What to Do When Your Car Won’t Start

car won't start

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It can be especially stressful when you get in your car, turn the key, and your car will not start. You are obviously on your way somewhere which means that you might very well end up late, which is often more troubling than anything else. Here are some of the most common causes to consider when your car won’t start and some tips on how to deal with them.

Key turning but nothing happens:


car keyTake a moment to listen to your car. Even if it has not started, it could still be trying to tell you something with those little noises it makes or does not make. If you turn the key and the engine doesn’t crank at all or you hear a clicking noise, it could be the battery.  All batteries have a lifespan and it’s good to remember that the cold weather can seriously drain them. Batteries need to be recharged regularly and this is done by running the engine. If you do not start your car for a long period of time or even for just a few days in the winter, your battery can easily lose its charge.


In order to check for battery problems, you should try turning on the headlights. If the lights are dim, the battery could be dead or there could be poor battery connections.  Take a moment to think of whether or not you happened to forget the lights on the night before.


It’s also worth checking the battery connections. Clean and tighten them before you try to start again.


Call a friend, neighbour, or auto service to jump-start your car. If this works, you should have the battery tested and possibly replaced. If your battery is new, you might want to have the alternator checked. The alternator is responsible for recharging the battery while your car is running. If it is faulty, then your car has been running purely on battery power and you will need a new alternator.

If you hear a click

If you hear a quiet click sound when you turn the key, you could try a technique called cycling the key to start the car.  Here’s how:
Turn the key from ‘off’ to ‘start’ ten times in a row.
Wait a few minutes.
Try to start the engine now.
If this does not work, repeat once more.
If it still does not work, it’s time for a different approach.

Some shifting

If you hear absolutely no sound when turning the key – not even a click – you can try this shift trick:
Apply your foot to the brake pedal.
Shift the vehicle into neutral.
Try to start the car.
If this does not work, shift into park and try again.
This trick can help reestablish electrical contact inside the transmission. If your car does start thanks to this trick, you should have it checked out by a professional urgently.

Other possible issues

your car in winterIf the engine cranks but the car won’t start, there could be any number of problems and it’s best to have a technician take a look. A frozen fuel line in the winter is common if your fuel tank is running low. Keep your fuel tank at least half full. That way the condensation from the fuel will not reach the fuel line. If it can’t reach the fuel line, it can’t freeze in the fuel line and you won’t have to worry about frozen lines in the winter. Driving in deep snow and wet conditions can also cause wet spark plugs and similar components. A trained technician will know just how to diagnose and repair such problems. Remember, if your vehicle is under any kind of warranty, you should always file your claim before hiring a mechanic in order to ensure that the repairs are covered.

Wear and tear are a given when it comes to all cars.  That is why it is so important to make sure that you are not caught by surprise. With A-Protect Warranty, you can enjoy the best used car extended warranty coverage designed to suit your needs. Call us today at 1-866-660-6444.


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