It’s one of the most dreaded moments of being a vehicle owner: the moment when you sit down in the driver’s seat, close the door, buckle in, turn the key in the ignition… and nothing happens. You can try over and over again to turn the key and hope for the best, but chances are, if that engine didn’t fire up the first time, it’s not going to have much of a chance to spring to life any subsequent time after.
A vehicle that doesn’t start is clearly experiencing a problem, but getting to the bottom of that problem isn’t as easy as you might think. In fact, most people think their vehicle’s inability to start is the problem, but it’s in fact a symptom—the problem could lie in any number of subsystems. Take a look at a few of the more common issues that might leave your vehicle dead where it’s parked:
- A dead battery will immobilize your vehicle! If you put that key in the ignition, turn it and hear nothing but a rapid clicking, there’s a better than average chance that your battery is dead. In this case, getting a jump from a friend might be ideal, but it’s worthwhile having an auto mechanic in Madison, TN test it, just to make sure. While they’re in there, it might behoove you to also have a professional inspect your alternator as well, since it could contribute to the problem.
- A spark plug or two that’s shot might give you heaps of problems when it comes to starting your vehicle. Worse yet, park plugs can also put a strain on your battery, creating a domino effect of problems that could go unnoticed until you end up unable to start your vehicle! Keep an eye out for rough idling or engine surges as a sign your spark plugs are on the fritz.
- Are you out of gas? It might seem silly, but more often than not, vehicle owners absentmindedly forget to put fuel in their vehicle, leading to problems starting—especially in the winter months. Keep your fuel gauge above ¼ tank at all times to eliminate a lack of fuel as a potential vehicle starting problem.
- If it’s raining outside or has recently rained, dampness may be messing with your distributor cap. Moisture will often cause issues with the distribution cap—although more modern vehicles are built to prevent issues of this kind. Have an auto mechanic in Madison, TN inspect your cap if you notice ignition problems on rainy days and ask them for recommendations moving forward.
Above are just a few of the issues that could herald non-responsiveness when you go to start your car—there are many more issues that could be the source. Remember, a vehicle that won’t start isn’t the problem: it’s a symptom of an unseen problem. Ask your auto mechanic in Madison, TN to inspect your vehicle if the inability to start your car becomes a frequent occurrence and make sure you’re getting to the bottom of the problem quickly, so as to not put yourself in a position where you’re left without a working automobile!