Having problems getting your vehicle started up? Most of the time, car starting problems are caused either by battery issues or alternator issues.
When you attempt to start up the vehicle, you might notice one of the following symptoms:
- The vehicle backfires when you try to turn the ignition
- You don’t get any sound or lights when you attempt to start the vehicle
- You notice a pronounced, unusual clicking noise when you turn the key in the ignition
- The engine turns over very slowly when you start up the vehicle
- Your vehicle turns on but has weaker headlights and seems to be losing power
- You must put your foot on the gas pedal for the vehicle to actually start up
Any time you experience any of these issues, it’s important to get the problem resolved as soon as possible, so you can achieve regular vehicle performance once again and avoid potential complications and power-related issues.
If you have any reason to believe your battery is dead or dying, you should aim to jump-start the vehicle. If you are able to get your car started with a jump start, then the battery is the problem, and you should take the vehicle to a mechanic to have the battery tested. This will help you determine approximately how much life remains in the battery and whether or not you need to replace it.
If, however, you cannot get your vehicle started up with a jump start, or if you don’t notice any of the above symptoms, the problem is more likely with your vehicle’s alternator. Instead of noticing the aforementioned symptoms, you are likely to notice some of the following signs of alternator trouble:
- Unusual burning smells
- Headlights that flicker rather than start up
- Strange whining or tinny noises emanating from beneath the hood
- Problems operating your vehicle’s electronic devices
- Alternator-warning lighting up on your dashboard
- Issues with your vehicle stalling after you start it up
When you notice these symptoms and aren’t able to get your vehicle going with a jump start, the problem is likely due to alternator problems. The alternator is a part of your vehicle tasked with recharging your battery and keeping your electronics operational. It’s a good idea to take your vehicle to a mechanic to have the part inspected and repaired or replaced if necessary, so you can avoid the problem getting worse and more dangerous.
Note that a battery warning light on your dashboard could indicate problems with the alternator and not necessarily with the battery itself. The light might be telling you there is a problem with your vehicle’s electrical system that is not limited to or located in the battery. The alternator is an important part of your vehicle’s electrical system, powering all electronics and helping you get your car started up.
Want to learn more about why your car is not starting and what you can do to resolve the problem? Contact our team today at Madison Muffler & Auto Repair with any questions you have.