem that in the fuel system there is a bad fuel pump or relay or wire. Another common problem that the car is running out of fuel, but the fuel gauge still shows some fuel in the tank.
One sign that there is no fuel in the tank that the sound of the fuel pump changes. The fuel pump is usually heard after the ignition for a few seconds as a quiet noise from the rear of the car. If there is no fuel in the tank, it sounds otherwise.


If you can start the car, what to do?

The problem could be intermittent, once good, and once bad. These problems can sometimes easy to diagnose. For example, if you realize that the moving of the key helps to start the car, then the problem is probably in the ignition switch, which is very common. If the security light flashes on the dashboard each time the car doesn’t start, you may need to check the security system. Take it to a mechanic!



A. If the engine doesn’t spin or only very weakly – If you turn the key and the engine does not spin, there probably is a problem with the electrical system. Many things are included here, including faulty sensors.

  • Dead or weak battery
  • Poor electrical connection between the battery terminals
  • Alternator (if the alternator is not good the battery won’t charge)
  • Faulty starter or solenoid valves

B. If the motor spins but doesn’t start – Probably a mechanical problem.

  • Out of Fuel
  • Bad fuel pump or relay
  • No sparks (e.g. spark plug failure)
  • Clogged fuel system or injectors
  • Security system fault