Imagine. You wake up in the morning on a beautiful, sunny, summer day. There isn’t a single cloud in the sky. You’ve woken up early enough to be able to enjoy your morning at a calm, relaxing pace. You walk downstairs to your kitchen, get yourself a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee, and you sit down at your kitchen table to enjoy your delicious breakfast. Everything is going great! You’ve got a crisp dress shirt on and freshly pressed dress pants. You’re feeling especially confident this morning because you’ve just sprayed yourself with your newly purchased cologne that you got over the weekend.
And then, you walk out to your car, turn the key in the ignition, and…it won’t start! Let’s take a look at how something so awful could happen to you.
Dead Car Battery: This is the most common reason for why a car will not start. A battery tester can help you determine whether or not your battery is weak. If you determine that you have a dead or weak battery, consider jump starting your car with jumper cables. After doing this, give your car some time to run, so that your alternator can recharge the battery.
Battery corrosion: Having clean battery posts is essential if you want your car to start and run properly. If you’re not sure how to clean battery, seek a professional’s guidance.
Bad starter motor: When you turn the key in the ignition, if you hear a single clicking sound, this could mean there’s a problem with the electrical connection. Starters typically need to be replaced between every 30,000 and 200,000 miles.
Clogged fuel filter: A fuel filter’s main purpose is to keep debris from getting into your car’s fuel system. When the filter is clogged, it’s possible that not enough fuel can reach your engine. A general rule of thumb is to replace your fuel filter every two years or every 30,000 miles (whichever comes first).
Failed fuel pump: A failed fuel pump needs to be fixed by a professional.
Bad timing belt: The purpose of a timing belt is to ensure the engine’s valves open and close at the proper interval so that the values and pistons never touch. A failed timing belt can be extremely dangerous because it can lead to a failed engine. Generally, timing belts need to be replaced every 60,000 miles or every 5 years, whichever comes first.
Bad ignition coil: The ignition coil transforms a battery’s voltage into an electric spark. A damaged ignition coil means there isn’t enough juice to do that. In order to test the strength of the current running through the coil, you’ll need a multimeter—a tool designed to measure electrical current, voltage, and resistance.
Always remember, if you encounter a problem with your car that you’re not confident or comfortable fixing yourself, it’s always best to hire a professional to do that job for you.