Common Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

  • By Lea Naiz
  • 26 Jun, 2017

One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a car owner goes something like this: You pack up the kids, the lunches, your laptop, and all the work you brought home last night. You rush out the door with just enough time to drop the kids off at daycare and get to work on time.

You turn your key in the ignition, and nothing happens. You try again and again, only to realize that your car definitely won’t start. Most of the time this is due to a dead battery, but there are some other relatively common reasons for your car not to start. Here are the symptoms of some different issues.

Battery, Jumping, Dead, Car, Auto Repair Shop, Industry, Workshop, Cables, Wire, Garage, Electricity, Jumper Cable

Clicking Noise

If the car clicks and clicks but refuses to turn over, it is most likely the battery. Put it on a battery charger or ask someone for a jump start. If that doesn’t work, trace the wires between the battery and the starter. A loose connection may be the culprit.

Engine Cranks, But Doesn’t Start

If you can hear cranking, odds are good that the problem is not with your battery or starter. Instead, the most likely issue is the spark plugs. Open the hood and look for the collection of wires that lead to different parts of the engine. The spark plugs are at the end of each wire at the engine. Replace any bad spark plugs you find.


If you turn the key and hear nothing, your battery might be dead. However, another possibility is that the terminal cable connections are corroded. Try cleaning them with a corrosion remover or even a fizzy soda such as Coca-Cola. Be sure to rinse thoroughly but carefully, without splashing any electrical components.

Car Won’t Start in the Rain

If it’s raining when your car won’t start, it may be due to dampness inside the distributor cap. Check your owner’s manual to find its location, then gently remove it. Turn the cap upside down and give it a light coating of a cleaning solvent. Gently swish the solvent around and pour it out, and then carefully dry the cap with a lint-free rag before replacing it.

Car Starts, But the Engine Hesitates or Misses During Acceleration

There are a lot of possibilities for this common symptom. Check, or have your automotive technician check, your spark plugs, distributor, and timing belt. Depending on how poorly the engine is performing, you might need to get off the road immediately, or you might be able to take care of this on the way home. Either way, don’t wait more than a day to have it checked out.

Few things are as frustrating as a car that won’t start. Fortunately, these issues are fairly easy to diagnose and correct. If you use a temporary measure such as a jump start, be sure to have your car checked out as soon as possible to ensure that the problem doesn’t return.

If you are tired of getting the runaround and being treated like you haven’t got a clue, we invite you to try  Colchin Automotive  instead. Give us a call at 303-431-5421 for all of your automotive needs!

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